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NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Amazon pledges to continue fight for ‘reasonable e-book prices’
Amazon pledges to continue fight for ‘reasonable e-book prices’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 11 August 2014 01:14 PM EDT

24662053Sm  Istockphoto-vm-webAmazon tells its side of the story in its ongoing dispute with Hachette Book Group regarding e-book pricing. The letter from the Amazon books team was posted on the company’s new website, readersunited.com, clearly named as such in response to the more than 900 authors who sided with Hachette in a letter at authorsunited.net. The authors’ letter to Amazon also appeared in a print ad in Sunday’s New York Times.

After tracing the history of publishing and comparing the advent of e-books to that of paperbacks, Amazon go to the heart of the matter: “We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not.”

Citing “unjustifiably high” pricing for e-books, Amazon asserted that books in the format should be less expensive.

“With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market—e-books cannot be resold as used books,” stated the letter.

Amazon also reminded readers that Hachette has “already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices.”

Amazon expects e-books to rejuvenate the book industry just as paperbacks did when they arrived on the scene. The online giant also stated that books have stiff competition in today’s retail environment.

They “compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more,” Amazon’s letter stated. “If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.”

Additionally, Amazon said e-books are “highly price elastic,” meaning that “when the price goes down, customers buy much more.”

Read the entire Amazon letter at readersunited.com, including what the online retailer said about taking authors out of the middle of the dispute.

 

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