Amazon forced to raise pricing of Macmillan e-books

Amazon has agreed to give in to demands of a book publisher that said the popular online retailer needs to raise the price of e-books. The new Macmillan pricing scheme will go into effect in March, with some of the publisher’s e-books jumping to $12.99 to $14.99 each.

We first reported on the pricing battle between Macmillan and Amazon a few days ago.

A new statement on Amazon’s website reads “We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.”

With Amazon publicly stating that the publisher’s ebook prices are too high, it may cause even more negative publicity for Macmillan this week.  E-books written by Andrew Young, Hilary Mantel and other popular Macmillan authors were temporarily pulled by Amazon.

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It’s possible other publishers may offer discounts to help lure customers away from Macmillan’s more expensive book titles.

I’m interested to hear what the authors have to say about this.  Publishers claim they have to charge higher prices — even though there are no printing costs — an opinion unpopular among Kindle owners.  Are authors willing to lose readers because the publisher demands higher prices, or will they just lay down and take it?

Macmillan is reportedly engaged in ongoing negotiations with Amazon to try and find an appropriate price for new releases and best sellers.

Macmillan’s success in pressuring Amazon may allow other publishers to throw their weight around, especially with so many new e-readers and ebook consumers expected in 2010.

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