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Are Paperback Readers Paying for Discounts on Kindle Fodder?

Jane Litte of Dear Author has caught wind of an interesting development at Amazon.com in the wake of the release of its Kindle e-book device: mass-market paperbacks are no longer being discounted. Litte spot-checked some upcoming releases in mass-market romance and noticed the removal of the discount; I browsed the site last night and it’s happening in science-fiction, too. People were wondering how Amazon could afford to slash prices on Kindle-formatted books to $9.99 when the publishers had no intention of offering a discount? “It looks like Bezos is hoping to make more money off the high volume of sales from those mass market purchasers,” Litte observes. “Like romance readers who account for 21 percent of the retail book industry.”

And at least one author—Natalie Damschroder—has discovered that her new trade paperback is now full price as well. A cursory perusal indicates that every other book from her publisher, Amber Quill Press, is similarly affected; trade paperbacks from larger publishers, however, do appear to be retaining their discounts…for now, at least.

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