From Publishers Weekly:
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on a letter of protest, from authors in Germany, about a terms dispute between Amazon and the local publisher, Bonnier. The dispute, the Times noted, mirrors the issue Amazon is having with Hachette in the States and, just as U.S. authors have spoken out about the situation here, German authors have now responded with their own open letter to the tech giant.
. . . .
[A]n Amazon spokesperson said the company issued a response late Friday. Amazon’s response reads:
“For the majority of their titles, Bonnier have chosen to set terms that make it significantly more expensive for us to buy a digital edition than it is to buy the print edition of the same title. This is a poor choice because with an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, and no transportation. E-books can and should be less expensive than print books, and this should be reflected in the terms under which booksellers buy their books from publishers. The fact is Bonnier’s terms are out of step with other major German publishers. We are working diligently with Bonnier to reach a new agreement more in line with typical industry terms in Germany.”
Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly
PG wonders if the 1% authors have stopped caring about their readers. Or perhaps, they’ve reached the point where they take readers for granted.
Low-priced ebooks allow more books to reach far more readers than any conceivable print-based system. For all their virtues, physical libraries don’t have nearly the reach that the Internet and smart phones have.
Publishers and 1% authors are delusional if they don’t believe that books compete with other entertainment options like movies and television and videogames.
Books priced high to support the profit margins of huge media conglomerates and their 1% managers will invariably lead to less reading and fewer readers. Mercedes prices for ebooks will certainly destroy literary culture.
Indie authors seem to be the only authors who are really thinking about their readers and their ebook pricing reflects that.
Amazon focuses on readers and other individual consumers because it’s not Tiffany. It rises or falls on purchase decisions made by the 99%.
Amazon would go broke if it made its business decisions to please 1% purchasers. Or 1% publishers. Or 1% authors.