Clicking a link to certain bestselling Kindle titles on Amazon today, may find you confronting an error message. D'you know why? Let me tell you: Amazon, the mahoosive behemoth mothership of ecommerce, is punishing Independent Publishers Group (IPG) - the second-largest book distributor in the USA - for refusing to sign a new agreement that heavily favors Amazon over the hand that feeds it. Mark Suchomel, President of IPG, said in an email blast yesterday, "I am disappointed to report that Amazon.com has failed to renew its agreement with IPG to sell Kindle titles." All IPG-distributed titles have been e-pulled from the Amazon website in what many see as a spiteful and financially damaging power play by Amazon. Suchomel added, "Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It's obvious that publishers can't continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins. I have spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer. I'm not sure what has changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other customers".
This unnecessary attempt at shaking down one of the biggest distributors is going to be good news for Barnes and Noble's Nook reader. Now, if they can just drop the price a little bit, maybe they will steal a bunch of disgruntled Kindlers from evil empire Amazon.