Publishers are balking at a new requirement by Amazon for three-year contracts aimed at thwarting the current rush toward Apple’s rival iBookstore and iPad.
Apple has said it will permit publishers to charge between $13 to $15 for best-selling titles, a premium over Amazon, which keeps titles for its Kindle e-reader at a flat $9.99. A number of larger publishers have sided with Apple’s so-called “Agency” pricing model, concerned the Amazon flat-pricing will undervalue printed books in the eyes of consumers.
While larger publishers, such as Macmillan, have the clout to resist Amazon’s bid to retain 90 percent of the e-book market, smaller presses are particularly vulnerable, according to the New York Times. The Seattle-based Internet bookseller also insists publishers sell to Amazon at wholesale prices while threatening to remove titles that do not agree. As a result, some smaller publishers may decide to sign with Amazon, allowing the Internet retailer to offer e-books to Kindle owners at a lower price.
In another move aimed at swaying publishers, Apple recently began looking for an “Independent Publisher Account Manager” to negotiate and promote books, signaling to small presses the Cupertino, Calif. company will pay special attention to lesser-known publishers.
[via New York Times]