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Old 02-04-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
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Amazon-Macmillan fight heats up

http://www.techflash.com/seattle/201..._heats_up.html

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Update: Macmillan CEO Sargent just took out another ad in Publishers Marketplace, saying his firm has been in "constant discussions" with Amazon. Addressing Macmillan authors and illustrators, he writes:
I cannot tell you when we will resume business as usual with Amazon, and needless to say I can promise nothing on the buy buttons. You can tell by the tone of this letter though that I feel the time is getting near to hand.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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The more I hear from Macmillan, some of their authors (and author organizations), the more firmly I am siding with Amazon in this fight.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #3
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The more I hear from Macmillan, some of their authors (and author organizations), the more firmly I am siding with Amazon in this fight.
Ditto. In spades.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
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Mr. Sargent's views on eBooks in the Public Library does NOT help his image. Not just his views, his prohibition of MacMillan eBooks existing in the Public Library.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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While I am not pleased with either party, I say this is the kick in the pants Macmillan needed to get off their complacent corporate butts and distribute their author's titles to retail outlets BESIDES Amazon. Donna Andrews, a Macmillan author that I'm a huge fan of, up until this week was Amazon only. Now she's available at B&N. I think there are two authors left on my wishlist that are still Amazon only, and published by Macmillan.
I hope the rest of the publishers take note and start wider distribution, now that they see how easy it is for an outlet to pull their titles.

EDIT: Yes, I know that's lousy grammar.

Last edited by phenomshel; 02-04-2010 at 04:25 PM. Reason: note
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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While I am not pleased with either party, I say this is the kick in the pants Macmillan needed to get off their complacent corporate butts and distribute their author's titles to retail outlets BESIDES Amazon. Donna Andrews, a Macmillan author that I'm a huge fan of, up until this week was Amazon only. Now she's available at B&N. I think there are two authors left on my wishlist that are still Amazon only, and published by Macmillan.
I hope the rest of the publishers take note and start wider distribution, now that they see how easy it is for an outlet to pull their titles.
And I hope more consumers take note and stop rewarding Macmillan with their money.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:31 PM   #7
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And I hope more consumers take note and stop rewarding Macmillan with their money.
Thing is, though, they hurt themselves (and their authors) by limiting the distribution to Amazon only. Other publishers do it too, Hachette being another one of the worst. If those ebooks had already been available at several other outlets, this wouldn't have had near the impact. They brought it on themselves. What caused a big part of the hue and cry amongst ebook consumers was that the books were not available anywhere at all after the Amazon shenanigans.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
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I've always been against exclusive deals with ebooks. It hurts everyone. Have ebooks widely available (even in libraries!!) at a reasonable price without DRM and everyone wins.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
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Thing is, though, they hurt themselves (and their authors) by limiting the distribution to Amazon only. Other publishers do it too, Hachette being another one of the worst. If those ebooks had already been available at several other outlets, this wouldn't have had near the impact. They brought it on themselves. What caused a big part of the hue and cry amongst ebook consumers was that the books were not available anywhere at all after the Amazon shenanigans.
Many of the ebook titles that became entirely unavailable when Amazon yanked them is because, for the most part, those titles were titles for which macmillan refused to produce an ebook. Amazon scanned it themselves, with Macmillan's permission.

To verify this, I think you'll find (when you check again), that most of the "exclusive" titles were in fact Topaz-format ebooks: a sure sign that Amazon themselves scanned and OCR'd the title.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mcl View Post
Many of the ebook titles that became entirely unavailable when Amazon yanked them is because, for the most part, those titles were titles for which macmillan refused to produce an ebook. Amazon scanned it themselves, with Macmillan's permission.

To verify this, I think you'll find (when you check again), that most of the "exclusive" titles were in fact Topaz-format ebooks: a sure sign that Amazon themselves scanned and OCR'd the title.
I wonder what that does to the Agency model. Under the Agency model, the publisher has to retain legal title to the digital books. I've wondered if that meant that the books had to be sourced and DRM'ed from the publisher and Amazon is just the pass through.

Does anyone know if Apple requires you to host the app itself? I assume that it does.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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Many of the ebook titles that became entirely unavailable when Amazon yanked them is because, for the most part, those titles were titles for which macmillan refused to produce an ebook. Amazon scanned it themselves, with Macmillan's permission.

To verify this, I think you'll find (when you check again), that most of the "exclusive" titles were in fact Topaz-format ebooks: a sure sign that Amazon themselves scanned and OCR'd the title.
Yep, you're right. I am finding it highly amusing that NOW those books are showing up in other formats at other bookstores. I'm not defending Macmillan OR Amazon. I think the authors got a raw deal all the way around. I'm just glad that Macmillan is now being forced to distribute those titles other places (which I'm sure is not the outcome Amazon wanted ). By the way, one of the few remaining authors on my wishlist at Amazon was Lou Jane Temple. I just found the two titles I was missing at Fictionwise. Expensive, but there. Now if I can just figure out what the remaining three "blanked out" titles are, maybe I can find those elsewhere too.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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The more I hear from Macmillan, some of their authors (and author organizations), the more firmly I am siding with Amazon in this fight.

Yep. I hope the authors start leaving if droves for better deals.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #13
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I finally had to call Amazon, and have them tell me what the blacklisted titles were, but once I found out (I didn't have everything on that wishlist memorized), I've now found all the authors and titles that were previously Amazon only at other sites. Wiped out my Amazon wishlist entirely. Which suits me just fine, as I much prefer ePub format, and will pay more to get the book in ePub rather than mobi or topaz.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #14
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Glad you found them Shel!

I think this is the first big skirmish of the coming war...
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:35 PM   #15
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Does anyone know if Apple requires you to host the app itself? I assume that it does.
You don't host the app when you post it in the app store.
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