The Other E-Book War

With all the attention on the Amazon/Hachette feud, the big brouha with Apple that concluded(?) only last year has largely been forgotten. Apple, according to the DoJ(Department of Justice), conspired with the big publishers to fix e-book prices in their Ibookstore. The publishers all settled out of court, cutting their losses, as it were. Apple however, has much deep pockets and decided to fight on, finally losing the case last fall and incurring what will amount to tens of millions of dollars in damages, if not more.

If they lose their appeals, that is. Apple is on the first of what will likely be many appeals, as they haven’t backed off their assertion that the company did nothing wrong in colluding with the big publishers to set e-book prices. This was all, according the Apple and indeed agreed upon even by the DoJ, a reaction to Amazon’s then-current practice of selling all(or nearly all) e-books at a loss. It’s quite likely Amazon was trying to corner said market, or at the very least, set themselves up as the got-to e-retailer for any and all e-books. This, I think, they’ve largely accomplished, and their open self-publishing platform has helped numerous independent authors sell a lot of e-books and get exposure they may not have gotten otherwise.

It’s hard to say for sure, but I tend to think the Amazon/Hachette battle will(hopefully) end before the end of the year. Apple however, is still battling in a court of law, and their appeals are only beginning.

It’ll be an interesting case to watch. Personally, I just want all these wars to be over, for every one, from the new indie author to the biggest publishing house and retailer, to find ways to get along. All this fighting in public has the potential to turn people away from books entirely, and the indie authors of the world would suffer the most from that. More and more, new readers are seeing independent authors, and their works, front and center with the more established authors, thanks to self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s. But all that help will be for naught if those new readers begin turning away because they see the whole book industry in a negative light.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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See You in the Future,

J S Eaton


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