Yesterday we brought you the news that starting today three major publishers were taking control of the sale price of their e-books online.
Amazon, due to competition from Apple and others had finally bent to the demands of several major publishing houses. However not every publisher, it has come to light today, has reached new terms with Amazon.
New books from Penguin are going unlisted on Amazon, while Hachette e-books have had their buy buttons pulled completely.
Amazon still has bite. By refusing to settle with these two publishers at terms they did not want, and thus allowing for e-book sales to be halted, Amazon is stating its claim to the market it has helped pioneer. In effect, they are saying that iPad or no iPad, this is still their niche.
The Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader (the world’s most popular) is seen as a diminishing star among Apple enthusiasts looking to pick up an iPad. However, few people think that Amazon’s e-book selection is to sneeze at.
The iPad will launch with a mere, and I must say quite pathetic, 60,00 titles. Amazon has over 400,000. In music and video, iTunes rules the roost in terms of content completeness. In e-books for now Apple is the slow kid in the class.
Although Hachette and Pengiun are being smacked around by Amazon at the moment, expect to see their books reappear under balanced terms in Amazon’s store shortly. Amazon needs to keep its content fresh and up to date to compete with the iPad, and the company hardly wants to lose the sales from missing titles.
Amazon is being told by analysts to cut the price of the Kindle, which they may or may not do. What we can be certain about is that Amazon wants to keep e-book prices down, and is willing to go to the mattresses to support that.