Do you want to upset Japan’s largest publisher? Because that is how you upset Japan’s largest publisher!
On October 3, Kodansha lodged a formal complaint against online retailer Amazon’s Japanese branch. According to the publisher, Amazon had removed over 1,000 Kodansha titles from its Kindle Unlimited service, which allows subscribers instant access to a selection of e-books.
Publisher Kobunsha filed a similar complaint, arguing that 550 of their titles were removed from Kindle Unlimited.
Kodansha’s complaint claims that Amazon made a “one-sided decision” to remove the titles, without informing the publisher. Kodansha asked that Amazon recosider their decision to pull the titles, which left the service on September 30.
Kindle Unlimited launched in Japan on August 3. The service currently boasts over 1.2 million foreign titles, as well as 120,000 Japanese publications. According to Japan Times, Amazon pays publishers a regular fee, as well as a year-end incentive for each user who reads more tha 10% of a publication.
Japan Times reports that popular magazines, manga, and photo collections began to disappear from Kindle Unlimited by mid-August. The publication continued, stating that “Amazon told publishers that some titles saw more-than-expected demand and its budget had run out.”
According to the source, manga, magazines, and photo collections began disappearing from the service in mid-August. The Japan Times additionally cited a publishing industry source that stated Amazon told the publishers its budget ran out after some titles saw demand beyond what Amazon expected.