Yesterday, Amazon abruptly stopped selling 5,000 e-book titles on their website. Why?
Because the Independent Publisher’s Group (IPG) refused to grant Amazon steeper discounts on e-book versions of those titles.
A December 2011 article in Publisher’s Weekly included this comment on the growing trend of Amazon’s discount demands:
Although publishers fear seeing their titles disappear from Amazon–for many in the industry the retailer accounts for 20% to 25% of their business–some say the demands the retailer is making are impossible to meet and would nearly wipe out all of their profits there anyway.
This trend has now extended to the IPG, which distributes for many smaller, independent publishers.
Here’s a question for discussion: How long before Amazon dictates discounts for self-published titles? Here’s one possible future: Amazon requires self-published titles to be offered for free, compensating authors with ad revenue and “pools of money”, while consumers buy monthly/yearly Kindle subscriptions to access e-books. Expanding on an idea like, say, a library. They could call it “Preferred”, or “Premium”, or even “Select”.
That’s it! Kindle Select. It’s catchy.