After years of selling books at attractive discounts, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is becoming more like a classic bookseller. The largest online retailer, sensing it has begun competing with itself alone, has started cutting or eliminating discounts, according to an industry survey reported by The New York Times. It may mean Amazon is focusing its attention on turning substantial profits for a change.
In a story appearing in the Times on Thursday, the president of Miller Trade Book Marketing discussed the results of a survey he took among independent and university presses. Every respondent noted a reduction in Amazon discounts when checking titles for sale. As books become less popular and grow older, Amazon is raising the prices and making it harder for booksellers to bring in revenue.
Struggling authors and small presses are the immediate losers in this deal, yet Amazon may be acknowledging it has the ability to set the market for books these days. At least one industry mainstay told the Times’s David Streitfeld he wasn’t surprised at what Amazon was doing, and considered it a logical progression.