Amazon's Desperate Phone Calls To Publishers

Amazon started calling publishers before Steve Jobs had even left the stage at the iPad event, according to the NYT. They wanted to know what Apple promised them - and more importantly, what they promised Apple.

The deal Amazon's been trying to ink with publishers for the couple months would guarantee that books on the Kindle would be the same price as on any other reader, if not, in fact, cheaper - the incentive, a bigger chunk of revenue, though Apple's largely screwed that pooch for Amazon with their own offering, which lets publishers set their own prices, which what publishers are really after: Control. (Though Apple might have more control than expected.)

One of the tidbits with larger implications is that some publishers are running on a month-to-month contract basis with Amazon, instead of a full-blown multi-year agreement, meaning they actually have plenty of room to manoeuvre in negotiations, especially with Apple at their back. What some publishers might do, they told Bits, is sign the Amazon contract now, and just push a limited free app on the iPad, then switching to a full-blown paid model whenever Amazon's Kindle Touch arrives.

'Cause that'll make thing simple. [Bits]

Senior managers from Amazon.com were calling newspaper, magazine and book publishers trying to glean any information possible about the deals Apple was offering them to supply content for its new reading device.

The clause, a variation of a legal concept known as "most favoured nation," would guarantee that Amazon's customers would always get the best price for electronic versions of magazines, newspapers and books.

Many e-publishing contracts with Amazon are still in a month-to-month cycle as the publishers negotiate to try to gain more revenue or more control over their content.

However, to avoid losing their current subscribers on the Kindle, some publishers are considering signing the new Amazon contract now and offering a free, limited application for their content on the iPad. At a later date, when an Amazon product can display richer types of media, publishers could release a paid product that looks and works the same across multiple devices.

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