Morning Roundup: Publishers are as bad as Amazon, Final bill for Apple price-fixing

Apple price fixingMicrosoft Layoffs- Thursday’s the Day (GigaOM)
The company, as reported, needs to slim down after its $7.17 billion buyout of Nokia and to focus on key “CloudOS” and productivity tools across devices. The cuts are expected to be substantial — insiders expected up to 10 percent of employees will lose their jobs, which would be a deep cut for Microsoft.
***

More Speculation on the Final Bill for Apple’s Price-Fixing Problems (GoodEReader)
News was announced yesterday from the lawyers for the plaintiffs in one of Apple’s side lawsuits over ebook pricing that the grand total the company could have to pay out to consumers is $400 million. This amount was disclosed after the terms of the settlement were released following Judge Denise Cote’s approval of the settlement.
***

The Publishers Are as Bad as Amazon (Huffington Post)
In recent months, America’s publishing giants have been up in arms about the predatory practices of Amazon.com. Their outrage would be less hypocritical if they weren’t guilty of conduct that’s just as bad.
***

US Digital Comics Sales Reached $90 Million in 2013 (The Digital Reader)
The AAP may have reported that the trade ebook market remained flat in 2013, but the digital comics market still saw modest growth.
***

Kindle Daily Deal: The Flamekeepers (and others)

4 Comments on Morning Roundup: Publishers are as bad as Amazon, Final bill for Apple price-fixing

  1. The Huffington Post article misses the central point of the Amazon v. Evil Giant Publisher debate.

    Authors don’t have to be abused by this publisher or that. They can either find one that treats them well or, now more than ever, self-publish in ways that won’t keep them from having a bestseller. The rather dim-witted Tom Hauser, who wrote that article, doesn’t seem away of that, and even accuses those highly competitive publishers, of anti-trust violations rather than a far more obvious target–Amazon. Notice this remark by him:

    “Publishing today is characterized by powerful corporate entities acting in concert to the detriment of essentially powerless authors. Something must be done to remedy the situation because it’s driving a lot of good writers out of publishing. They simply can’t make a living writing books anymore.”

    Pitiful isn’t it?

    In contrast, authors are forced to deal with any hassles that Amazon creates for them. Like a 800-pound gorilla sitting on your toilet, it is impossible for any author to avoid. It owns perhaps 40% of paper book sales and some 70% of ebook sales.

    I’m an illustration. Years ago, I could have become a writer for the technology segment of one of the major publishers (Pearson). I had an editor eager to steer work my way. I didn’t do that, in part, because I didn’t want to write books that’d be out of date in a couple of years.

    But I also got treated rather badly. First, accounting system changes meant I was four months late getting paid for some tech editing. Second, I’d submitted, per their request, the draft of a book on the then-new Mac OS X. The editors piddle with it for six weeks. Then on a Friday afternoon, I got a box with printed markups from three different editors. I was supposed to incorporate their changes, even when the changes might conflict with one another, and with no way of exchanging comments with those editors, submit a corrected version on Monday. I told them to ‘stuff it’ and I’ve never looked back. No more tech-book writing for me.

    Was I treated rotten? Almost certainly. But rather than becoming bitter like all too many of Amazon’s fanboys, I was delighted. I’d discovered who’d abuse me if given the opportunity and I happily place myself in a position where they’d never have that opportunity again.

    In short, there’s a big difference between any misbehavior by the Big Five publishers, who can do absolutely nothing to hinder my ability to profit from my writing, and the BIG ONE who’s made it quite clearly that it intends to bully and harass me, as well as cut my income as a writer to the bone.

    Amazon, I keep pointing out, pays a pitiful 35% royalties on all ebooks priced outside the narrow $2.99 to $9.99 price range and charges a bloated download fee (equivalent to a $400 hamburger) for ebooks inside that range. Apple charges no download fee and pays 70% for all ebooks priced from $0.99 to $199.99.

    Slashing any royalty I might earn on 70% of my ebooks sales to half the market rate is vastly worse than anything Hatchete and kin might do. All the major publishers seem to want to do is keep ebook prices high, which actually means my books will sell better. Why should I hate them? It’s Amazon that’s taking money out of my pocket.

  2. Dear Mr. Perry,

    I love reading your posts. They bring some light relief in an otherwise busy and at times stressful day.

    Thank you

    p.s. do you have your own blog? I would love to read more of your fiction stories. They are so much fun. Keep up the good work

  3. @Hayden

    The problem is that someday M Perry might actually say something worthwhile that contributes to a conversation.

    But he has alienated so many people with his now over the top hypocritical diatribes against Amazon that no one will be there to listen.

  4. @Michael W. Perry- I think you keep missing the central point that you (the literal you), don’t have to sell anything on Amazon if you don’t want to.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.

wordpress analytics