Amazon Caves, Will Raise eBook Prices For Macmillan

jeff bezos kindle AP

Amazon is throwing in the towel on its fight against Macmillan.

In a statement on the Kindle Community website, Amazon says it must “capitulate” to Macmillan’s demand to charge $12-$15 for anĀ  e-book version of a new hardcover, or bestseller.

The full statement from the Amazon Kindle team:

Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the “big six” publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. 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. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don’t believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

Thank you for being a customer. If you’re arriving late to the story, here’s what happened:

  • Amazon pulled Macmillan books as retaliation for Macmillan telling Amazon to raise e-book prices.
  • Macmillan’s CEO took out a full page ad to explain why he wanted to raise the prices.
  • We told Macmillan’s CEO to take his high e-book prices and shove them. The incremental price of an eBook is zero. Publishers need to accept the new reality, and start making money on volume.

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