Amazon.com’s growing might and the sizzling success of the Kindle has publishers terrified. Hachette, Harlequin, and others are fighting back
On Christmas Day, for the first time in its history, Amazon.com (AMZN) sold more digital books than the old fashioned kind. It was a watershed moment for the book industry—but it’s scaring the hell out of traditional publishers. Even though they make the same amount on sales of both kinds of books, they see Amazon’s digital dominance as a looming threat to their business, and with good reason. Their big worry: Amazon will end up with the same kind of pricing power in books that Apple (AAPL) has in music, and that the book industry will suffer the same kind of bruising decline.
One goal for publishers is to dilute Amazon’s power. Hachette is selling e-books through more than a dozen partners, including Sony (SNE), Apple, and small retailers such as Fictionwise. By partnering with multiple outlets, publishers hope to regain control over pricing and gather purchasing data that could fuel future sales. They’re unhappy Amazon has dropped the price of some new digital best-sellers to as little as $7.99, compared with $35 for hardcovers.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Most Pirated Books of 2009 (geardiary.com)
- Amazon says it was a Kindle Christmas – but still no sales figures (guardian.co.uk)
- J.S. McDougall: Apple’s iSlate: The Kindle Killer (huffingtonpost.com)