Originally Posted by theCore
let's expand on that a little.....Forcing writers to take lower fees, forcing out smaller publishers, forcing out local booksellers, forcing a smaller ecosystem in which creativity can be ushered. ( yes I know, a new paradigm will emerge, someday)
Amazon is being propped up as the darling of price reduction....at such a cost.
Some would argue that what's occurring is blind justice
While I disagree with what the DOJ is doing, I believe that the impacts you list above are incorrect. Authors are generally paid royalties based on the list price of a book, not the selling price. And since no one but the very top tier of authors ever earns out their advance, what they're paid on is almost moot anyway. The publishers can set any wholesale price for a book they want - it's just that Amazon discounts it frequently below that wholesale price. So the publishers still get the same money. There is a lot of illogic in this industry. In spite of continued publisher consolidation (like Penguin and Random House merging), there are an ever increasing number of books being published, yet the average author advance for first-time authors is around $12,000 and they generally never see another penny. Back in 1996, there were about 1.4 million books "in-print", but under a million were actually available with publishers or distributors holding inventory. Some sources claim today that there are over a million new books published each year in the U.S. But the vast majority sell under 2500 copies.
However, what the publishers are worried about is with Amazon's discounting, the overall perception of what an ebook (and in turn, hardcover and paperback books) is worth will fall. They're trying to avoid what happened to the record industry, where the perception is that a downloaded single is worth around a dollar. In 1966, singles (albeit double-sided singles) listed for $1 and usually retailed at around 65 cents. That 65 cents is $4.68 in 2013 dollars, which demonstrates why the record industry is in such trouble. And trade publishing in general has never been all that lucrative a business in any case.