Amazon is pulling Macmillan books. Why?

Brad Stone of the NYTimes just reported that Amazon has pulled Macmillan books as a response to a dispute over ebook prices. I can't confirm why this happened, but I can say that there are a startlingly large number of Macmillan titles that aren't being sold by Amazon.

I've glanced through the first 5 pages of books published by Tor Books (a Macmillan subsidiary).  Most of the books are not being sold by Amazon; they're being sold by someone else. I've also looked at books published by other Macmillan subsidiaries such as Henry Holt, Roaring Book Press, FS&G, Metropolitan Books, St. Martin's Press, and Forge Books. Most of the books I checked are not being sold by Amazon anymore.

I have to say that I really think Brad is right. This is too widespread for it to be a coincidence. I agree that it looks like Amazon is retaliating in a price dispute.

I bet you're wondering why it matters who sells the book. Well, when Amazon sells an item it's eligible for combined or even free shipping. This applies even when a third party is contracted to handle the sale on Amazon's behalf. It's a sweetheart deal that makes the items covered by it a slightly better buy than those not.

And, Amazon controls such a large percentage of the book market in the US that this can  actually hurt a publisher. Remember last year when Amazon threatened POD publishers? This is the threat Amazon held over their heads. One of those publishers responded with a lawsuit. It's that big of a deal.

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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