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(Slate)   Amazon encourages readers of Hachette books to purchase them from one of their competitors. The online retail giant then added, "Good luck finding one. Mwahahahahahahahahahahahaha (inhale) hahahahahahahahahahaha"   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Hachette, Amazon, hachette books, e-books, Jack Shafer, Macmillan, Malcolm Gladwell  
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1564 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 May 2014 at 5:28 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-28 04:18:22 PM  
 
2014-05-28 05:01:17 PM  
This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.
 
2014-05-28 05:40:01 PM  
Before the whole internet go running to the defense of poor little Hachette books, let's not forget that just a few years back they settled a price-fixing lawsuit from the DoJ where they were accused of conspiring with Apple to prevent Amazon from selling Kindle books below the prices that Hachette wanted to set. Basically, they tried to bully Amazon at the expense of customers, and now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

Amazon may be dicks in this dispute, but Hachette is a bunch of assholes. Sometimes you just need that dick to fark the assholes to keep them in line.
 
2014-05-28 05:41:34 PM  
Hachette ebooks seem to average around $20. That's a good enough reason to avoid buying Hachette books.
 
2014-05-28 05:43:11 PM  
But can I sell used copies on Amazon? That's my concern.
 
2014-05-28 06:17:44 PM  
In other news, sellers are free to not sell stuff from producers, or hold out for better wholesale prices.
I'm not sure of the problem here. Amazon has plenty of competition, and Hachette has plenty of distributor access. The fact that one of their distributors is holding out for better rates is exactly how capitalism is supposed to work. No monopoly involved, no underhanded or illegal behavior, and more than enough visibility on the motives & responses of both parties.

What's the problem? There are three outcomes, all of which are palatable:
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Amazon.
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Hachette.
- The invisible hand of the free market doesn't care.

I'm betting on the second outcome, personally. From Amazon's release, this affects about 1.1% of the items they ship, so it's not a huge business impact on their part. Hachette has plenty of alternate distribution routes, and so they're welcome to take their business elsewhere. The fact that Hachette is whining about this means that, most likely, Amazon's tactics are working too well and that their other distribution routes aren't going to be able to make up the slack.

Sucks to be Hachette, I guess.
 
2014-05-28 06:33:00 PM  
Hatchette has always wanted too  much for their e-books.

If you want good analysis on it, try J.A.Konraths blog:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

He's been talking about their outdated business model for years.
 
2014-05-28 07:18:22 PM  
If you're a comic book reader, you get a better deal from places like in stock trades than you get from Amazon, anyway.

Plus, the books are out weeks earlier.

Unfortunately, there is no IST-like, 50% off cover price place for regular books.
 
2014-05-28 07:36:42 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: If you're a comic book reader, you get a better deal from places like in stock trades than you get from Amazon, anyway.

Plus, the books are out weeks earlier.

Unfortunately, there is no IST-like, 50% off cover price place for regular books.


www.hpb.com
 
2014-05-28 07:41:39 PM  

untaken_name: FirstNationalBastard: If you're a comic book reader, you get a better deal from places like in stock trades than you get from Amazon, anyway.

Plus, the books are out weeks earlier.

Unfortunately, there is no IST-like, 50% off cover price place for regular books.

[www.hpb.com image 490x370]


You generally have to wait a little bit before the new releases are on the shelve there, so I'm not sure if they count.
 
2014-05-28 07:41:54 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Before the whole internet go running to the defense of poor little Hachette books, let's not forget that just a few years back they settled a price-fixing lawsuit from the DoJ where they were accused of conspiring with Apple to prevent Amazon from selling Kindle books below the prices that Hachette wanted to set. Basically, they tried to bully Amazon at the expense of customers, and now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

Amazon may be dicks in this dispute, but Hachette is a bunch of assholes. Sometimes you just need that dick to fark the assholes to keep them in line.


Actually that seems to be what this dispute is about, too. They just want Amazon to be in on the price fixing this time, and Amazon is telling them to EABOD.
 
2014-05-28 07:50:49 PM  

bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.


Has Amazon ever accepted Paypal for anything?
 
2014-05-28 07:58:15 PM  

FormlessOne: In other news, sellers are free to not sell stuff from producers, or hold out for better wholesale prices.
I'm not sure of the problem here. Amazon has plenty of competition, and Hachette has plenty of distributor access. The fact that one of their distributors is holding out for better rates is exactly how capitalism is supposed to work. No monopoly involved, no underhanded or illegal behavior, and more than enough visibility on the motives & responses of both parties.

What's the problem? There are three outcomes, all of which are palatable:
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Amazon.
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Hachette.
- The invisible hand of the free market doesn't care.

I'm betting on the second outcome, personally. From Amazon's release, this affects about 1.1% of the items they ship, so it's not a huge business impact on their part. Hachette has plenty of alternate distribution routes, and so they're welcome to take their business elsewhere. The fact that Hachette is whining about this means that, most likely, Amazon's tactics are working too well and that their other distribution routes aren't going to be able to make up the slack.

Sucks to be Hachette, I guess.


FormlessOne: In other news, sellers are free to not sell stuff from producers, or hold out for better wholesale prices.
I'm not sure of the problem here. Amazon has plenty of competition, and Hachette has plenty of distributor access. The fact that one of their distributors is holding out for better rates is exactly how capitalism is supposed to work. No monopoly involved, no underhanded or illegal behavior, and more than enough visibility on the motives & responses of both parties.

What's the problem? There are three outcomes, all of which are palatable:
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Amazon.
- The invisible hand of the free market biatchslaps Hachette.
- The invisible hand of the free market doesn't care.

I'm betting on the second outcome, personally. From Amazon's release, this affects about 1.1% of the items they ship, so it's not a huge business impact on their part. Hachette has plenty of alternate distribution routes, and so they're welcome to take their business elsewhere. The fact that Hachette is whining about this means that, most likely, Amazon's tactics are working too well and that their other distribution routes aren't going to be able to make up the slack.

Sucks to be Hachette, I guess.


This story sounds familiar. Are we going to start importing all of our books from China?
 
2014-05-28 08:00:50 PM  

Wendy's Chili: This story sounds familiar. Are we going to start importing all of our books from China?


Actually if you are a college student, it really pays to import your textbooks from overseas.
 
2014-05-28 08:04:19 PM  

ShutYerBeak: bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.

Has Amazon ever accepted Paypal for anything?


Woot has accepted PayPal since inception, and is very much a community driven site.  Losing PayPal is just one more thing that Amazon has done to hurt the site that they promised they would leave alone like Zappos.
 
2014-05-28 08:16:23 PM  

bhcompy: ShutYerBeak: bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.

Has Amazon ever accepted Paypal for anything?

Woot has accepted PayPal since inception, and is very much a community driven site.  Losing PayPal is just one more thing that Amazon has done to hurt the site that they promised they would leave alone like Zappos.


Ah...did not know that. Fark taught me something other than new curse words...nice!
 
2014-05-28 08:37:24 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Before the whole internet go running to the defense of poor little Hachette books, let's not forget that just a few years back they settled a price-fixing lawsuit from the DoJ where they were accused of conspiring with Apple to prevent Amazon from selling Kindle books below the prices that Hachette wanted to set. Basically, they tried to bully Amazon at the expense of customers, and now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

Amazon may be dicks in this dispute, but Hachette is a bunch of assholes. Sometimes you just need that dick to fark the assholes to keep them in line.


So much ^.
 
2014-05-28 08:40:19 PM  

Terminal Accessory: Hatchette has always wanted too  much for their e-books.

If you want good analysis on it, try J.A.Konraths blog:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

He's been talking about their outdated business model for years.


THIS

Apparently Amazon is evil because they are strong arming a $10B company against overcharging their customers.

The horror...
 
2014-05-28 08:43:50 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Amazon may be dicks in this dispute, but Hachette is a bunch of assholes. Sometimes you just need that dick to fark the assholes to keep them in line.


You're right that Hachette aren't innocent, but they're 1/50th the size of the company that's trying to squeeze them.

What we're seeing is a larger company bullying a supplier by threatening to withhold business to give them a better deal - Walmart does this kinda shiat all the time.Amazon holds enough of a monopoly of ebook sales that they can dictate terms, which means publishers and authors are getting screwed to the point where it's more difficult to make a living as a writer of fiction now than it was pre-Amazon. It's good for the consumer short-term because it means they get cheaper ebooks, but long term it means fewer people can actually make a living writing those ebooks.
 
2014-05-28 08:58:20 PM  

Gunther: which means publishers and authors are getting screwed to the point where it's more difficult to make a living as a writer of fiction now than it was pre-Amazon.


Middleman publishers are becoming obsolete, but that is somewhere between no big deal and great news if you're a writer.

It's good for the consumer short-term because it means they get cheaper ebooks, but long term it means fewer people can actually make a living writing those ebooks.

So don't let the fact that many more people are now making a living writing get in the way of your tale of woe.
 
2014-05-28 09:01:52 PM  

BMFPitt: So don't let the fact that many more people are now making a living writing get in the way of your tale of woe.


If you have a source for that I'd appreciate it. Not saying you're wrong, I'd just like to read about it.

From what I understand, there's more writers but the average amount they're earning from writing has fallen, to the point where many have second jobs.
 
2014-05-28 09:03:51 PM  
Sounds like they're trying to bury the hachette.
 
2014-05-28 09:04:31 PM  

BMFPitt: Gunther: which means publishers and authors are getting screwed to the point where it's more difficult to make a living as a writer of fiction now than it was pre-Amazon.

Middleman publishers are becoming obsolete, but that is somewhere between no big deal and great news if you're a writer.

It's good for the consumer short-term because it means they get cheaper ebooks, but long term it means fewer people can actually make a living writing those ebooks.

So don't let the fact that many more people are now making a living writing get in the way of your tale of woe.


Since actual publishers add value (editors, etc.), I'd rather have them around.  As it is, I've been running across far too many recent books in which the editing was thin or completely absent -- books that could have been much better with a stern editor giving the author some pushback.  Amazon seems bent on killing the whole publishing industry just to keep its numbers up, without providing any value other than cutting a few bucks off the sales price.
 
2014-05-28 09:12:34 PM  

Gunther:

What we're seeing is a larger company bullying a supplier by threatening to withhold business to give them a better deal - Walmart does this kinda shiat all the time.Amazon holds enough of a monopoly of ebook sales that they can dictate terms, which means publishers and authors are getting screwed to the point where it's more difficult to make a living as a writer of fiction now than it was pre-Amazon. It's good for the consumer short-term because it means they get cheaper ebooks, but long term it means fewer people can actually make a living writing those ebooks.

Exactly. It hurts the writers.

BMFPitt: Middleman publishers are becoming obsolete, but that is somewhere between no big deal and great news if you're a writer.


This is somewhat bad news for writers.

BMFPitt: So don't let the fact that many more people are now making a living writing get in the way of your tale of woe.


It's a living perhaps, but not a very good one for the vast majority of writers who don't have other jobs or sources of income.

Personally I'm somewhere in the middle of this. It's like the RIAA fighting Apple over paid music, I kind of want them both to EABOD. Amazon is a marketplace for most goods but they are carving out exceptions for publishing in which they abuse their quasi-monopoly status on ebooks. Hachette should probably be going the way of the Dodo except that they are fat and happy with a quasi-oligopoly in publishing.

I would much prefer to simply pick and choose authors I like and buy their books, and I largely do. But readers want to feel like they are part of a bigger culture and they therefore look toward the 'big name' authors in their genre of choice. And the big name authors have contracts with publishing houses.

The ones selling vanity press style on Amazon, some of them, may get picked up after a while by publishing houses, but most of them are not making money in this model - their readership is too low and they don't have corporate backing. Like all things, there are exceptions.
 
2014-05-28 10:44:34 PM  
Amazon has a paper publishing arm called Thomas & Mercer, and they offer all the same benefits as Hatchette, except they pay much, much better royalties to the authors.

Hatchette likes to gouge both ends of thier deal. They underpay the authors, and overcharge thier readers, then whine about it when Amazon won't abide with thier price fixing.
 
2014-05-28 11:05:59 PM  

Terminal Accessory: Amazon has a paper publishing arm called Thomas & Mercer, and they offer all the same benefits as Hatchette, except they pay much, much better royalties to the authors.

Hatchette likes to gouge both ends of thier deal. They underpay the authors, and overcharge thier readers, then whine about it when Amazon won't abide with thier price fixing.


Yep. I tend to side with the little guy in disputes such as this, but Hachette is the type of little guy to whom you don't give power, because they then become vindictive, sleazy scumbags, looking to work both ends of the deal to their benefit. It's why I'm leaning towards Amazon.
 
2014-05-29 01:52:52 AM  

bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.


In their defence PayPal is a piece of shiat.
 
2014-05-29 02:35:46 AM  

Russ1642: bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.

In their defence PayPal is a piece of shiat.


I'm not really sure why you'd use PayPal if you are dealing with a company that takes credit cards. And if you can't get a credit card for whatever reason, they sell Amazon gift cards at just about every grocery store, so you could always buy those with cash and add them to your account.
 
2014-05-29 07:35:13 AM  

Gunther: If you have a source for that I'd appreciate it. Not saying you're wrong, I'd just like to read about it.

Can't find the link, but 

From what I understand, there's more writers but the average amount they're earning from writing has fallen, to the point where many have second jobs.


If they insist on trying to stick to the old model, maybe.

Raoul Eaton: Since actual publishers add value (editors, etc.), I'd rather have them around.  As it is, I've been running across far too many recent books in which the editing was thin or completely absent -- books that could have been much better with a stern editor giving the author some pushback.  Amazon seems bent on killing the whole publishing industry just to keep its numbers up, without providing any value other than cutting a few bucks off the sales price.


Editing and proofreading services are available without a publisher that takes 80%.

bdub77: I would much prefer to simply pick and choose authors I like and buy their books, and I largely do. But readers want to feel like they are part of a bigger culture and they therefore look toward the 'big name' authors in their genre of choice. And the big name authors have contracts with publishing houses.


For now.

The ones selling vanity press style on Amazon, some of them, may get picked up after a while by publishing houses, but most of them are not making money in this model - their readership is too low and they don't have corporate backing. Like all things, there are exceptions.

I've read a few good books that almost certainly never would have existed without Amazon.  And some that were
 
2014-05-29 11:59:37 AM  

Russ1642:

In their defence PayPal is a piece of shiat.

Regardless of whether it is a piece of shiat, it is the standard for non-cc payments on the internet and has been for 15 someodd years.

Mad_Radhu: Russ1642: bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.

In their defence PayPal is a piece of shiat.

I'm not really sure why you'd use PayPal if you are dealing with a company that takes credit cards. And if you can't get a credit card for whatever reason, they sell Amazon gift cards at just about every grocery store, so you could always buy those with cash and add them to your account.


I fund my PayPal account so I don't have to give retailers my credit card numbers or bank account info and worry about breaches(other than a PayPal breach).  I don't want to get a new credit card every time some retailer gets hacked and notifies everyone that they didn't hash and salt the database storing credit card data(and even if they did, it's only a matter of time before it's decrypted, so you get a new CC anyways).
 
2014-05-29 12:06:35 PM  

bhcompy: I fund my PayPal account so I don't have to give retailers my credit card numbers or bank account info and worry about breaches(other than a PayPal breach).  I don't want to get a new credit card every time some retailer gets hacked and notifies everyone that they didn't hash and salt the database storing credit card data(and even if they did, it's only a matter of time before it's decrypted, so you get a new CC anyways).


Yeah the hacks can be a pain in the ass. I've had to change cards twice in the past year due to breaches in sites I was using, and it was an annoyance. I'd just don't like how PayPal requires it to be linked to a bank account, which not only could be exposed if their security is breached, but I've also heard horror stories of people having their bank accounts frozen when there were issues with PayPal.
 
2014-05-29 12:22:16 PM  

Mad_Radhu: bhcompy: I fund my PayPal account so I don't have to give retailers my credit card numbers or bank account info and worry about breaches(other than a PayPal breach).  I don't want to get a new credit card every time some retailer gets hacked and notifies everyone that they didn't hash and salt the database storing credit card data(and even if they did, it's only a matter of time before it's decrypted, so you get a new CC anyways).

Yeah the hacks can be a pain in the ass. I've had to change cards twice in the past year due to breaches in sites I was using, and it was an annoyance. I'd just don't like how PayPal requires it to be linked to a bank account, which not only could be exposed if their security is breached, but I've also heard horror stories of people having their bank accounts frozen when there were issues with PayPal.


It is indeed problematic, but depending on the bank, it can be very easy to create a second checking account to use as a PayPal funding account.  I use WF and I have a second free checking account(with overdraw disabled) that I fund when I use PayPal, and transferring funds between my checking accounts is simple.  Effectively, if PP is breached I may lose whatever I have in that account, but since I fund it on demand(or leave a small amount in for revolving things, like EVE membership), my risk is low.
 
2014-05-29 06:16:42 PM  

bhcompy: ShutYerBeak: bhcompy: This is barely touching the surface.  Amazon is cutting out PayPal from all payment systems for themselves and subsidiaries(like Woot!) in favor of Amazon Wallet because PayPal is owned by competitor eBay.

Has Amazon ever accepted Paypal for anything?

Woot has accepted PayPal since inception, and is very much a community driven site.  Losing PayPal is just one more thing that Amazon has done to hurt the site that they promised they would leave alone like Zappos.


Paypal sucks. Removing it is an improvement.
 
2014-05-30 01:50:36 AM  
These motherfarkers appear to be begging the federal government to hit them with an antitrust lawsuit.
 
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