Re: Divide and conquer
I'm not 100% sure, but it would appear to be Amazon who are playing silly buggers with the authors (and their own customers).
This isn't the first time Amazon have used these sort of tactics, from memroy a few years back they did something similar with a lot of publishers, but kept the second hand sales of books by the authors going (showing their real colours in the argument, as the second hand sales see zero money going back to the authors, but a nice cut to Amazon).
I'm not a massive fan of the publishers, but they do a pretty valuable job for the authors (most of whom do not want to have to do things like edit, typeset, arrange PR, enforce their IP etc, when their speciality is actually writing*), but Amazon seem to be playing hardball trying to force everyone else in the industry to do what Amazon want under Amazon's conditions. Something that will only be bad for the rest of the industry, the other book sellers, the authors, and ultimately (and most selfishly) us, the consumer.
Ebooks save some costs for the people doing them, but most of the costs of a professional ebook are the same as for a professional paper book (with the addition of VAT as a cost for the purchaser),
*I would prefer my favourite authors to get on with writing, not having to spend much of their time running a publishing house (assuming the authors in question want to write).