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Amazon Changes Tune with Macmillan Publishing

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Amazon reversed course on its spat with Macmillan Publishing and in a message has said that it will offer Macmillan’s books at the higher price. Amazon wants to charge $9.99. Macmillan wants a higher price of $14.99. Amazon had pulled all of Macmillan’s books last week as a counter move, but I guess that strategy didn’t work out so well. Amazon is saying that customers will vote by opting for lower priced books, but I predict they will have other publishers looking to raise prices, oh, just about any minute now.

Looks like Macmillan owes Steve Jobs for a big assist.

Amazon’s response to this can be read after the jump.

Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

Thank you for being a customer.

Via TechCrunch

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

6 Comments

  1. GoodThings2Life

    02/01/2010 at 7:27 am

    Well holding to principles sure didn’t last long. Bummer.

  2. chris hickie

    02/01/2010 at 7:44 am

    Money always talks, but in tech, consumers have the final say.

  3. Tamas

    02/01/2010 at 8:03 am

    If it boils down to the costumers, they will go for the lower prices (that’s what I would do). The publishers need to come to terms with the fact that there is a more dynamic competition in this market…

  4. Corinne

    02/01/2010 at 10:30 am

    I have to agree. Doesn’t make much sense. Would love to see their stats once they make the change.

    Will they make more money when they sell more books at the lower price or will they make more money selling less books at a higher price?

  5. Mark Byrd

    02/01/2010 at 2:04 pm

    Seems like the consumer has a reason to NOT thank Steve Jobs…

  6. Chris Hickie

    02/01/2010 at 4:19 pm

    Just please tell me this won’t lead to some books only being in one or two electronic formats and not in print.

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