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Steve Jobs says publishers are 'not happy' with Amazon

AmazonApplebooksiBook StoreJobspublishersSteve Jobs

In a video taken at the iPad launch, Steve Jobs told the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, "Publishers are actually withholding their books from Amazon, because they're not happy with them."

Jobs was responding to a question about the price of ebooks on the upcoming iBooks store. No specific price ranges were announced in the demo, so Mossberg asked about the price they'd seen demonstrated -- $14.99 -- versus Amazon's $9.99 cost for some ebooks. "The prices will be the same," Jobs said.

He didn't specify what price that would be, exactly. When the first iPads ship in late March, perhaps the iBook Store will open its online doors. Will that make publishers happy?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Steve Jobs, in black, answers Walt Mossberg's questions. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

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Jobs did not specify why publishers aren't satisfied with Amazon.com. Why? Does Apple satisfy the publishing houses more because it will charge customers more?

Kindle remains a wonder of design and functioning, and is sold by a company that patented the one-click and introduced good design to the ordering of books. They have available scores of books for nothing; they make it usable when abroad; they have contributed to the survival of hundreds of bookstores nationwide by enabling them to sell so efficiently online.
Jobs sounds jealous.

Ah but customers are happy with Amazon as they're fighting to keep e-book prices lower than hardcover, as they should be. Frankly they should be paperback prices or less -- given the printing, production, storage, shipping costs saved. Not when they first come out of course, but within a year at least.

Customers are what matter most to Amazon. They should matter to the publishers too, clearly they don't given the letter from Macmillan (published in Publisher's Lunch) after they were pulled from Amazon this weekend. They clearly admitted Amazon currently makes little money off e-books, but under the new pricing Macmillan was offering them Amazon would make more, we (the customers) would pay more, they (the publishers) wouldn't make more. Amazon said no thanks. Pulled their books. They make it sound like Amazon is the bad guy? Amazon doesn't want to make us pay more and more money themselves, just so Apple can make more? Let the publishers remain upset.


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