Amazon is sitting pretty at the top of the pecking order of the eReader market, in part because its spot atop the online retail market gives it the freedom to set Kindle prices low. Lower, in fact, than most other eReader formats; in a world where the Kindle takes 60% of the market in ebooks and is getting perilously synonymous with an electronic device dedicated to reading print publications. This means that when the company decides it doesn’t like that its affiliates want to charge more for their books, they can simply refuse to make some perfectly compatible ebooks unavailable on the platform, with devastating results to that publisher.
“This should be a matter of concern and a cautionary tale for the smaller presses whose licenses will come up for renewal,” said Andy Ross, an agent and a former bookseller. “They are being offered a Hobson’s choice of accepting Amazon’s terms, which are unsustainable, or losing the ability to sell Kindle editions of their books, the format that constitutes about 60 percent of all e-books.”