Last night, Macmillan CEO John Sargent confirmed that Amazon (AMZN) had stopped directly selling books by the corporate publisher–the first named source to confirm a dispute between Amazon and Macmillan over raising the standard eBook price from $9.99 to around $15.
The $9.99 price point has been a touchy subject all year. As we reported yesterday, a vocal contingent of Amazon customers are still encouraging others to boycott Kindle books that cost more than $9.99. The story kept GalleyCat readers and editors busy over the weekend.
Novelist Bendan McNally wrote: “Once I talked up my novel, GERMANIA, to a lady at a Starbucks who was using a Kindle. she looked my book up, didn’t like what they were charging for the download, but bought it anyway. She just asked that I pass on to my editor her opinion that ebooks should not be priced at more that 9.99. I kept my end of the bargain. The publisher’s response was silence.”
Another readers retorted: “I doubt Amazon is letting the views of 2200 customers dictate a pricing policy that affects millions. If 2200 are unhappy enough to post about it, that means (let’s ballpark it) 2,997,800 are at least neutral enough not to join the conversation.”
Reader Allen Harkleroad wrote: “This news makes me so glad that I am self-published and don’t rely on large book publishers for income.” Bear Mountain Books wrote: “I’m really not sure Amazon took the best route to get this pricing dispute in the open, but they did get attention on the problem. The Amazon forums seem a bit split on the outcome. There are those saying, ‘let them price how they want and we’ll decide if we pay it’ and those that say, ‘Thanks, Amazon for taking a stand.'”
Many other outlets have covered this strange affair, including: the AP and Publishers Weekly and BoingBoing and VentureBeat and John Scalzi and Munsey’s the LA Times and MediaMemo and Mashable and Digital Book World. Macmillan books are still not available directly from Amazon, as you can see by following links to John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War or William Poundstone’s Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value.