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August 11, 2014

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Amazon quoted Orwell from this essay http://vintagepenguins.blogspot.ie/p/review-of-penguin-books.html

'The Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if the other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them. It is, of course, a great mistake to imagine that cheap books are good for the book trade. Actually it is just the other way around...' Is Orwell's argument in the rest of that paragraph correct?

You need the author to write the book. You need someone to sell it. The weakest link in the chain is the publisher. The more they argue, the higher the chance that the seller will just take care of it. Especially if we are talking about ebooks.

I read somewhere that Hachette CEO replied that about 80% of Hachette e-books are sold at $9.99 or less… I still don't see why it matters to Amazon that Hachette allegedly (according to Amazon's very high-level, one-price-for-all calculations) doesn't maximize its revenue, unless Amazon is so eager to increase its own revenue that marginal increase in customers' (publishers') sales will have a noticeable impact on its own bottom line.

Plenty of e-books are currently on sale on Amazon.com for more than $9.99. Amazon tries to incentivize self-published authors to select a list price for e-books between $2.99 and $9.99 by adjusting the royalty structure accordingly. Why doesn't it do the same or similar for Hachette and others?

Also, this would be a good opportunity for Kobo (another e-books provider that has built partnerships with many indie bookstores) to develop a strong partnership with Hachette.

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