LINK: Keith Gessen in Vanity Fair about Amazon

This is a fantastic history of the ebook publishing industry, and the dispute between the old school book publishers and Amazon about ebook pricing.

Except, it never says what spooks the old line publishers (and Andrew Wylie) explicitly.

But it alludes.

Here’s the deal: Print books make more money for publishers than ebooks. And if the price of ebooks falls too much, print books won’t be competitively priced and won’t sell.

For the time being, a print window might work (the same way Taylor Swift created a CD window last week by pulling her music off Spotify), but it doesn’t seem likely to work forever.

At the same time, traditional publishers are fighting to retain the large margin they get from print books. It’s hard to say they shouldn’t try while they can, but they won’t be able to do that or long.

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