I have two articles from ShelfAwareness that I’d like to share. The first is dated July 5, 2013 and is taken from an article found in the NYT:
Amazon: Less Competition, Less Discounting?
Although numbers are difficult to ascertain–as is usual with the e-retailing giant–Amazon.com has been lowering or eliminating discounts on many printed scholarly, university press and backlist titles, much to the chagrin of some authors who say the prices closer to the suggested retail price lower their books’ sales and exposure, the New York Times wrote.
Prices at Amazon “have all the permanence of plane fares,” the paper wrote, citing many small press and academic publishers and books published by those presses. Amazon, which didn’t directly answer questions about why certain titles are priced higher than in the past, continues to discount many current and popular titles.
Because Amazon “sells about one in four printed books” and has no close rivals, many believe that less competition is responsible for the tendency. Stephen Blake Mettee, chairman of the Independent Book Publishers Association, called this a classic move by a large company that has come to dominate a market. “You lower your prices until the competition is out of the picture, and then you raise your prices and get your money back,” he said.
The Times noted that “in its 16 years as a public company, Amazon has received unique permission from Wall Street to concentrate on expanding its infrastructure, increasing revenue at the expense of profit. Stockholders have pushed Amazon shares up to a record level, even though the company makes only pocket change. Profits were always promised tomorrow. Small publishers wonder if tomorrow is finally here, and they are the ones who will pay for it.”
Unexplored in the article is the role of some publishers in setting the “high” retail prices at the heart of the complaints.
The second article is from ShelfAwareness of July 27, 2013:
Amazon’s ‘Declaration of War’
– Sunny Solomon