In a surprise move this weekend, MacMillian Publishing have had their titles pulled from Amazon's traditional print and Kindle lists. Why would a big time publisher make such a bold move? The age old motivator for wars and divorces, money. Both entities want a bigger piece of eBook profits and are at loggerheads as to how to achieve it. The eBook market is becoming an increasing part of publisher's market share rather than a novelty. The linked Yahoo article above states that Amazon sells 6 Kindle editions to every 10 traditional print versions.
The issue as hand is margin. One would think that given the lower cost involved with ePublishing, the margin per book sold would be greater. That's not quite the case. Amazon's Kindle current pricing model is a 35% of retail cut to the eBook's publisher. That means on a book that retails for $9.99, the publisher gets $3.50. Of that $3.50 margin, cuts go to the publishers and the author. Consider that a traditional print version of a book can be printed by on demand printers for as low as $3.50 with cover prices in the $15.95 range, one can see the issue.
I suspect in the next year, there will be quite a shake up in the eBook world with the introduction of the iPad and similar devices. After all, that is what is driving the debate at the moment. An iPad type device will be able to support multiple eBook platforms and potentially kill the sales of proprietary devices such as the Kindle and the Nook.
As an author what's the answer? Do it yourself with the help of Grave Distractions of course...