Publishers Debate eBook Prices with Amazon; Amazon Customers Debate Publishers with Boycotts

As Macmillan and Amazon (AMZN) appear to face off over Amazon’s common $9.99 price for Kindle books, we took a look at publishing’s next opponent in the price wars: eBook readers.

As publishers and the monolithic bookseller debate this eBook price point, GalleyCat went to the Amazon discussion forums to find out what customers expect. We discovered that customers are still boycotting books priced more than $9.99–so far, 2,183 customers have tagged 3,302 books with the “9.99 boycott” label.

Last month, one Amazon customer wrote a brief manifesto entitled: “Support the $9.99 Boycott“–drawing 122 customer responses. Here’s an excerpt: “Boycott the kindle edition books offered for over $9.99. A couple of the authors that I have read in the past are offering their books for more than $9.99. I will obtain these books for free from the library. If we consumers don’t hold the line, the prices will escalate while the economy continues to bomb. GREEDY TURDS!”

While we are not endorsing these customer views, it is important to note that the Amazon customer base is exerting a pressure on the company to keep prices low. Other popular tags from Kindle readers include: “outrageous kindle price” and “books to kindle when price goes down.” We have been reporting on this trend since April 2009, but these vocal customers haven’t quit.

Amazon has not replied to our request for comment, but, as of this writing, Macmillan books like John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and William Poundstone’s Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value are not available for direct sale from Amazon. We will keep you posted as the story develops. In the meantime, here’s more from BoingBoing and VentureBeat and John Scalzi and Munsey’s and the LA Times and and MediaMemo.