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(Contact Music)   Douglas Preston has gotten more than 900 authors to sign a letter demanding that Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com "stop harming the livelihood of the authors on whom it has built its business"   (contactmusic.com) divider line 77
    More: Hero  
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2264 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 09 Aug 2014 at 2:43 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-09 12:23:13 PM  
The Kindle is the best thing to happen to books since moveable type.  It gives exposure to a lot of authors that I would never have known about and maybe it will drive the average price of a book down and take some money away from the top tier, established authors but it will promote more book buying overall and maybe help distribute the pie a little more fairly...
 
2014-08-09 12:51:54 PM  
The way I see it, the authors already have their deals in place and this dispute is about how much profit the publisher gets to add on. We can thank Apple for ruining the old publisher wholesale model.

Those 500 authors need to tell their publisher to STFU and settle if the want their books sold from Amazon.
 
2014-08-09 01:24:17 PM  
I will say I've definitely noticed the publisher clearly delineated when purchasing books on my Kindle.  Since this nonsense started I've bought several books from Hatchett when that was what I wanted to read.  In other occasions, when it's more of a toss up I've gone with other publishers since they are markedly less expensive.  With e-books at least I haven't noticed any prohibition of the Hatchett books.  I can't speak to physical volumes since I only occasionally buy them anymore.
 
2014-08-09 02:45:59 PM  
Doesn't matter now.
 
2014-08-09 02:52:48 PM  
As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.
 
2014-08-09 02:54:35 PM  

skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.


Agreed.
 
2014-08-09 03:06:02 PM  

skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.


So much this it's not even funny. I really don't understand the authors who signed on with this letter. I don't know if they understand the publishers are farking them and the readers by insisting an ebook should cost as much as a Hardcover. Especially when all they do is have some intern format the manuscript for online distrobution. Wouldn't even take the kid an hour to do it.

Three to seven dollars is probably the sweet spot for ebooks. Anything more than that is just greed on the publisher's part. When I sell a book on Amazon, I get 70% of the revenue. I'm genuinely curious how much of a percentage Hachette pays their authors when they sell an ebook. I'm betting it's the standard 15% which is why authors are so upset right now. A five dollar ebook vs the hardcover that would normally sell for $25 at Barnes and Noble is a huge paycut.

I don't condone Amazon delaying shipments or not carrying books, that's bad business. But, other than that, Hachette and the rest of the publishing world is going to have to start paying their authors what they're worth. It's as simple as that.
 
2014-08-09 03:07:58 PM  

Knight of the Woeful Countenance: So much this it's not even funny. I really don't understand the authors who signed on with this letter. I don't know if they understand the publishers are farking them and the readers by insisting an ebook should cost as much as a Hardcover. Especially when all they do is have some intern format the manuscript for online distrobution. Wouldn't even take the kid an hour to do it


Stockholm Syndrome
 
2014-08-09 03:10:12 PM  

Nemo's Brother: skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.

Agreed.


I'll add my own to this. Same situation. Hachette is being wholly unreasonable. Amazon has tried to meet them more than halfway. They're just being jerks at this point. There is NO reason why they should be able to charge hardcover prices for ebooks. I've been in the book business from both the retail and publishing ends. Hachette has no legitimate reason for their actions aside from "this is how it has always been and we don't want to change."

Well, tough shiat. Change is here. Embrace it or be reviled.
 
2014-08-09 03:11:52 PM  
Amazon's response is very compelling.
 
2014-08-09 03:13:38 PM  
I wish the authors themselves hadn't gotten involved, because it's a cynical political move to somehow portray this as a fight between hardworking authors looking for fair compensation and the big evil corporation who is hurting them. This is ultimately a fight to determine the right of middlemen to continue being middlemen in a changing economy. Like in other media industries, the old gatekeepers aren't as important, and instead of adapting their business models to accommodate the changing reality, they're trying to build the walls twice as high and squeeze as much revenue as possible from a shrinking market.
 
2014-08-09 03:16:00 PM  

AngryDragon: Knight of the Woeful Countenance: So much this it's not even funny. I really don't understand the authors who signed on with this letter. I don't know if they understand the publishers are farking them and the readers by insisting an ebook should cost as much as a Hardcover. Especially when all they do is have some intern format the manuscript for online distrobution. Wouldn't even take the kid an hour to do it

Stockholm Syndrome


I was thinking House Negro, but wasn't sure if that was going too far.
 
2014-08-09 03:19:53 PM  
Preston... <shakes head>

Preston says Amazon is "boycotting" the Hachette authors by removing a "pre-sale" button - something which no indie author gets. So they are removing a perk, not boycotting anything.
Preston says Amazon is intentionally delaying shipping for Hachette authors; no, Amazon is just not stocking many books from Hachette because they don't have a contract in place. It is Hachette that is delaying the shipments when Amazon orders from them. Hachette is also the one that is not negotiating in good faith (and they don't deny that) to get a new contract in place.
Preston says Amazon is hurting the authors by not discounting their books; of course, Hachette is trying to make it so that Amazon CAN'T discount books, so Amazon is just giving them what they are asking for.
Preston needs to attack Hachette on this, not Amazon, if he wants to improve things for authors.

If Preston (and the others) put half as much pressure on Hachette as they are on Amazon it might actually do something valuable for authors as a whole.
 
KIA
2014-08-09 03:21:12 PM  
Effem.  That is all.
 
2014-08-09 03:22:43 PM  

Nemo's Brother: skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.

Agreed.


This, this and this!

Amazon pays 70% of the purchase price for e-books $9.99 and less.  For books priced over $10.00, they pay 35%.  I would like a publisher explain why it's better to sell a book for %14.99 and receive $5.25 rather than sell a book for $9.99 and receive $7.50.
 
2014-08-09 03:41:26 PM  
kevinfra:
Amazon pays 70% of the purchase price for e-books $9.99 and less. For books priced over $10.00, they pay 35%. I would like a publisher explain why it's better to sell a book for %14.99 and receive $5.25 rather than sell a book for $9.99 and receive $7.50.

It's even weirder - they offer some books for $10.99.

What they seem to want is for Amazon to stop telling people what books sell for and obfuscate the prices, so the Hatchette authors won't find out just how much they're being ripped off.
 
2014-08-09 04:00:13 PM  
My wife is one of those rare "Published" authors and has no issue with Amazon. A few other sites, yes, but not with Amazon.
What is really funny is that when I see one of her books at a large chain of used book sellers, I pick it up and sell it used on Amazon for (obviously) more than I paid for it (and have her sign it for the buyer - something that was mentioned in feedback and I had hoped would not happen).
 
2014-08-09 04:05:38 PM  
i.imgur.com

Hachette's already been caught colluding to inflate ebook prices. Fark em.
 
2014-08-09 04:30:44 PM  

Dazrin: Preston... <shakes head>

Preston says Amazon is "boycotting" the Hachette authors by removing a "pre-sale" button - something which no indie author gets. So they are removing a perk, not boycotting anything.
Preston says Amazon is intentionally delaying shipping for Hachette authors; no, Amazon is just not stocking many books from Hachette because they don't have a contract in place. It is Hachette that is delaying the shipments when Amazon orders from them. Hachette is also the one that is not negotiating in good faith (and they don't deny that) to get a new contract in place.
Preston says Amazon is hurting the authors by not discounting their books; of course, Hachette is trying to make it so that Amazon CAN'T discount books, so Amazon is just giving them what they are asking for.
Preston needs to attack Hachette on this, not Amazon, if he wants to improve things for authors.

If Preston (and the others) put half as much pressure on Hachette as they are on Amazon it might actually do something valuable for authors as a whole.


All of these.  Which is weird, because Preston is usually a lot more intelligent about things.  The various pieces he's written about the Monster of Florence case (including a book which I haven't read) were quite informative and good.

karmachameleon: Amazon's response is very compelling.


Indeed it is.  While I'd love to get confirmation that Hachette is indeed asking for $15-20 prices on eBooks, I'm inclined to believe Amazon about this.  If it's true, fark Hachette with a rusty spoon.  eBooks should not cost that much, not given the ridiculously lower cost to the publisher.
 
2014-08-09 04:38:57 PM  

karmachameleon: Amazon's response is very compelling.


media.moddb.com

I love it.
 
2014-08-09 04:46:23 PM  
Not being a self-publisher, I find it kind of amazing how invested Amazon has become in the business.  I used to believe that the service of a publisher was to edit and market authors to ensure a specific quality, but Amazon has pretty much taken that over as well with editing services and their web marketplace.

Is Amazon a good corporation or best corporation?

/Probably Costco
 
2014-08-09 05:00:01 PM  

Knight of the Woeful Countenance: skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.

So much this it's not even funny. I really don't understand the authors who signed on with this letter. I don't know if they understand the publishers are farking them and the readers by insisting an ebook should cost as much as a Hardcover.


It's somewhat analogous to how some musicians became cheerleaders for the RIAA in their "fight" (lol) against illegal file-sharing. Sure, it was arguably theft, yet the underlying explanation of their support of the music industry's battle against it was actually naivety. The existing business model was atrociously unfair, yet certain musicians were just too comfortable within their little cocoon and also simply unwilling to see the forest for the trees.
 
2014-08-09 05:05:54 PM  

karmachameleon: Amazon's response is very compelling.


That is very well done.
 
2014-08-09 05:07:33 PM  
I need a new dictionary.  I don't see any definition of 'hero' that matches the facts in this story.
 
2014-08-09 05:11:50 PM  
I was one who signed the petition.  Amazon's bullying tactics are bad not only for authors, but for readers, and they have been consistently lying about how this "benefits authors."  It benefits authors like thalidomide benefits babies.

Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.  Amazon chose the price point without taking into consideration any of the costs involved in publishing.*  See  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-e-book-number s -20140731-story.html for an overview.

I don't make millions writing.  Many years, I don't make hundreds.  But this is a pure monopoly power play squeezing distributors just like the robber railroad barons of the 1890s.  I signed the petition not for me, but for every writer who wants to be a success.

If you think Amazon cares for authors, you're delusional.  Amazon is doing this for one reason and one reason only:  to increase their bottom line (it's not a coincidence that they did this as they growth started to flag).  Like any robber baron, they do this at the expense of everyone else -- their customers included.

*The cost of manufacturing and distribution are only a tiny portion of the expenses in publishing a book, similar to the cost of the syrup  and soda water in a fast food soft drink.
 
2014-08-09 05:20:21 PM  
While Amazon started off primarily with books, they're far, far more diverse today. I'd wager they could drop every single one of the authors who've signed this and drop them from being sold on the site and only suffer like $100,000 or so. Meanwhile, the authors would probably be doing an awful lot of yard sales trying to make ends meet afterwards...
 
2014-08-09 05:32:22 PM  

RealityChuck: I was one who signed the petition.  Amazon's bullying tactics are bad not only for authors, but for readers, and they have been consistently lying about how this "benefits authors."  It benefits authors like thalidomide benefits babies.

Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.  Amazon chose the price point without taking into consideration any of the costs involved in publishing.*  See  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-e-book-number s -20140731-story.html for an overview.

I don't make millions writing.  Many years, I don't make hundreds.  But this is a pure monopoly power play squeezing distributors just like the robber railroad barons of the 1890s.  I signed the petition not for me, but for every writer who wants to be a success.

If you think Amazon cares for authors, you're delusional.  Amazon is doing this for one reason and one reason only:  to increase their bottom line (it's not a coincidence that they did this as they growth started to flag).  Like any robber baron, they do this at the expense of everyone else -- their customers included.

*The cost of manufacturing and distribution are only a tiny portion of the expenses in publishing a book, similar to the cost of the syrup  and soda water in a fast food soft drink.


For a writer you're pretty bad at writing. I think it may not be Amazons fault that you only make hundreds in a year.
 
2014-08-09 05:33:45 PM  
Maybe the authors should be writing letters to their publishers, asking them why they thought they could get away with price fixing with Apple, kicking all this mess off in the first place.
 
2014-08-09 05:38:56 PM  

RealityChuck: Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.


It's more like Samsung trying to tell Wal-Mart what they have to sell Samsung products for. Why should they be able to do that? It's called "Manufacturer's SUGGESTED Retail Price" for a reason. Wal-Mart has no duty to follow it. Why should Amazon? It's their store - why should they HAVE to carry a particular product, if they have no control over its pricing?
 
2014-08-09 05:46:09 PM  
I'm still a tree killer when it comes to books. I just like them better, sorry. I know, I'm old and no long "whidit"

However, as a consumer, I would like it if when I purchased a hard copy of a first edition, first release, from a online retailer like Amazon, that purchase price would include a copy of the EBook as well.

I can say that several new CD purchases included access to the MP3's on... THE CLOUD, and downloadable to my device.
 
2014-08-09 05:46:28 PM  

skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.


FRENCH Satan.
 
2014-08-09 06:00:59 PM  

RealityChuck: I was one who signed the petition.  Amazon's bullying tactics are bad not only for authors, but for readers, and they have been consistently lying about how this "benefits authors."  It benefits authors like thalidomide benefits babies.

Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.  Amazon chose the price point without taking into consideration any of the costs involved in publishing.*  See  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-e-book-number s -20140731-story.html for an overview.

I don't make millions writing.  Many years, I don't make hundreds.  But this is a pure monopoly power play squeezing distributors just like the robber railroad barons of the 1890s.  I signed the petition not for me, but for every writer who wants to be a success.

If you think Amazon cares for authors, you're delusional.  Amazon is doing this for one reason and one reason only:  to increase their bottom line (it's not a coincidence that they did this as they growth started to flag).  Like any robber baron, they do this at the expense of everyone else -- their customers included.

*The cost of manufacturing and distribution are only a tiny portion of the expenses in publishing a book, similar to the cost of the syrup  and soda water in a fast food soft drink.


I am curious then, what -are- the majority of the costs? I would think that manufacturing and distributing are the primary things that a book publisher does... (as an aside,I certainly do not think it is editing, considering the typos that I have seen in books)...
 
2014-08-09 06:05:32 PM  

RuneSaint: RealityChuck: I was one who signed the petition.  Amazon's bullying tactics are bad not only for authors, but for readers, and they have been consistently lying about how this "benefits authors."  It benefits authors like thalidomide benefits babies.

Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.  Amazon chose the price point without taking into consideration any of the costs involved in publishing.*  See  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-e-book-number s -20140731-story.html for an overview.

I don't make millions writing.  Many years, I don't make hundreds.  But this is a pure monopoly power play squeezing distributors just like the robber railroad barons of the 1890s.  I signed the petition not for me, but for every writer who wants to be a success.

If you think Amazon cares for authors, you're delusional.  Amazon is doing this for one reason and one reason only:  to increase their bottom line (it's not a coincidence that they did this as they growth started to flag).  Like any robber baron, they do this at the expense of everyone else -- their customers included.

*The cost of manufacturing and distribution are only a tiny portion of the expenses in publishing a book, similar to the cost of the syrup  and soda water in a fast food soft drink.

I am curious then, what -are- the majority of the costs? I would think that manufacturing and distributing are the primary things that a book publisher does... (as an aside,I certainly do not think it is editing, considering the typos that I have seen in books)...


I'd figure the primary thing a publisher does is publicity.
 
2014-08-09 06:28:31 PM  

moothemagiccow: I'd figure the primary thing a publisher does is publicity.


How many ads do you see for books?

If you buy a first run hard-cover book you can expect to pay at least $20.  By the time it hits paperback it is probably in the $7 range.  There is not a 13 dollar difference in cost to produce a hardcover book, so some of that is pure additional profit.  However, whether it be a paperback or hardcover there is a cost to the actual physical materials.  It is absurd that any of that should be applied to an ebook.
 
2014-08-09 06:41:54 PM  
We now live in a world where kids can no longer dream of growing up and becoming famous because some random dude at a publishing house just happened to be in the right mood when the kid's manuscript just happened to be at the top of the pile that day.

Kindle and the others now let the readers decide who is going to be read instead of letting the publishers do the thinking for us.
 
2014-08-09 06:42:47 PM  

Cerebral Knievel: I'm still a tree killer when it comes to books. I just like them better, sorry. I know, I'm old and no long "whidit"

However, as a consumer, I would like it if when I purchased a hard copy of a first edition, first release, from a online retailer like Amazon, that purchase price would include a copy of the EBook as well.

I can say that several new CD purchases included access to the MP3's on... THE CLOUD, and downloadable to my device.


As far as I know, this is an option an author/publisher can enable. A price point can be set for the ebook after the purchase of the physical copy (free, 99 cents, etc.). However, I only have an ebook version of my book available currently, so I haven't really investigated this feature.
 
2014-08-09 06:44:59 PM  
The weird thing is, I don't even think of Amazon as a bookstore anymore.  The last few things I bought from them were items like kleenex and cleaning products.
 
2014-08-09 06:49:12 PM  

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: The weird thing is, I don't even think of Amazon as a bookstore anymore.  The last few things I bought from them were items like kleenex and cleaning products.


It's my go-to site for Tuscan milk and uranium.
 
2014-08-09 06:57:27 PM  

skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.


When ebooks start costing a reasonable price, THEN you'll see a real effect. As it stands, I only buy ebooks when I get a credit(such as the price fixing settlement or the $5 credit for registering my Nook) or a gift card. Otherwise, I check out or borrow books.

All of the people involved in ebooks have caused more harm than help by doing shiat like charging as much as $15 for an electronic file.

And the rationalizations for this pricing structure are bullshiat, too.
 
2014-08-09 07:01:19 PM  

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: The weird thing is, I don't even think of Amazon as a bookstore anymore.  The last few things I bought from them were items like kleenex and cleaning products.


I've successfully stayed away from buying on Amazon for the most part. I have maybe bought from them 5 times over the years. And almost every time, I have bought from them, my card has been compromised. Probably coincidence, but we don't really buy a lot online in the first place..


I definitely wouldn't buy stuff like Kleenex there. There's no way I could save THAT much...
 
2014-08-09 07:29:40 PM  

WilderKWight: Nemo's Brother: skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.

Agreed.

I'll add my own to this. Same situation. Hachette is being wholly unreasonable. Amazon has tried to meet them more than halfway. They're just being jerks at this point. There is NO reason why they should be able to charge hardcover prices for ebooks. I've been in the book business from both the retail and publishing ends. Hachette has no legitimate reason for their actions aside from "this is how it has always been and we don't want to change."

Well, tough shiat. Change is here. Embrace it or be reviled.


Why does no one complain that Sony sets the price for a PS4, but everyone complain when a publisher does the same?
 
2014-08-09 07:34:31 PM  

untaken_name: RealityChuck: Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.

It's more like Samsung trying to tell Wal-Mart what they have to sell Samsung products for. Why should they be able to do that? It's called "Manufacturer's SUGGESTED Retail Price" for a reason. Wal-Mart has no duty to follow it. Why should Amazon? It's their store - why should they HAVE to carry a particular product, if they have no control over its pricing?


They don't have to carry it, and if they removed the items that's one thing. Instead what Amazon is doing is making it harder to get the book, even though they do or will(in the case of preorders) carry it, by delaying shipping and giving longer availability. It's pure strongarm tactics.
 
2014-08-09 07:44:47 PM  
As someone who consumes an average of 3 ebooks a month, I've never purchased anything over $9.99. Frankly, I really, really have to want to read it asap to pay more than $5.99. Otherwise I'll gladly wait my turn to borrow it from the library. I began reading a series of 5 (short) ebooks Thursday evening and blew thru the last one this afternoon. The grand total for all 5 was $7.97. Well worth the entertainment while down with a wicked virus.
 
2014-08-09 07:54:58 PM  

GameVoid: We now live in a world where kids can no longer dream of growing up and becoming famous because some random dude at a publishing house just happened to be in the right mood when the kid's manuscript just happened to be at the top of the pile that day.

Kindle and the others now let the readers decide who is going to be read instead of letting the publishers do the thinking for us.


Which is great!  As someone who self published on Kindle I think Amazon is the most forward thinking company for books and readers.

However what they're doing currently is complete bullshiat.  They don't like a publishers prices and instead of either choosing not to sell that publishers books they're farking around with different authors under that publisher in order to put pressure on them to do things their way.  That's bullshiat.  If Amazon thinks that the future is in 9.99 eBooks then they can set that precedent with what they choose to offer and eventually the competition will either be forced to match or shut down.

The email they sent to me this morning was retarded, made some terrible analogies to support the  fallacy they're selling.

They've been fantastic for authors seeking publishing and offering more ways for people to do so.  However they're trying to strong arm publishers into accepting their model as the only model, which is only good for Amazon.  I don't think Hachette has a good business model, but I think what Amazon is doing is wrong as well and their PR during this has been atrocious.
 
2014-08-09 08:01:21 PM  

doomjesse: WilderKWight: Nemo's Brother: skepticultist: As an indie author who self-publishes (and guess where 95% of my sales come from!), I feel Amazon has done a hell of a lot more for up and coming writers than Hachette ever has.  Hachette might as well be Satan himself from where I'm sitting.

Agreed.

I'll add my own to this. Same situation. Hachette is being wholly unreasonable. Amazon has tried to meet them more than halfway. They're just being jerks at this point. There is NO reason why they should be able to charge hardcover prices for ebooks. I've been in the book business from both the retail and publishing ends. Hachette has no legitimate reason for their actions aside from "this is how it has always been and we don't want to change."

Well, tough shiat. Change is here. Embrace it or be reviled.

Why does no one complain that Sony sets the price for a PS4, but everyone complain when a publisher does the same?


I don't think that's a fair comparison. Every PS4 is the same, every book is not.
 
2014-08-09 08:01:27 PM  
John Scalzi has one of the most balanced opinions on it: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/08/09/amazon-gets-increasingly-nervou s /
 
2014-08-09 08:10:04 PM  
Authors are not very good. Most people are content to read low-quality drivel like fark and facebook instead of your crappy novel. Get over it. Most people will barely read the classics, let alone the pain eliciting muck which comprises most of contemporary writing.
 
2014-08-09 08:29:24 PM  

RealityChuck: I was one who signed the petition.  Amazon's bullying tactics are bad not only for authors, but for readers, and they have been consistently lying about how this "benefits authors."  It benefits authors like thalidomide benefits babies.

Amazon has no more right to insist that publishers sell their ebooks at $9.99 than they have to force Samsung to sell tablets for $5.  Amazon chose the price point without taking into consideration any of the costs involved in publishing.*  See  http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-e-book-number s -20140731-story.html for an overview.

I don't make millions writing.  Many years, I don't make hundreds.  But this is a pure monopoly power play squeezing distributors just like the robber railroad barons of the 1890s.  I signed the petition not for me, but for every writer who wants to be a success.

If you think Amazon cares for authors, you're delusional.  Amazon is doing this for one reason and one reason only:  to increase their bottom line (it's not a coincidence that they did this as they growth started to flag).  Like any robber baron, they do this at the expense of everyone else -- their customers included.

*The cost of manufacturing and distribution are only a tiny portion of the expenses in publishing a book, similar to the cost of the syrup  and soda water in a fast food soft drink.


Then make your (or rather, Hachette's) case.  The case you've made here isn't very compelling at all, and doesn't prompt me to take your side in the slightest, because all you've done here is say, "Me me me".  Why don't you try again, and this time tell us exactly why we the consumer should fall on your side rather than Amazon's.   Because when Amazon laid out their case to the public, it was very compelling, and ultimately we consumers are interested in receiving value for our dollar.  Trying to sell an e-book for $14.99 is insane any way you slice it, but if you've got a compelling argument as to why I should accept such a pricing structure, I'd love to hear it.  So go for it, I'm listening.
 
2014-08-09 08:35:17 PM  
I kind of think the publisher should be able to set their own price.  If they want to be giant a-holes and charge $20 for an e-book, fine.  I certainly would never buy it, but if they want to fleece retards let them.
 
2014-08-09 08:58:07 PM  

karmachameleon: Then make your (or rather, Hachette's) case. The case you've made here isn't very compelling at all, and doesn't prompt me to take your side in the slightest, because all you've done here is say, "Me me me". Why don't you try again, and this time tell us exactly why we the consumer should fall on your side rather than Amazon's. Because when Amazon laid out their case to the public, it was very compelling, and ultimately we consumers are interested in receiving value for our dollar. Trying to sell an e-book for $14.99 is insane any way you slice it, but if you've got a compelling argument as to why I should accept such a pricing structure, I'd love to hear it. So go for it, I'm listening.


Who said you'd need to accept that pricing structure even if Hachette chooses to use it?  If it's not viable then the market will reflect that and they'll have to either adapt or fail.  That's not a good reason for Amazon to tell them what they're pricing structure should be and then fark with the pre-orders of different authors under their publishing house in order to push them to do so.

Amazon wants the 9.99 eBook price to undercut the sale of physical books at brick and mortar stores (Barnes and Noble, Target, whatever) that the publishers ship to and work with.  How exactly are they supposed to convince their other working partners that due to Amazon messing with their sales they'll offer eBook copies of those same books for 40% of the price?  Hell that 14.99 price is bullshiat anyway, if you look up the cost of most eBooks you'll find that 95% are under that price already without Amazon's intervention.

Again, if what Amazon is saying is true then the market will work itself out.  Their current tactics they're trying to convince you is pro-consumer are really just pro-Amazon attempting to force the market into their standards because they want Kindle, which is already a significant chunk of the book market currently, to be the sole option.

They've done a lot of good things for authors, forcing publishers into a pricing structure they dictate isn't one of them.
 
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