Last night while I was playing Dominion with my family, Amazon yanked the Kindle editions for a great many books from their website. At the time no one was sure why, but according to the NYTimes, they’re demanding new contract terms from a distributor and the erasure of all Kindle editions was muscle flexing. (Update: as pointed out on LJ, that article is from last February. Damn I feel dumb for not noticing that. This PW article reports that Amazon claims a “glitch” caused the removal of all those Kindle editions. The supposed glitch appeared to affect Big Six companies only, though, and there has been no explanation for that.)
An awful lot of authors lost impulse sales but, you know, boo hoo, right? Amazon is a private company who can do what they like with their website. If they want to take my books down, that’s they’re right.
What I can’t wait for is the reader backlash. How long are consumers going to put up with this bullshit? Yeah, Amazon wants lower prices, but what good is a low price if the book isn’t available to buy?
Kindles break. Kindles become obsolete. When it’s time for consumers to replace their old ereaders (or when the time comes to do some Christmas shopping), how many of them are going to stick with Amazon?