Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazon.com Pulls All Macmillan Titles from its Virtual Shelves

Macmillan

If our mystery book buyers are having trouble finding certain titles to purchase through Amazon.com this morning, there's a simple reason for that: Amazon.com has pulled from its virtual shelves all books published by Macmillan and its imprints. The reason for doing so: Amazon.com and Macmillan are disputing how the online retailer prices the publisher's e-books. The New York Times printed a good summary on the dispute earlier today.

(Full disclosure: Most of the books mentioned on this site are linked to Amazon.com for purchase. We get a commission on every sale, which helps support not only this site but our entire family of mystery websites. But we do not get a commission on the sale of any e-books from Amazon.com, that being one of the categories explicitly excluded by its affilitate operating agreement.)

Amazon.com pulling all of Macmillan's titles seems extreme, to say the least. And it could, presumably, get worse. Macmillan is but one of five major publishers which have recently spoken to Apple about offering electronic versions of their books for sale on the new iPad ... at substantially higher retail prices. The others (all with major imprints that regularly publish mystery books) are Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Hachette Books, and Simon & Schuster.

Let's hope this is a temporary situation, and that the book publishers and online booksellers can resolve their differences without dragging their customers any further into the mix.

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