The Kindle As Trojan Horse?

Boris Kachka worries about the book publishing industry:

Right now, Amazon is making little or nothing on Kindle books. Lay down your $359 and you can get most books for $9.99. Publishers list that same Kindle version for about $17.99, though, andas with all retailerscharge Amazon roughly half that price for it. Which means that Amazon keeps only a dollar on each book, while the publishers make $9.

But Amazon may be offering a sweet deal now in order to undercut publishers later. If their low, low prices succeed in making e-books the dominant medium, they can pay publishers whatever they want. “The concern is they want to corner the market,” explains one books executive, and then force publishers to accept a genuine 50 percent discount. “If they took over as little as 10 to 20 percent of the market,” says an agent, “publishers simply would not be able to exist.”

One can only hope. If any industry deserves oblivion, it's book publishing.

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