Amazon turns the screws on publishers demanding ever deeper discounts

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Amazon turns the screws on publishers demanding ever deeper discounts

Apr 02 2012

The bad news came to McFarland & Co. in an email from Amazon. Starting Jan. 1, 2012 - then only 19 days away - Amazon would buy the publisher's books at 45 percent off the cover price, roughly double its current price break.

For McFarland, an independent publisher of scholarly books situated in the mountains of North Carolina, Amazon's email presented a money-losing proposition. "If we made a change for Amazon, we'd have to do it for everyone, and that would jeopardize our business," said Karl-Heinz Roseman, Director of Sales and Marketing. "We couldn't exist like that."

Other publishers are similarly affected.

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