Scott Turow: Amazon uses "unfair tactics" in e-book market

(CBS News) Author Scott Turow's books have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 25 languages. His new legal thriller, "Identical," is the latest selection for "CBS This Morning Reads."

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His new book tells the story of identical twin brothers involved in an unsolved murder. One brother is running for mayor and the other is just being released from a 25-year stint in prison.

Turow told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that telling the story of identical twins was important to him because of a close family connection.

"My sister was a twin and the other baby died in childbirth and I was three at the time and I always kind of thought it haunted me," said Turow. "It was a weird thing. My dad was an OB-GYN and so it was confusing that the other baby didn't come home from the hospital."

Turow is not just a best-selling author, but he is also a practicing attorney and the president of the Author's Guild, which is the country's largest membership group of authors.

In this role he often discusses the challenges facing authors in the digital age. He is particularly cautious about how Amazon conducts their e-book business.

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"Amazon can't be all good or all bad," he said. "I don't think that everything they do is evil, they've given a lot of authors access."

However, he said that to him Amazon is trying to "monopolize" the e-book market and has used "unfair tactics."

"If you price e-books well below the cost, which is what they did for years, it both destroys physical book stores and drives the reading public into the e-book, which of course Amazon dominates," he said.

According to the New York Times BookStats, e-book sales in 2012 represented 20 percent of publishers' revenue, with fiction sales up 42 percent over the year before and non-fiction up 22 percent.

"I don't mind fair operation of the market, but I don't like unfair tactics," said Turow.

For Scott Turow's full interview, watch the video in the player above.

  • Shoshana Davis

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