Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Gaga for Ebooks

with 2 comments

Didja see the Grammys last night?

I caught the opening act with Lady Gaga and Elton John, which I found quite entertaining.

And then Stephen Colbert took the stage to kick things off as this year’s Grammys emcee.

And before too long, it became clear Apple’s product placement team had been earning their keep, because instead of a staid ol’ envelope containing the names of the nominees for “Song of the Year,” Colbert pulled from his jacket what appeared to be a working Apple iPad.

You could hear Mac fanboys sighing in synchronicity from around the globe.

They were sighing almost as loudly as the digerati were crying about Amazon’s decision to acquiesce to Macmillan publishing’s request to sell their e-books on Amazon for $15.

Why the —storm?  Well, as Henry Blodget points out, the incremental costs for publishing e-books is “pretty much zero,” and Macmillan’s driving Amazon to adopt Macmillan’s pricing regime as opposed to letting Amazon continue to decide at what price to price its books.

Hey, at least they’ve not jumped completely into Chris Anderson-land and announced they’re giving them away for free.

Who’d a thunk that 10 years after I got my first e-book reader (the Rocket e-Book reader), that the publishing and e-retailing industry would still be squabbling over the price of an e-book?

Life’s really too short for this.

All I know about the book publishing industry is this: I went in to my local Borders yesterday to get a copy of the new political tome Game Change, only to find out they were charging $27.00 U.S.!

I came home and surfed through Amazon to find they were offering it for $13.99.

Done, done and done.  I’ll give one guess as to where I bought the book.

And really, that’s all you need to know about the Amazon juggernaut.

I’m hopeful that Amazon’s caving to Macmillan’s pricing request is part of a larger strategy.

Can we all just get along?  Or better yet, move it along?

When’s somebody gonna unleash Steve Jobs on the negotiating case with Macmillan?

That’s a negotiating session I’d like to be a fly on the wall for.

And, one for which I might even pay a premium so I could get a signed autographed copy from the author.

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I guess I’m still a product of the Space Age but I just don’t “get” these gadgets. I’m certainly not against them–hundreds of Kindle and Sony e-reader owners have downloaded fiction from my site and corresponded with me. They’re nice folks and the perfect reading audience: literate, intelligent and affluent.

    Sorry, Mr. Jobs, your new Tablet, while pretty, is way out of my price range. Now, when these e-readers plunge in price (like DVD players, Blu-Ray, what have you), THAT’S when things will get interesting.

    Good post for a Monday morning, thanks…

    Cliff Burns

    February 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  2. I’ve found your blog on google looking for totally other things! Silly, but I have to say i think i will come back sooner i like your content.

    Kenneth Mennie

    February 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm


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