They do that to me! I long to simply roost in my study, creating timeless works of fiction and being paid so much money for them that someone else will handle all the mundanities of publishing and promotion. However . . . with a big sigh . . .
Amazon won't say how many Kindles it has sold, but the number is close to 300,000, according to some sources. It's a significant figure, and it's making a serious dent in bookselling figures. So when Amazon drops an entire publishing house--one of the big guys, mind you--it makes news we can't afford to ignore. Quoted from The New York Times:
"As Venture Beat and other blogs have noticed Friday evening, books from Macmillan, one of the largest publishers in the United States, have vanished from Amazon.com.
The question is why.
I’ve talked to a person in the industry with knowledge of the dispute who says the disappearance is the result of a disagreement between Amazon.com and book publishers that has been brewing for the last year. Macmillan, like other publishers, has asked Amazon to raise the price of electronic books from $9.99 to around $15. Amazon is expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books, said this person, who did not want to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Macmillan is one of the publishers signed on to offer books to Apple, as part of its new iBooks store. Its imprints include Farrar, Straus & Giroux, St. Martins Press and Henry Holt. The publisher’s books can still be purchased from third parties on the Amazon site.
Apple, as we’ve reported before, will allow publishers more leeway to set their own prices for e-books. It’s not clear yet if publishers can withhold books from Amazon while giving them to other parties like Apple. I’ve spoken to two antitrust lawyers who say it could raise legal issues.
Macmillan has not yet returned a request for comment. Amazon refused to comment."
I certainly don't want to see e-books cost $15, a price that has no advantage over a nice hefty trade paperback. I'm not sure, either, that I want to see Amazon arbitrarily cutting out a bunch of my colleagues who publish with Tor Books, a Macmillan company. I suspect the legal eagles will be sorting all this out, and there's not much we writers can do in any case. It's a shame, though, because losing access to Tor books on Kindle could hurt some people. Let's hope they thrash it out quickly.