vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Amazon sets a precedent: signs author exclusively for Kindle

by Scott Bicheno on 15 December 2009, 16:05

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qavek

Add to My Vault: x

Fighting back

Amazon.com, the world's biggest e-tailer, was originally created as an online book-seller, but as the digital revolution evolves it has now moved to undermine the very publishers it originally relied upon.

Until now, the electronic versions of books Amazon made available to view on its Kindle e-reader were still acquired via the publishers, just as the paper versions always have been. But with the announcement that it will be offering a couple of books from best-selling author Stephen Covey exclusively in the Kindle Store, Amazon is looking to change all that.

Covey's print publisher is Simon & Schuster, but the electronic versions of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centered Leadership will be published through Rosetta Books. It's reasonable to assume that Simon & Schuster thought it had the publishing rights to all forms of those books, so it's likely to be unimpressed with this development.

"This is the first time these books have been available in a digital format, and I'm happy to be able to offer them exclusively on Kindle," said Covey, who is the all-time 13th best-selling author on Amazon. "With so many readers using Kindle, this is a very effective way to reach people who want to easily download the books and begin reading them instantly."

This move could be viewed as a direct response to the settlement many authors and publishers made with Google, through which Google hopes to be able to electronically publish huge numbers of books. This is clearly a threat to Amazon and it presumably hopes that signing-up authors directly will provide an effective counter-attack.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Well, they're welcome to try it I suppose, but personally, my reaction would simply be to not buy any book that I had to use on a Kindle. Many ebooks are overpriced enough as it is.
With books, you're paying for something tangible. With ebooks, you're paying lots for the reader, and then you're paying for something which costs nothing for them to distribute. That's what stings, shelling out for something that seems to cost the distributor, i.e. Amazon, nothing.
miniyazz
With books, you're paying for something tangible. With ebooks, you're paying lots for the reader, and then you're paying for something which costs nothing for them to distribute. That's what stings, shelling out for something that seems to cost the distributor, i.e. Amazon, nothing.

No different to an MP3 or video distributed online.
schmunk
No different to an MP3 or video distributed online.

I suppose, it just seems different somehow. Perhaps that with a book, you can just read it, whereas with other forms of media you need special equipment (OK so a CD player isn't particularly special, but still).
schmunk
No different to an MP3 or video distributed online.
That's true, and as a writer, I certainly endorse the notion of creative types getting rewarded for their work, so creating the work in the first place (be it book, music, whatever) has a cost.

But I take Miniyazz's point too …. if they can sell a work for £x when it involves the cost of production, distribution etc of, say, a book, how come you can't at least discount the final retail price to reflect the lower costs because, after all, you're not paying for paper or printing, let alone the considerable costs of physically shipping printed books over over the country/planet, or the costs of several extra layers of middlemen and service providers to do it?

I think that's one thing that gets up people's noses about digital distribution - common sense says the cost has to have gone down, but the price rarely seems to reflect that …. and indeed, sometimes goes up.

Personally, I will not pay a premium for what, after all, seems like physically less because I'll feel like a muppet if I do. Sure, a digital copy gives you some utility a physical one does not (like loads of books on a small, light e-reader, but then, a physical copy gives you utility a digital one doesn't, like not needing expensive hardware to use it and, in some cases at least, DRM or format hassles.

Not reflecting reduced costs in price seems like exploitation, and people don't understand it, and IMHO …. don't like it.