Below is a post I made on the blog for Publisher’s Weekly about an article they wrote recently. Read the article here – then, my comments are below.
What would happen if publishers–especially the major houses–banded together and “just said no” to amazon and its unreasonable demands? If the majority did, amazon would have to back down if it wanted to continue selling books on its site. As this article points out, if publishers accede to amazon’s demands, their profit from sales on amazon would be pretty much “wipe out” their profit anyway, so why not use this as an opportunity to change the equation, shift the balance of power to publishers, and reinvigorate the indies? Books are becoming less and less of a profit center for amazon, which is clear by this policy. If amazon ends up selling virtually no books, people will find their way either to bn.com and/or to the indie in their towns. I often wonder what would have happened in the ’80s if publishers had not kowtowed to the demands of the chains, which now seem like child’s play compared to the hardball that amazon is playing.