Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette — a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate — are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. 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. E-books can and should be less expensive.
Amazon just sent this letter to all Kindle Direct Publishing authors. I think it makes excellent points. Of course, I’ve thought that Hachette and the rest of the NYC gatekeeping houses have horribly exploited their authors for years, and continue to do so.
Their fight with Amazon is against what they view as a threat to their right to exploit. Do read the whole thing. It makes a lot of sense.