21 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2014 8:17 AM by keriflur
      • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
        Mercury_Glitch

        Haven't we beaten that horse to death with the conclusion that while -some- costs of ebooks aren't the same as their DTB counterparts, those costs are relatively insignificant.

         

        I would also point out that some of the costs Amazon claims ebooks don't share are actually still there, no publisher wants to invest the time and money in a book that doesn't seem like it will sell. 

          • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
            keriflur

            Mercury_Glitch wrote:

            Haven't we beaten that horse to death with the conclusion that while -some- costs of ebooks aren't the same as their DTB counterparts, those costs are relatively insignificant.

             

            I would also point out that some of the costs Amazon claims ebooks don't share are actually still there, no publisher wants to invest the time and money in a book that doesn't seem like it will sell. 


            The problem Amazon has is that the big name authors (primarily Colbert, but the others also) have made sure the public is aware of what Amazon is doing, and how it's hurting both them and consumers. Amazon desperately needs to turn around public opinion, so this is what they're putting out there.

             

            If they can convince the public that ebooks *should* be cheaper, Hachette is greedy, and that they're *for* authors, not against, then they can win back the public. Here's the thing, though - it makes the assumption that folks are willing to believe that authors don't know what's best for them, that their favorite authors are downright stupid.

             

            The idea that Amazon gets to decide, influence, or have any part at all in the distribution of earnings between authors and publishers is beyond ridiculous. The idea that Amazon is actively arguing for Hachette to renegotiate all its author contracts is even more ridiculous.

             

            REMINDER, EVERYONE - Amazon doesn't give a crap about you, and never will. They only care about your wallet.

              • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
                furyu

                Keriflur:  >>>>>REMINDER, EVERYONE - Amazon doesn't give a crap about you, and never will. They only care about your wallet.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

                 

                That has certainly not been my experience with Amazon, nor millions of other people/customers, apparently.  Amazon has always treated me as a AAA+++ customer, always 'served' my needs --without QUESTION-- whatever those needs are.  Fabulous Customer Service.  

                 

                BN's customer service?  In unison, now:  "S-U-C-K-S!"

                Furthermore, how naive can you be about businesses?  All companies focus decision making and productivity for the improvement/incresae of their bottom lines: that's capitalism...our most cherished American value, above all else.  In Capitalism We Trust.  Amazon just does it a whole lot better than BN.  Better than most.  To serve that end, Amazon's main goal early on was to create a happy, satisfied and LOYAL customer base by being good at what at they do, including excellent customer service.  They succeeded.  BN has failed miserably in that regard.  

                 

                Publishing has always been a hell-hole for those who produce the creative product: the writers.  Amazon is not doing anything different than print publishers have always done, take as much as they can and give the author as little as possible.  It's sad, but true.  So much of the publishing world is based on who you know and the irony is, a lot of really good work gets sidelined because the publishers have decided who they will promote.  Readers don't make 'best sellers'... publishers do by promoting some and excluding others.  

                 

                I'm not advocating for or against Amazon in their Hachette conflict, because it's centered on power & greed on both sides.  Writers need to take greater control of their work and try to get out from under the middleman business model and now they can --to some extent-- with self-publishing (of course, Amazon is involved in that too, and any self-publishing company is going to take a chunk of the profit).  It's a whole new world with eBooks and everyone is jockeying around trying to claim the largest slice of the pie. Authors need to coalesce into a stronger bargaining unit against ALL publishers.  It's time they stood up for their creative work product by edging out the greed of the middleman who does nothing BUT drive up costs.   Once the dust has settled here, Amazon will start raising prices on eBooks, once they've locked in the market.  

                 

                Readers, too, need to be more responsible in supporting their favorite authors, but let's face it: everyone loves a bargain.  We all flock to the bargain table at BN (I don't anymore, actually; I have very little to do with BN these days), download Free Fridays, and hunt for $2-$3 ebooks.  Maybe we should adopt the European model (dare I say that?).  In France and England, no book --NO BOOK-- not new, not used, not even eBooks, can be sold for LESS than an established price set by government.  For that reason, brick & mortar bookstores, individually owned (remember those? vaguely?), in those two countries still THRIVE.   But that's a too socialistic concept to be adopted  here, in the land where corporations are deemed "persons" and our flag-waving motto is  ... In Capitalism We Trust.

              • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
                Mercury_Glitch

                A slightly different take on the subject of GB's link post.

                 

                http://time.com/3095729/amazon-hachette-letter/

                 

                Seems sort of childish for a company to ask authors and/or readers to email the CEO of another company and then provide his email.  It also was rather amusing that Amazon chose 1984 of -ALL- the books they could have selected considering the views of Orwell mentioned in the article I linked, but also because of the history of the 1984 ebook and Amazon. 

                 

                One has to wonder if Amazon really has any clue how to properly deal with competition aside from cost cutting.  They seem hellbent on destroying the public opinion that they've garnered with the cry for lower prices by now just making it a solitary war cry and trying to turn author on publisher.

                 

                I almost want to mail Bezos a shovel and a note "keep on digging yourself deeper".

                  • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
                    keriflur

                    Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                    A slightly different take on the subject of GB's link post.

                     

                    http://time.com/3095729/amazon-hachette-letter/

                     

                    Seems sort of childish for a company to ask authors and/or readers to email the CEO of another company and then provide his email.  It also was rather amusing that Amazon chose 1984 of -ALL- the books they could have selected considering the views of Orwell mentioned in the article I linked, but also because of the history of the 1984 ebook and Amazon. 

                     

                    One has to wonder if Amazon really has any clue how to properly deal with competition aside from cost cutting.  They seem hellbent on destroying the public opinion that they've garnered with the cry for lower prices by now just making it a solitary war cry and trying to turn author on publisher.

                     

                    I almost want to mail Bezos a shovel and a note "keep on digging yourself deeper".


                    Well, let's see.

                     

                    Amazon and Hachette get into a contract dispute. Amazon delays shipping and removes pre-orders from Hachette authors. Hachette takes no retailiation.

                     

                    Hachette authors (not Hachette, mind you) get angry about having their livelihood used as a bargaining chip. Colbert goes public and he and Sherman Alexie encourage viewers to buy Edan Lupucki's novel CALIFORNIA from indie bookstores.

                     

                    Indie bookstores and additional authors, including JK Rowling, do promos and make public statements that encourage folks to buy indie.

                     

                    Powells sells out of CALIFORNIA and scrambles for more books. CALIFORNIA becomes a bestseller.

                     

                    Amazon publicly claims that it's pro-author and makes three public offers to Hachette to give proceeds of book sales entirely to authors, if Hachette will do the same.  Hachette does not respond publicly.  Authors point out that these "offers" would barely make a difference to Amazon but would severly hurt Hachette, and that Amazon does not need Hachette's permission to give authors their (Amazon's) share of the pie.

                     

                    Amazon asks authors to back down.

                     

                    Authors United forms, with a full author-funded ad campaign pointing out how Amazon is hurting authors.

                     

                    Amazon asks authors to back down. (but continues to disadvantage their books in the Amazon store)

                     

                    Amazon makes a public statement about why it's fighting Hachette, claiming it's for lower prices for consumers and higher royalties for authors. Authors point out that the lower prices are a smokescreen and that Amazon has no say in author/publisher contracts. Hachette says nothing.

                     

                    Amazon creates a website called Readers United - Yes, a website called Readers United that was NOT created by either readers or a united group of anything - and then asks readers to complain to Hachette about how it's being a bully.  To Hachette, who, in fact, has not publicly made any comments about the dispute.

                     

                    Amazon sends an email to KDP authors, asking them to email Hachette and complain about how it's being a bully, and CC Amazon. If you think this sounds like a kid rallying his friends to pick on another kid in the playground, you're getting the right idea.

                     

                    Hachette does not retailiate.

                     

                     

                    So...one of these companies is classy, and the other...well, maybe needs to redo kindergarten.

                      • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
                        jaquellae

                        keriflur wrote:

                        Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                        A slightly different take on the subject of GB's link post.

                         

                        http://time.com/3095729/amazon-hachette-letter/

                         

                        Seems sort of childish for a company to ask authors and/or readers to email the CEO of another company and then provide his email.  It also was rather amusing that Amazon chose 1984 of -ALL- the books they could have selected considering the views of Orwell mentioned in the article I linked, but also because of the history of the 1984 ebook and Amazon. 

                         

                        One has to wonder if Amazon really has any clue how to properly deal with competition aside from cost cutting.  They seem hellbent on destroying the public opinion that they've garnered with the cry for lower prices by now just making it a solitary war cry and trying to turn author on publisher.

                         

                        I almost want to mail Bezos a shovel and a note "keep on digging yourself deeper".


                        Well, let's see.

                         

                        Amazon and Hachette get into a contract dispute. Amazon delays shipping and removes pre-orders from Hachette authors. Hachette takes no retailiation.

                         

                        Hachette authors (not Hachette, mind you) get angry about having their livelihood used as a bargaining chip. Colbert goes public and he and Sherman Alexie encourage viewers to buy Edan Lupucki's novel CALIFORNIA from indie bookstores.

                         

                        Indie bookstores and additional authors, including JK Rowling, do promos and make public statements that encourage folks to buy indie.

                         

                        Powells sells out of CALIFORNIA and scrambles for more books. CALIFORNIA becomes a bestseller.

                         

                        Amazon publicly claims that it's pro-author and makes three public offers to Hachette to give proceeds of book sales entirely to authors, if Hachette will do the same.  Hachette does not respond publicly.  Authors point out that these "offers" would barely make a difference to Amazon but would severly hurt Hachette, and that Amazon does not need Hachette's permission to give authors their (Amazon's) share of the pie.

                         

                        Amazon asks authors to back down.

                         

                        Authors United forms, with a full author-funded ad campaign pointing out how Amazon is hurting authors.

                         

                        Amazon asks authors to back down. (but continues to disadvantage their books in the Amazon store)

                         

                        Amazon makes a public statement about why it's fighting Hachette, claiming it's for lower prices for consumers and higher royalties for authors. Authors point out that the lower prices are a smokescreen and that Amazon has no say in author/publisher contracts. Hachette says nothing.

                         

                        Amazon creates a website called Readers United - Yes, a website called Readers United that was NOT created by either readers or a united group of anything - and then asks readers to complain to Hachette about how it's being a bully.  To Hachette, who, in fact, has not publicly made any comments about the dispute.

                         

                        Amazon sends an email to KDP authors, asking them to email Hachette and complain about how it's being a bully, and CC Amazon. If you think this sounds like a kid rallying his friends to pick on another kid in the playground, you're getting the right idea.

                         

                        Hachette does not retailiate.

                         

                         

                        So...one of these companies is classy, and the other...well, maybe needs to redo kindergarten.


                        "Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten" is published by an imprint of Random House. One of these companies possibly has an excuse not to have read it, and the other...well, they _do_ offer it on their website... :smileywink:

                    • Re: What Amazon wants from Hachette
                      keriflur

                      My favorite article on today's darling Amazon letter:

                       

                      http://observationdeck.io9.com/amazon-sounds-like-a-creepy-ex-boyfriend-now-1618729020

                       

                      The embedded links are all worth reading also.