Amazon removes 5,000 eBooks from the Kindle Store
Almost 5,000 eBooks have had their buy option disabled on Amazon. The titles come from the distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG) and were pulled because the distributor refused to bend to Amazon’s demand for better terms.
This story was originally reported by Publisher’s Marketplace and has since been confirmed by IPG President Mark Suchomel. Suchomel told Paidcontent.org “We’re offering [the e-book sales terms] we offered last week, and somehow they think it’s not quite good enough.” Apparently as the contract between Amazon and IPG approached renewal Amazon “told us [the move] was coming, and has been telling us what the consequences were if we didn’t change what we were offering.”
As a distributor IPG represents about 400 publishers and provides services like marketing, sales and distribution. Suchomel was quick to note that the physical versions of IPG distributed books are still available on Amazon and eBooks are available via other retailers. Apparently IPG’s terms are “acceptable to everyone else in the book business,” he said. “If half the accounts weren’t buying from us, I’d have to question it, but everyone else is.”
Suchomel stated that all of their publishers were quick to support IPG in the decision not to give in to Amazon’s demands for better margins on their eBooks. “We talked to many of them as Amazon was asking for more, and every one of them has said no, we can’t just keep giving more and more margin away.” Clients are “trying to direct people to other accounts [like Nook] where they can find their e-books.” The full memo from IPG to its clients is available if you want to read it through.
Currently it seems that only books distributed by IPG are an issue. Other distributors like Publishers Group West still have good working relationships with Amazon. Susan Reich, president of Publishers Group West said “We have an ongoing working relationship with Amazon and I have no reason to believe that our titles are at risk of being taken down.”
We’ll see how long this lasts before Amazon and IPG can come to some kind of an agreement. It seems necessary for distributors who represent smaller publishers to push back when Amazon tries to take larger margins on eBooks. It would be interesting to know what overall effect this will have on the sales numbers for eBooks IPG distributes overall.
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