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Old 01-23-2012, 10:54 AM   #1
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Publishers see Amazon as Predatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPR
"There's been pushback that I've gone over to the dark side and allied myself with these people who are destroying the book business as we know it," Pearl says.

The venture, called Book Lust Rediscoveries, is something Pearl has wanted to do for years. She had reservations about going with Amazon, but says she and her agent shopped the idea to other publishers who didn't pick it up. Pearl says she and her agent were impressed my Amazon's enthusiasm for "resurrecting books that never should have gone out of print in the first place."
http://www.npr.org/2012/01/23/145468...on?ft=1&f=1008

Gee, Amazon is evil and predatory, yet when other Publishers were asked first they didn't want to pick up on an out of print project. Sounds a bit like crying wolf, to me.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Yeah, because price fixing is all prey-like and all.

Unlike Doc Holliday, their hypocrisy does go so far.

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Old 01-23-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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Or just crying.

Quote:
...Amazon has made life very convenient for consumers.
Wahhhhhh, make them stop. It makes us look bad.

Seriously, publishers complaining that Amazon is selling too many books and eReaders? Like it or not, the convenience of Amazon has gotten a ton more people reading and buying books in the last decade. Rarely do they get credit for that. There are issues with Amazon's model, but this article doesn't address those.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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Amazon wants to lower prices.
Publishers want to raise prices.
Who is the predator?
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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I don't always love everything Amazon does, but in this case, if they want to resurrect out-of-print books and make them available again, I'm all for it. If the other publishers turned it down, they have no one to blame but themselves.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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The *Big* Publishing Houses want a scarcity economy that allows them to charge high prices to cover their high overhead. Predators need meat, after all.
But not all publishers are doing that. A lot are taking avantage of the extremely low overhead of ebook publishing to create and grow *their* publishing houses. And what better low-overhead content than known-good out-of-print books?
If anything, Amazon is helping spawn an entire new wave of small publishers that, over time, may grow pretty big in their own right. It is these little "piranhas", small, agile, and hungry that are the real threat to the BPHs. By focusing on Amazon, they're just giving the New Publishers cover to hunt and feed and grow.
Do notice, Amazon generally ignores all the BPH FUD; this PR "war" between Amazon and the publishers is distinctly one-sided. The BPHs whine and Amazon just shrugs it off and keeps on rolling along.
Which is what they need to do.
Expect more of these deals; the backlist is where the biggest ebook money is to be found.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-23-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
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I see Amazon as predatory. Its policies are arbitrary and often discriminatory, and it really is trying to stomp out its competition.

I just see it as a future-oriented predator that's focused on "give most people what they want, and make sure they're buying it from us," instead of one that's trying to drag me back into the 50's.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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Hmm, all this talk about finding and bringing back out-of-print books sounds like a fine solution to the "orphan works problem" that doesn't involve giving in to Google's land-grab. Instead, dozens or hundreds of small businesses can hunt down the copyright owners and *pay* them to bring their "orphaned" works back to market.
Readers get the content, creators get paid, Google loses its excuse to take over other people's work.

Works for me.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Amazon is the way, the truth, the true light.

Don't pay attention to those jealous whining failures.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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Question Reservations...

Any of these books pub-dom ? I presume not, otherwise there be no money to be made for anyone.

And I'd love to know how many other publishing houses she "shopped it out to" .
If it's such a good idea, why did the publishing world en masse turn it down ?
Mind you, I suppose Amazon probably has more cash to risk on a possibly shakey proposition.....

Not that I necessarily doubt anyones altruistic motives, but have Amazon hitherto shown any great enthusiasm for printing stuff that should "never have gone out of print anyway" ?

As far as I can see, it's an interesting idea to publish works that will won't be expensive to get the rights to, with the equivalent of some "bonus tracks/out-takes" tacked on to give them, hopefully, some sales. Amazon doesn't have to price 'em high to cover initial costs, after all. It's probably worth a punt, with their resources.

But the scale talked about in the article, well, I can see why "straight" publishers held back. And it would certainly have been harder for them to finance sufficient interest to get the venture of the ground, compared to the "Dark Side" !
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
If it's such a good idea, why did the publishing world en masse turn it down ?
Publishers don't always do sensible things. Remember that J.K. Rowling had to use a vanity press publisher for the first print run of the initial "Harry Potter" book because she couldn't find a commercial publisher to take it on.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Publishers don't always do sensible things. Remember that J.K. Rowling had to use a vanity press publisher for the first print run of the initial "Harry Potter" book because she couldn't find a commercial publisher to take it on.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was originally published by Bloomsbury. Although as I understand it, the manuscript was rejected by many publishers before that, so your intent if not your facts are correct.

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Old 01-23-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was originally published by Bloomsbury. Although as I understand it, the manuscript was rejected by many publishers before that, so your intent if not your facts are correct.

eP
If I understand correctly (and I may be mistaken) she did an initial private print run of 200 copies, and it was only after that that Bloosmbury took it on.

EDIT: A little reading shows that I'm wrong - Bloomsbury were indeed the initial publisher, printing 1000 copies (which are now worth a great deal of money). Thank you for the correction.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-23-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:27 PM   #14
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Harry: did it have a different title? Of course such a book would be highly collectible, and yet I can't find any information on it. There was an uncorrected proof from Bloomsbury with an edition of 200.

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Old 01-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
Harry: did it have a different title? Of course such a book would be highly collectible, and yet I can't find any information on it. There was an uncorrected proof from Bloomsbury with an edition of 200.

eP
See my edited post - I was wrong .
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