[publishing] The quiet hours of Amazon

Marking the quiet time since Amazon’s first, last, and so far only rather inept comments on the Macmillan pricing struggle.

[ Clock courtesy of @brandg. ]

And I will note per several comments from other folks that while Amazon is muffing the corporate PR war rather spectacularly, they seem to be winning the popular media war. Almost all the reporting I’ve seen draws from the Kindle Team letter in referencing a price increase without explaining that there’s also a low-side price of $5.99 which is a significant decrease, nor bothering to explain the dynamic pricing model.

That’s lazy reporting, and factually incorrect on the face of it, but what consumers are reading and hearing is “Macmillan tries to raise ebook prices on Amazon.” So Amazon’s deliberately flawed, self-serving narrative is winning in the popular media.

In other words, the continued silence may be a very subtle PR strategy indeed. More likely it’s a quiet period while negotiations continue. Or possibly they’ve all turned into squid at Amazon HQ in Seattle. As the saying goes, never assign to malice subtlety what can be explained by stupidity.

Maybe Amazon is very, very smart in this PR strategy. Maybe they’re just kind of lucky. Does it matter?

Meanwhile the silence of the Amazon continues

6 thoughts on “[publishing] The quiet hours of Amazon

  1. Murphy Jacobs says:

    If it helps at all, I’ve also noted some people are leaving the Amazon customer fold.

    I still think Amazon is holding authors hostage. And I’ve seen a lot of surprising ignorance and idiocy about where people think ebooks come from (I’m waiting for someone to say ‘the stork brings them’)

  2. Meran says:

    Now ~that’s funny! Or maybe cabbage leaves.. 🙂
    Thru all this, we’re hearing the squeaky wheels (the larger noises); there is another side; I agree w the prev poster… People ARE disgusted w Amazon and leaving them in drives; really. I, personally, have told many non-net users, who have all assured me they don’t care for those kind of tactics.
    So, the grapevine has split into two pieces, both growing in their own directions… Such a huge beast as Amazon will no doubt feel little of our actions; in a tear, this debate may even be forgotten…
    I’m sure publishing rules will change, though.

  3. Meran says:

    (“drives” should have been “droves”.. Sometimes this Touch is aggravating)

  4. AgincourtDB says:

    I can’t help but notice that you fault amazon for not explaining the dynamic price model, but then fail to explain it yourself. If the consumer would be somehow better served by paying $5 more, I’d really like to see that clearly explained, and I’d bet a lot of other people would as well.

    1. Jay says:

      Actually, I can’t explain it depth either. Not yet. In simple terms, it’s no different from how hardbacks and paperbacks are priced, or how movies are priced from matinee discounts to evening shows, or how airline tickets are priced based on availability at the time of purchase.

      What I fault Amazon for is not *mentioning* the dynamic pricing model, and how there will be a range of price from $5.99 up. That’s a very different kettle of fish from “price increase”. Though Amazon’s version sure played better for making them look like consumer heroes and Macmillan look like villains. It was a deliberate simplification through a lie of omission, that emphasized only the down side without even mentioning the upside.

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