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Amazon cuts Apple-like deals with Harper, Simon & Schuster

updated 07:05 pm EDT, Wed March 31, 2010

Amazon Kindle sees majors follow iBookstore model

Amazon today bowed to pressure ahead of the iPad launch by striking new Kindle book deals with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Similar to the terms for Macmillan, the change will let both publishers use an agency model that gives them control over prices. Some bestseller e-books will now cost between $13 to $15; others will still cost the usual $10, but others should be priced below Amazon's average.

The two publishers were very confident of the deal and claimed it was essential to keeping e-books alive. "Our digital future is more assured today than it was two months ago," HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said.

Combined, the hikes in text pricing for the Kindle hint at Amazon fighting a battle to keep publishers onboard before the iPad and iBookstore launch together this Saturday. Apple is believed to have much more readily accepted the agency model where Amazon has only reluctantly given up the wholesale model, in some cases trying to pressure independents and only letting major publishers switch strategies. Since Apple's rumored iBookstore terms would prevent cheaper prices at rival stores, its agreements would have had companies give up e-book sales at either Amazon or Apple.

In addition to three of the top six publishers, independents have also showed a willingness to seek out Apple's model as last-minute iBookstore deals were made with Perseus Books Group and Workman Publishing Company. Both are some of the largest coalitions of independent publishers and may have left Amazon with little choice but to either grant most smaller printing houses the same terms as with Apple or else to let them switch to Apple.

By Electronista Staff


  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    It's funny...

    How much power Apple has these days, and they haven't even released a product yet :)

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I guess the iPad is going to be hugely

    successful if Apple has so much influence with an unreleased product. Amazon has supposedly sold about three million Kindles and yet Apple and the iPad seem to have the leverage. That's pure mindshare at work. The way that Apple is setting up marketing and sales for the iPad it's going to be very hard for competitors to gain a foothold. Apple's retail work force is going to do a number on consumers by pushing the iPad as a must have item. Scary.

  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006



    Sales people should push product -- that's their job. Hence the title "Sales Person"...

  1. Tanker10a

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003



    That's funny, but I smell competition...Or has my soccer coach used to call it: "Footsteps"...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    All right!

    Let's hear it for higher ebook prices!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    and right.....

    others will still cost the usual $10, but others should be priced below Amazon's average.

    First, unless all books were priced exactly the same, there would have to be some books priced below the average to offset those higher priced ones.

    Secondly, I'll believe that when I see it. Like how we were getting all that 69 cent music on the iTMS.

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