Confirmation: Macmillan e-book prices no longer set by publisher

Confirmation: Macmillan e-book prices no longer set by publisher

Yesterday, when I was telling you about a bunch of bargains with Amazon apparently price-matching Barnes & Noble on the latter’s half-off sale on top NOOK Books this weekend, I noticed that many of them were Macmillan and suggested that perhaps Macmillan and Amazon had renegotiated terms after the former settled on the Agency Model. Whew, that was  a long sentence! Let me catch breath…okay, to go on… 😉

I’ve checked several Macmillan books this morning, and the line that “This price was set by the publisher” is now gone.

If you’ve been tracking books at


which is a great free service that will send you an e-mail when a book you are tracking drops in price an amount you specify, you may have gotten some pleasant surprises in your Inbox.

Macmillan has a number of imprints (specialized lines of books). If you were tracking something from one of these, you may have seen the change:

  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • First Second
  • Henry Holt & Co.
  • Nature Publishing Group
  • Palgrave Macmillan
  • Picador
  • Quick and Dirty Tips
  • Scientific American
  • St. Martin’s Press
  • Minotaur Books
  • Thomas Dunne Books
  • Tor/Forge

What does this mean for the future?

We should start seeing Macmillan books discounted at Amazon, including being featured in Kindle Daily Deal and  100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less. I’ll certainly be interested in seeing how things are affected when I run my next Snapshot on May 1st. It’s possible the average price of a New York Times bestseller hardback equivalent may drop, for example.

So, where are we on the Big Six US trade publishers and the Agency Model at Amazon?

  • Simon & Schuster: can be discounted
  • Hachette: can be discounted
  • Macmillan: can be discounted
  • HarperCollins: can be discounted
  • Penguin: can not be discounted (still under the Agency Model, but they have settled…we need to wait for the new terms to be worked out)
  • Random House: can not be discounted (still under the Agency Model…they will be bound by Penguin having settled, if their merger with Penguin is approved)

It will take some time after the Agency Model is gone before we really see the impact, because we have to get back into price competition between sellers. I think we might really see an impact this holiday season, though.

Here is a search for books published by Macmillan (this won’t cover all of the imprints):

Macmillan titles in the US Kindle store

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

4 Responses to “Confirmation: Macmillan e-book prices no longer set by publisher”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    FYI Your search results contained a lot of books written by people named Macmillan but not published by Macmillan.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Huh, that’s weird. I just tested it again (two different devices), and it worked for me. I got 4,142 results. I checked a bunch of them, and didn’t see any by someone named Macmillan, and they were published by Macmillan (or something close to that, like Palgrave Macmillan).

      What browser are you using? I don’t think that should matter, but I’d like to pin this down.

      Update: I’ve now tested the link in Silk, Maxthon, Dolphin, and Internet Explorer, and it works consistently for me. Are you logged into your Amazon account when you use it? I also haven’t tested it from an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle), and I suppose that might be different…

  2. Rosemary Bodley Says:

    Several books on my wanted list which are published by Macmillan are showing reduced prices. Great.

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