Macmillan vs. Amazon: Customers Weigh In

Throughout this weekend’s debacle, in which Amazon temporarily stopped selling print and electronic books from Macmillan (which insisted Amazon let it switch to an agency pricing model), Amazon customers have been expressing their opinion on Amazon’s Kindle forums. Our sibling blog GalleyCat surveyed the postings, and here’s the representative sampling they found:

Pamela wrote: “I am not in the habit of supporting bullies and will forever refrain from purchasing any book published by Macmillan [heretofore know as ‘the bully’] or any of its divisions. I vote with my money and they just lost my vote.”

ScottBooks argued the opposite: “I believe $14.99 is reasonable. It’s a heckuva lot less than what I paid for new hardcovers. (And I get to read them on Kindle!) People who waited for paperbacks can wait for the cheaper eBook edition. You offer them for sale and we’ll decide whether or not to buy them.”

Mabalacat added this point: “If they want higher prices then it is time for them to provide quality formatting. Not just quickly scanned with no effort to fix the OCR errors. The frequent formatting errors would no longer be acceptable.”

K. Landow disagreed: “You should be more concerned about Amazon’s tactics. Why shouldn’t a publisher–who has made the financial commitment and cultivated a project–be able to set their own prices? If you made dog food, widgets, or moon pies do you want your biggest customer telling you what YOUR terms of business should be? No, I didn’t think so.”

Macmillan’s books are still not on sale at Amazon, despite the fact that Amazon has essentially conceded to the publisher’s demands.