Amazon hasn’t said much concerning their ongoing contract dispute with the French media conglomerate Lagardère and its US publishing subsidiary Hachette, and today the retailer broke their silence with what is only their third official statement (not counting the leaked letter).
Like the first two statements, Amazon isn’t saying much. According to a message posted on Amazon’s forums (and copied below), one of the sticking points in the negotiations is the price of ebooks. We of course knew this from the WSJ interview in which Russ Grandinetti said little and avoided defending Amazon, but Amazon expands upon that earlier statement with a call for higher author royalties on ebooks.
The statement below lays out the math Amazon uses to justify their push for lower ebook prices, but it’s worth noting that the statement is somewhat misleading.
Amazon would like you to think that most ebooks can be priced at or below $10, even going so far as to point out that “there will be legitimate reasons for a small number of specialized titles” that will cost more, but what they hope you won’t realize is that they are glossing over whole swathes of nonfiction content, including textbooks, reference manuals, professional books, and works that are much longer and more expensive to create than your average novel.