Amazon and the law of the jungle

Mark Cooker the founder of Smashwords is also an epubs apostle, he’s out there selling the eBook revolution to the readers, writers and everyone in between.  He’s got a post up on Amazon’s new Kindle Direct Platform (KDP) is a Kindle only eBook platform that promises the author some part of a 500K / month pot depending on your percentage of downloads from KDP inventory, I suppose on top of the direct sales.  Now as he says himself he has a bit of a vested interested in dissing this because KDP because it cuts Smashwords out of part of the market but his point is that in essence its subtly anti author. Once on KDP you cannot sell through any other venue so you have to depend on Amazon being the principal sales channel for eBooks.  And this 1 limits your market, and 2 in the long term if Amazon ‘wins’ puts the author at the mercy of Amazon. 

Mark also points out that Amazon is pushing changes to the law about who can set the price on a book.  It appears as if Amazon has always wanted this power, rather than the publisher.  Now that may seem reasonable with Smashwords the author is the publisher, why shouldn’t the author of an eBook set the price?  If it’s too high then perhaps that’s the authors problem, not the distributor. The distributor still gets their cut for the books that are sold.