Amazon delists all Wheel of Time books...sorta
In a strategic business move that has the whole publishing industry (not to mention the blogosphere and Twitter) on fire, Amazon.com intentionally de-listed all print and electronic books published by Macmillan, one of the country's six largest book publishers. Tor Books, who publishes The Wheel of Time in the United States, is an imprint of Macmillan, which means that all of their books (including WoT) were taken offline.
The reason for the delisting is due to an on-going feud between Amazon and some publishers over eBook pricing. Amazon has always pushed for a strict $9.99 price cap on new releases, while publishers like Macmillan have been asking for more pricing flexibility. Now that Apple has announced its new iPad product-- which will be a direct competitor to Amazon's Kindle--, and also stated that they will allow publishers to set their own prices, Macmillan requested to Amazon that they do the same. Amazon's response was to simply remove all of Macmillan's books from their store, both print and electronic versions. (Third parties could still sell the print versions).
Amazon did the delisting this past Friday afternoon (Jan 29th), likely in the hopes that it would receive less media attention going into the weekend, and also minimize the losses it would have from sales. (The assumption being that people buy more less from them on the weekend?)
As of the time of this article, Amazon has conceded and says it will put Macmillan's books back online in the near future.
This incident has been discussed by a huge assortment of bloggers and news media. If this is something you would like to comment on here, you are welcome to do so, but you are highly encouraged to "do your homework" and read both sides of the story before forming an opinion. Here are some links that can get you started:
New York Times] article (The Gathering Storm[/i] is specifically mentioned)
- Another NYT article, declaring Macmillan the winner of the feud
A Message from Macmillan CEO John Sargent
John Scalzi's Whatever blog
Scott Westerfield's blog
Tobias Buckell's blog
What does this have to do with the Wheel of Time?
Well, quite simply, it means that right now, you cannot buy new copies of any WoT book from Amazon. And you can't buy the Kindle edition of any of those fancy new eBooks we've been reporting about.
Why is everyone so mad at Amazon? Aren't cheap eBooks the way things should be? Isn't Macmillan just looking to make more money?
Educate yourself. Read all of the links above.
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