[LMB] books for sale on Amazon

Matija Grabnar lmb at matija.com
Sat Jun 19 08:40:21 BST 2021


On 19/06/2021 06:50, Gwynne Powell wrote:
> Gwynne: The most frustrating thing is that there's no reason for all the
> barriers.
Sure there is: money.
>   It's an online company, it's international; why can't it function
> properly?
Because the contract clauses the publishers insisted on specify where 
each book can be sold, and in some cases, that they can't be sold for 
less than the price the publisher set. Sell for a high price in 
countries where people will pay high prices, and sell for low prices in 
countries where people can't afford high prices, in order to extract at 
least something from them. And make very very sure to make it hard for 
goods sold in low-price countries to be re-exported to the high-price 
countries.
>   Why can't I buy an ebook from anywhere, instead of being
> limited for no real reason but businesses extorting money without
> providing any extra service?
Because the publishers figure that breaking up markets makes it possible 
for them to maximize profit. So they lobbied their governments to make 
sure that would be legally enforced. And if you look at the time when 
those laws were being made, you will find many popular authors lending 
their voice to their publishers  in support of such efforts.
>   Why does some company have a right to
> grab an extra cut of money simply because of where I live, without doing
> anything to earn it?
Because they lobbied for the laws that made it possible? You can lobby 
to change that, but be warned, you will be opposed by the authors who 
publish with those publishers. And that means that the people you admire 
for their eloquence, will use their eloquence to fight against you.
> And why, in Elizabeth's example, can't we send a
> simple gift card to another country?
You can, they just have to be used on the market they are intended for. 
I knew a guy who was into kpop, and his best source for that was 
amazon.jp. I don't know if he used gift cards or if amazon.jp just 
accepted his credit card, but it worked for him. If you want the books 
only available from the US amazon, there are ways to get them, but they 
are not as cheap as they would be if you lived in the US.
>   It's all done online, there's no reason
> for the limitations.
There is a reason: publisher's profits. And some of those profits get 
passed along to the authors.
Just don't get me started on the lifetime + 70 years of copyright.


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