Presented with options publishers turn on Amazon

iPad running iBooks.During News Corp’s quarterly earnings conference call, Rupert Murdoch finally revealed his true feelings about the deal between HarperCollins, which News Corp owns, and Amazon for ebooks in the Kindle Store. “We don’t like the Amazon model of $9.99….we think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books.”

That pretty much says it all. Now that the company has an option coming with the iPad, it no longer needs to succumb to Amazon’s demands. Things are just the opposite, in fact, thanks to flexible pricing options from Apple. The competition is forcing Amazon to renegotiate prices with publishers for fear of losing market share or publisher support altogether.

It’s tough to say that increased ebook prices actually preserves the value of the book, particularly after prices have been so low. Fortunately for publishers, the ebook reading population was small enough that the rest of the world might not know to care about the difference.

Wrong Amazon, Get Grounded from Books

The Amazon KindleAs I mentioned in an earlier post, I had fairly trusting parents as a kid. They were in touch, aware of the nuances of my youthful existence including my strongest likes and dislikes. The unfortunate side effect here was an exacting system of punishment should I stray too far from the path of reason. I spent plenty of time grounded, relegated to my room with a few cleaning projects and a stack of books to keep me busy. Even at my worst offense, though, my parents never considered taking the books away.

That’s exactly the type of punishment you’ll receive if you lose face in the eyes of Almighty Amazon. Get your account suspended and you lose the ability to manage your ebooks and worse, buy new ones. An Amazon user named Ian recently had his account suspended for too many returns and subsequently found his Kindle had been crippled. The ownership (or lack thereof) concerning Kindle titles and books for other electronic readers is old news, but this is the first we’ve seen a company dole out extraneous punishment for account-level offenses. Ian has since had his account reinstated but with one major caveat: screw up again and it’s no books for you!

Source: MobileRead