I ran into this article about the resolution of the Amazon vs. Macmillan dispute today on Yahoo! Finance.
Some rundown on the issue that played out over the weekend is thus: Macmillan went to Seattle to negotiate with Amazon about a new pricing structure for e-books because they thought Amazon's price structure was too low. Amazon enacted a ban against all Macmillan books rather than acquiesce to the publisher's demands in what was apparently an electronic Cold War between the two giants.
Macmillan, which owns St. Martin's Press (home of blog-friend Gary Corby's debut) among other imprints, is one of the world's largest publishers. Given their market share, the fact Macmillan yanked their titles from the Kindle in protest of the pricing structure is a Very Big Thing.
Amazon announced today, roughly half an hour ago U.S. Eastern Time, that they were going to agree to Macmillian's pricing demands. The end result of this battle? Macmillan's e-books will retail for $12.99 to $14.99 in the Kindle online store, $4 to $6 more than the $9.99 price-point that Amazon has thus far demanded for all new bestselling titles that come out on the Kindle.
Here's the Wall Street Journal's take on the issue. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the WSJ article, and among the plethora of reasons why I love that publication, is that it provides the statements from both Amazon and the Macmillan CEO.
As an unpubbed and unrepresented writer, I don't have a financial stake in this whole debate. However, upon reading the statements from both parties, I find myself coming down on the publisher's side of things rather than Amazon's. Don't misunderstand me -- I love Amazon and their discounts -- but publishers have needed to take control of e-books for a long time. And Macmillan has now done that. For that I can only applaud them.
What about you, loyal readers? Where do you come down on things?
UPDATE: Pimp My Novel, book sales blog, weighs in on the debate. As does Cory Doctorow, and Laura of Combrevations fame.