Will Amazon boycott HarperCollins’ books next?

According to this Galleycat report, Rupert Murdoch today “hinted that HarperCollins will join Macmillan in negotiating higher eBook prices.  All Things Digital reporter Peter Kafka has been liveblogging an interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings this afternoon. The company owns HarperCollins, so talk turned to eBook pricing.”

Here’s Kafka’s “on-the-fly transcription and paraphrasing of Murdoch’s comments re: Amazon, Apple and e-book pricing”:

We don’t like the Amazon model of $9.99….we think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books. We’re not against electronic books, on the contrary, we like them very much,” because they cost us less to distribute, “but we want some room to maneuver.” The Apple deal…”does allow some flexibility and higher prices” though they will still be lower than print. And now Amazon is willing to sit down with us again and renegotiate.

Well, that didn’t take long. Anyone want to place bets on how long it will take the other big publishers to join them?

I wonder whether Amazon will also “temporarily” boycott HarperCollins’ print and ebooks for leverage in the negotiation process. HarperCollins‘ imprints include  HarperPerennial, William Morrow, Eos, and Ecco, to name a few.

Disclosure: HarperCollins is the publisher of Matt’s two most recent novels (Bad Monkeys and Set This House in Order) and his current novel-in-progress (The Mirage).

One response to “Will Amazon boycott HarperCollins’ books next?

  1. Wow, and here I’ve been thinking 9.99 was far too much for such an ephemeral, locked-in format. This publisher is talking as though an ebook was equal to a hardcover. They’re not even equal to a paperback, considering how much DRM and digital obsolescence restrict their use. It’s more like renting than owning. If they lowered the price to $5, comparable to renting a video or buying a magazine, I would start to consider it, but at $10 or more I will just get it from the library. They’re making the same mistake as the music industry—charge too much and people will go for free alternatives. We all know how much it costs to copy and download a file—nothing—so why should an ebook cost anywhere near as much as a real book?

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