Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amazon and Apple in a Cold War with the public and publishers in the cross-fire

I feel like playing the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

The New York Times reported yesterday that Amazon and Apple are manuvering around each other, using the publishers as pawns. There are three things about this article that catch our interest.

Amazon is threatening to stop selling books for certain publishers again. At issue this time is the requirement Apple wants publishers to guarantee their eBooks will not be published elsewhere for less than the iBookstore price. So the publishers are in renegotiations with Amazon...and its getting ugly.

The Bad: When Amazon refuses to sell a book, the publishers lose out, but so do the readers and the authors. Yes, the prices may go so high the readers won't buy the book, but that effects a market correction. If the prices go so low no one makes a profit, publishers go under, fewer books get published and the reader loses out.

The Good: Apple's iBookstore is actively recruiting the small and medium size publishers, which is great for readers. There is a LOT of wonderful material out there from the smaller publishers and promoting readership via the eBook format will only benefit us all.

What do you think?

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