Amazon and Apple ebook price war results in book being pulled

first_imgBuzz Bissinger is no stranger to the literary world, having written several bestselling books. So it was all the more confusing when his recent ebook, After Friday Night Lights, recently vanished without warning from the Amazon Kindle store. It took a little time for Bissinger to sort out why his 12,000 word $2.99 Kindle title was pulled, and he wasn’t expecting to find that it was all because of a tiff between Apple and Amazon.Mr. Bissinger found after a publicity stop to promote the book that he could no longer find its listing on Amazon. His initial feeling was that it was just a mistake, but he found that he was, in fact, caught up in an automated fight between Amazon and Apple. The difficulty is that Apple chose to list After Friday Night Lights as a featured title in iBooks, and was giving it away for free with a code.Bissinger was still receiving royalties from Apple, but Amazon’s automated system interpreted the promotion as a price drop, and tried to match it on the Kindle. That meant the book went from being $2.99 to free overnight. Amazon didn’t have anything to do with the book disappearing; that was all the publisher’s doing. It seems that the folks at digital publisher Byliner panicked and pulled the book rather than lose sales, which they got nothing for.After Friday Night Lights follows the life of a high school football star whose career was ended by an injury early on. The book was written exclusively for Byliner.com, a digital publishing house that is making a go of things by publishing shorter digital works. Bissinger believes that the book has lost its chance thanks to Amazon’s pricing scheme.Amazon has said the book can be posted again, but Byliner has not made a decision on how to proceed. There is no reason to think this won’t continue happening to this and other books. At a time when everyone is being investigated for ebook price fixing, this is just another reminder of how broken the current system is.More at The New York Timeslast_img read more

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