dollar sign.jpgPublishers’ arrogance has hit a new mark as of late with their “feel good” news conference. This moronic stunt even surpasses their possible use of resale price maintenance: an action that occurs when a creator literally tells a distributor how much to sell a product for. It is ground which Chris Meadows covered in full detail earlier when he voiced his concerns regarding its implementation within the e-book world. We have finally arrived at the day when the e-book consumer will be robbed by some of the biggest thugs in the world. Cynics have cited that the price differential between what is being charged for content now and what will be charged in the future is only a few dollars. They further argue that the electronic marketplace will clearly determine what an electronic book’s equilibrium price range truly is.

I however contend that it is has already been clearly established what this price range should and must be, $9.99 and under. There are many who cite that the only reason this price has become a fixture is because Amazon pushed it onto a nascent market. Their hypothesis fails to account for such statistics as were recently released by Kobo books showing that the vast majority of their customers purchased books around $9.99 and under. This is not Amazon’s site –where the $9.99 boycott movement was born- yet the dynamic is the same nonetheless, customers are infinitely less likely to buy at the higher price points that the some of the publishing houses are pushing. Publishers are feeling the blowback of their ill conceived notion to impose price points on a consumer market that is growing and have decided to give their strong arm tactic a cute name: as if this will help deflect some of the scorn that they have appropriately received.

“Issue framing 101” will be a course that e-book aficionados will become better acquainted with over the next couple of months as publishers attempt to force e-book readers to pay higher and often times unfair prices. These greedy firms will call their actions altruistic, citing that they want to help writers eat, while ignoring the fact that most writers are actually paid little for their work. They will sell us the idea that they are merely ensuring that books do not become devalued as if it’s their responsibility to dictate to wholesalers what they should charge customers for products that these wholesalers have already purchased. By giving their plot a silly name like “John” they will not take away some it’s vicious sting: we will needlessly pay more for books than is necessary, and writers will continue to make little or no money for their work. We are on the precipice of a sad day in technology history: the day in which companies rule and customers blindly pay. Traditionally, we had a voice in content/product pricing but I am sad to say that those days may have passed us by. Whatever four letter word they eventually use to name their greedy action rest assured it’s not the one that I would have chosen to describe it.


  1. Uhm, Alejandro, w/regard to that “news conference” on “Charles,” please note the DATE.

    Granted as April 1st spoofs go, I found this one pretty flat, but please take it as just that: a JOKE. Geez.

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