kindlenewsweekModerator’s note: BooksOnBoard fears that Amazon may be trying to drive it and other e-indies out of business via its Kindle Store. Later this week, while remaining neutral on the issue of possible anti-trust violations, we’ll publish more details from BooksOnBoard’s side. Amazon has declined comment on business and format issues. Meanwhile big thanks to DearAuthor‘s Jane for the Kindle-related item below. – DR

Amazon’s pricing for at least some mass market books has suddenly gone full retail, no discount since the release of the Kindle. When questioned in Newsweek about the low pricing, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said: “Low-margin and high-volume sale—you just have to make sure the mix [between discounted and higher-priced items] works.” It looks as if Bezos is hoping to make more money off the high-volume of sales from those mass market purchasers. Like romance readers who account for 21% of the retail book industry.

A sharp eyed reader emailed me the blog post of author Natalie Damschroder.

You know how I said, below, that my book Brianna’s Navy SEAL is selling at Amazon for $15.00 in trade paperback? Last month I paid $10.20.

Doing a random selection of mass markets to be released on Tuesday, it shows that the discount for at least some paperbacks has disappeared.

I guess this is one way of forcing readers to purchase the Kindle. If Kindle success rises or falls on the backs of the mass market purchasers, this is going to be ugly because I see a whole bunch of Amazon purchasers being pretty upset about this turn of events.

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  1. Even before the Kindle, quite a lot of mmpb were selling at full prices on Amazon, and for tpb’s the discounts vary based on the publisher. There are tpb from many smaller publishers that are not discounted at all. I have not seen anything out of the ordinary in book pricing at Amazon since Kindle appeared, but you never know.

    Regarding the Kindle itself, I have but rarely use the Sony from the cc offer, and unless e-ink improves significantly, I am quite happy with my 770 for text, and the iPod Touch for pdf’s, and if the umpc’s drop in price toward 3-400$ I would get one of those too. E-ink is just too slow and without integrated lighting, I can read a print book instead…

    If Amazon moves toward less discounting, there are quite a few other retailers happy to eat their lunch so to speak, so I would not worry overmuch.

  2. Well,

    I’m not sure I see so much of a conspiracy here. Check out Amazon’s financial reports. Last year they had net sales of $10.711 billion and net income of 0.19 billion. Income is 1.77% of sales.

    As a comparison, Barnes and Noble is 2.9% and Walmart is 3.6%. I’d say that they look like a laggard and that they need to improve their results..


  3. Why would anyone mail order a mass market book for full price when they can get it right away at their local bookstore. Discounts help, I buy less now at the local Waldenbooks since they discontinued their regular discount.

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