Originally Posted by HarryT
Whatever this may be, it's not "blackmail", and I would strongly urge you, Nate, to remove that word from the title. Blackmail is defined as "extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information. ". Have these authors committed criminal acts which Amazon are threatening to expose?
Saying "we won't sell your books unless you let us print them" certainly is NOT blackmail. It's Amazon's store, and they have a right to dictate whatever conditions (within the law) they wish on authors who want to sell through them. Just as authors have a right to turn round and tell them to go to hell, and choose to sell their books elsewhere.
It's not necessarily blackmail, but it IS coercion, possibly reaching criminal level. And while they DO have the right to give incentives to encourage small publishers to use their printers if the publishers wish to have Kindle versions available through Amazon, they don't have the 'right' to strong-arm those publishers.
Were Amazon to make a case that they had invented the printing business and that there was a trade secret involved in converting a dead-tree book into an ebook - one only known to their printer - they might win a lawsuit over this. But that's not the case. I think the only reason Amazon hasn't had it's butt sued off is because it's being very selective who it strong-arms over this, picking the small ones who can't afford the financial cost of pushing for legal remedy.