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April 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Amazon: behind the smile

Publishing cost

I have been reading with great interest the series on Amazon. [“Amazon muscles publishing world,” page one, April 2.]

It generally has very good analysis. However, when you talk about pricing and state that a $9.95 price for a Kindle edition loses money for publishers because it is below the wholesale price for a paper book, you miss a big point about e-publishing. The cost of publishing a book electronically is pennies per book, much less than for a paper book, which requires paper, ink and presses.

This means that a much greater part of the price goes to the publisher who only needs to produce one master copy for electronic distribution and the bulk of the cost goes for the author’s content. There is no marketing cost associated with the electronic sales, per se.

Clearly this cannot be called publishing at a loss.

— Peter Cook, Olympia

Indirect support

Amazon is already spending hundreds of millions of dollars in support of our community. It could have relocated to another state or to another area with lower costs, but it is committed to revitalizing our city and with it comes the taxes and incomes and business. South Lake Union is booming.

These investments are benefiting and shaping the very core of our city.

Where it spends its money is its choice. Its dollars indirectly support many civic and charity organizations.

— Dan Hagen, Seattle

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