On February 20, in a dispute over terms, Amazon.com stopped selling some 4,000 e-book titles distributed by Independent Publishers Group. “They decided they didn’t like the terms we offered, and we said, ‘We’re not going to change,’ and they removed them,” IPG President Mark Suchomel told the Chicago Tribune.
In an e-mail to IPG publisher clients, Suchomel explained that Amazon was putting pressure on publishers and distributors to make their terms more favorable to the online retailing giant. He wrote: “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 (book publishers’) revenue from the sale of both. It’s obvious that publishers can’t continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins.”
Suchomel urged IPG’s client publishers to add a notice to their e-mails, ads, and other forms of communication to inform customers that their titles are still available in print and electronic editions from local independent bookstores, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and other retailers.
Regarding the state of affairs between IPG and Amazon, ABA CEO Oren Teicher said, “The American Booksellers Association has always supported the principle that the reading public is better served when all titles — in all formats — are available to everyone.”