Last week Mashable discussed Apple vs. Amazon: The E-Book War Rages On which cites:
a report in Publishers Marketplace (subscription required) that alleges that Amazon.com is telling publishers that if they switch to an agency model (ala Macmillan) , they will lose Amazon as a platform for both e-books and print.
I find this kind of ironic given that this was the opposite stitch that Amazon approached in the mp3/music wars with Apple. The agency model – the article sums: “Much like music publishers fought (and eventually won) the right to sell certain digital tracks or digital albums for more (or less, in some cases) than the $0.99 per track/$9.99 per album standard, publishers want that same control.”
…which is all fine and dandy to me.
As a reader/consumer, I want to be able to do price checking, to determine where I can find the best deals. I switch back and forth already from the iTunes store and Amazon’s MP3 store for my music purchases. My recent She & Him: Volume Two was bought with a great one-day $4.99 release price from Amazon, as opposed to iTunes $9.99. At the time of this posting, the album is still cheaper than the iTunes price – $7.99.
In addition to being drawn to different prices, perhaps in the future, there might even be a rewards system for consumer loyalty as more media crosses into a digital standard.
As a writer, the idea of flexible prices and deals make sense so long as the author is getting a better cut than the current publishing situation. I also want to believe that with the malleability of the online publishing industry, the writer can have more of a voice. Perhaps part of the negotiating process of publishing companies can additionally take into more consideration the author. Amazon, as it is, currently has some great self-publishing opportunities for writers. So what’s up with all this “tightening the reins” business? I don’t really quite get it. Anyone want to enlighten me?
Also, I hope the nook doesn’t get lost in all of this madness. It marries well the physical place of book purchasing (which I don’t want/hope doesn’t go away), but I suppose like everything in this industry…who knows what’s next?