Friday, April 13, 2012

It Came from Outer Space

Looks like Amazon is fixin' to (as we say around here) do really, really well very soon.  Seems that Apple (the developer of the iPad, but you already know that) and five of the country's largest publishers colluded to set prices on ebooks.  After the agreement was reached in 2010, the prices of ebooks rose substantially.

Now three of the publishers have settled with the Justice Department and I don't doubt that the other three will fold soon.  What does this mean?  In the short term, good news for readers as Amazon has already announced it will drop prices on its ebooks.  If they don't have to comply with the publishers' pricing structure, they're free to lower prices and even sell at a loss to gain market share.

Now the bad news:  we're inching closer to the day when Amazon is the behemoth of publishing.  That is bad news for traditional publishers who may be going the way of the dinosaur.  It's bad news for writers as the pool of potential purchasers for their product shrinks.  And it will be bad news for book buyers because there won't be anyone competing for your business.

Here's the full article from yesterday's NY Times:

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