macmillanLogo Found via John Scalzi’s Whatever blog: VentureBeat reports that Amazon has mysteriously removed all Macmillan titles (including Tor SF/fantasy titles) from direct sale via amazon.com (but not .ca or .co.uk). This affects both print and Kindle editions of Macmillan books.

Neither VentureBeat nor Scalzi has any idea why Amazon should have done this. It is tempting (from a conspiracy theorist point of view) to assume it has something to do with the iPad/iBooks announcement, but this seems unlikely—it will be months before the titles would even be available as iBooks, and it would make no sense to stop print sales as well as electronic in any event.

I would be inclined to guess it is simply some kind of glitch in Amazon’s system that will be resolved as soon as Amazon notices. Goodness knows Amazon has had plenty of them in the past.

Update: Scalzi posts a follow-up linking to this New York Times “Bits” blog post citing an unnamed industry source who claims that Amazon pulled Macmillan’s books over a pricing disagreement:

Macmillan, like other publishers, has asked Amazon to raise the price of electronic books from $9.99 to around $15. Amazon is expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books, said this person, who did not want to be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the matter.

I had thought that as long as Amazon paid full wholesale price to the publisher, they ought to be able to sell (or give away) the books for whatever they felt like—after all, they would be the ones eating the losses. I suppose we shall see what we shall see.