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So in the wake of Apples new jumbo iPod touch iPad, a bunch of publishers signed on with Apple to put ebooks out for it. One of these was Macmillan, who owns Tor Books content wise my favorite publisher). My initial thoughts were that it was uninspired and a poor choice as compared to e-ink type readers like the kindle.

Then word has been floating around on the net that Tor books and all other Macmillan books have vanished from Amazon’s Kindle store (they’re still available on BN and other ebook stores though). Author John Scalzi has some early info and thoughts on this at his blog.

Its still early and its unknown whether the books are down at Macmillan’s request, or because Amazon is retaliating, or some other technical issue. Unless its the latter (which is extremely unlikely and even if they claim it was the reason later on I will be doubtful) this is a dangerous but not unexpected development.

Is Apple so strong that they are able to bully, coerce, or bribe their suppliers to have them leave the biggest ebook platform (as of now)? If so having one company with so much power in the market is always a bad thing.

Is Amazon the one who feels that they are so strong (or have so much to fear from Apple’s upcoming device) that they have to start bullying people into not signing with Apple?

Will it get to the point where you’ll need two or three ‘ereader’ type devices to get the books you want. This will be a failure for consumers if this becomes the case. Though with all the DRM on these devices, and the inability to give away or lend a book after you’re done with it, the future of ebooks wasn’t looking very consumer friendly anyway. This isn’t going to help.

Edit: Its not just Kindle versions of the books removed from Amazon. Its ALL books from Macmillan which have been removed from Amazon’s own sales. Sales by third parties that sell through Amazon are unaffected which is why I though it was just the kindle versions at first. That just makes it worse. Oh well – if Amazon is doing this by choice and its not some glitch …. that’s really stupendously dumb.

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