amazonlogoAmazon.com has built its success in the book business over the years through dramatic price cuts, a strategic move which has all but wiped out the competition. Now, as The New York Times reports, the Seattle online retailer is raising prices on some select titles, causing some publishers and authors to wonder what’s going on.

Reporter David Streitfeld writes that it is difficult to track prices of books on a large scale at Amazon, but anecdotal evidence points to increased prices on several books, especially those from smaller publishing houses like the . University of Nebraska Press and Kent State University Press.

Streitfeld writes:

In its 16 years as a public company, Amazon has received unique permission from Wall Street to concentrate on expanding its infrastructure, increasing revenue at the expense of profit. Stockholders have pushed Amazon shares up to a record level, even though the company makes only pocket change. Profits were always promised tomorrow. Small publishers wonder if tomorrow is finally here, and they are the ones who will pay for it.

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  • Scott Simpson

    Both publishing companies mentioned are academic and they usual have very small sales. Amazon is probably raising prices to make it worth it for them to sell books with such small markets. As someone who frequently purchases obscure academic books, Amazon really needs to be careful to not alienate college students and university administrators, both of which are important demographics for their company.

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