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Posts tagged Amazon

Author boycotts Booktrust prize over Amazon tax practices, Hachette dispute
July 11, 2014 | 10:24 am

UK children's author Allan Ahlberg has turned down the first-ever Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award from UK literacy charity Booktrust because it is sponsored by Amazon. In an open letter to The Bookseller, Ahlberg, 75, wrote: "A few weeks ago I learned that I had been chosen for the inaugural Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award. I was, of course, delighted. I told my wife, told my daughter and ran around the house. Then I discovered that the award was sponsored by Amazon and felt obliged to refuse it." He cited his objections to Amazon's practices on corporate taxation, as well as "Amazon’s baleful influence...

Hey, publishers? Show us the money!
July 10, 2014 | 4:37 pm

money_grubbing_businessman_0521-1011-0416-3829_SMUPublishers are earning more than ever before. Writers are earning less than ever before. So why are writers defending publishers? And why is all that money staying with publishers instead of going back to authors? This debate has gained fresh point and ammunition in the context of the recent Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) study on UK author incomes. Nate Hoffelder criticized the ALCS report on the grounds of methodology: "This report looks less like a true survey of writers and more like a hatchet job from a group with an axe to grind. I suggest that you ignore it."...

Hachette rejects Amazon proposal to give Hachette authors 100% of e-book revenue
July 8, 2014 | 6:09 pm

In the Amazon vs. Hachette feud, the PR moves and countermoves are coming out. Laura Hazard Owen has coverage at GigaOm and the Wall Street Journal also has a piece (paywalled; google the headline to view) on a proposal Amazon has floated to Hachette authors to pay them 100% of all revenue from sales of their e-books—cutting out both its own 30% and Hachette’s 70% share—if Hachette agrees. The revenue split on paper books would be unaffected. The letter is particularly interesting in that, for the first time, Amazon is shedding some light on how the negotiations with...

Amazon-Hachette: Whose Side Are You On?
July 8, 2014 | 10:30 am

laura resnickBy Laura Resnick The non-disclosure agreement governing the current negotiations between online retail giant Amazon and publishing corporation Hachette sometimes seems about as effective as a gag order in a custody battle between Hollywood celebrities. Hachette has released multiple statements and leaks about the negotiations, including a claim that "Amazon has been demanding payments for a range of services." Amazon made a statement in May, eventually followed by an Amazon executive telling the media in July, "This discussion is all about e-book pricing." However, apart from such occasional tidbits, there's little information about the specific terms on the table. And in the absence...

Chuck Wendig fires back against Hugh Howey-led pro-Amazon petition
July 7, 2014 | 12:27 pm

Author Chuck Wendig (who? Oh, that Chuck Wendig) has posted a counterblast to the recent petition calling on Hachette to settle its dispute with Amazon and "stop fighting low prices and fair wages." And Wendig's words are already getting some airing on Publishers Lunch and elsewhere (under the headline "Hugh Howey Launches Petition Thanking Amazon; Amazon Author Wendig Responds"), so it's worth going over them to see ... what they're worth. This isn't to belittle the good points that Wendig does make about the petition and the pro-Amazon camp - there are quite a few of those. But there are quite...

Big Five publishers, it’s time for some tough love
July 6, 2014 | 4:32 pm

ToughLoveSo, Andrew Updegrove has a blog post in which he expresses concern about the future of competition in publishing. (Found via The Passive Voice.) His thesis seems to be that traditional publishers exert a competitive pressure on Amazon—Amazon can’t lower the rates it pays self-publishing writers as long as traditional publishers represent some kind of alternative. He writes: If Hatchette and the other big publishers are successful in holding off Amazon, then it’s pretty safe to assume that not much will change with the way they do business. But if Amazon wins, the traditional publishers will...

Indie authors strike back for Amazon in petition wars
July 6, 2014 | 4:07 pm

Change.jpgIn a welcome sign that the anti-Amazon camp is not having things all its own way in the battle for hearts and minds between the Bezos Behemoth and Hachette, a group of self published and independent authors have got together to launch a petition on Change.org in favor of Amazon, calling on Hachette to: "Stop fighting low prices and fair wages." As at the time of writing, it stands at 4788 signatures - 4789 as soon as I've had a chance to add mine. The petition itself, launched by "concerned readers and writers," is fairly short, and reverts to Amazon's original proposal...

Would Anyone Care About the Amazon/Hachette Dispute If it Wasn’t About Books?
July 6, 2014 | 12:55 pm

hachetteMy RSS feeds have been flooded this week with stories about the latest Amazon vs Hachette development, the letter author Douglas Preston initiated urging readers to email Jeff Bezos and tell him what they think. I have written before about this and pointed out that tons of companies limit or restrict sales for all sorts of reasons. I myself have been on the hunt for a certain lunch container ever since I heard about its release, but the Canadian reseller doesn't have it yet because the creator likes to sell it on their website exclusively first, before they offer it to...

In taking sides in Amazon/Hachette dispute, John Scalzi tells readers to do as he says, not as he does
July 4, 2014 | 3:48 am

John Scalzi has written a blog post noting that publishing “is not a football game” and people shouldn’t be rushing to take sides. Like many of Scalzi’s posts, it seems superficially reasonable. Scalzi’s point seems to be that business is business, and big companies aren’t your friend or your enemy—they do what big companies do, which is whatever is best for them. Their interests might align with yours, or not. That doesn’t mean they like you or hate you. (Though he does make clear he thinks “what Amazon’s doing to US Hachette authors at the moment well and truly sucks.”)...

SFWA endorses Douglas Preston’s open letter without consulting its membership
July 4, 2014 | 2:43 am

Two “open letters” came out yesterday, one berating Amazon and another praising it. Now it turns out that SFWA has emailed its membership endorsing one of those letters, and it should be pretty easy to guess which one. Author Don Sakers has posted an essay to his blog complaining that the SFWA has endorsed Douglas Preston’s letter. Sakers, an independent author who makes most of his sales through Amazon, is annoyed that SFWA’s leadership did not make any attempt to consult or discuss the matter with its members before acting, and points out that this comes only a...

Are Amazon editors really that independent?
July 3, 2014 | 4:25 pm

As Amazon finally steps up its own defense in the ongoing spat with Hachette to the tune of well-orchestrated background noise, one of the odder appearances to come out is a piece in Digital Book World declaring "Amazon Editors Independent, Above Hachette-Amazon Fray." States the article, "Editors at Amazon who make decisions about the retailer’s 'best books' and featured picks work independently of the team negotiating with publisher Hachette over a new agreement between the firms." It then goes on to cite Amazon's "two lists of featured books meant to entice readers to buy," the Amazon’s Best Books of 2014 (So...

Really twisted logic here
July 3, 2014 | 1:00 pm

confused_guyAs I'm sure many are doing, I was contemplating the coverage of the whole Amazon/Hachette thing, and I think I twisted myself up with the logic of certain people writing about the issues. Walk through this with me and see if it tracks. Authors such as Douglas Preston are publishing or signing open letters complaining that Amazon is "Refusing to discount the prices of many of Hachette’s authors’ books." It seems a reasonable assumption that the Amazon/Hachette disagreement has something to do with Hachette wanting a return to agency pricing. The assumption is supported by the recent move by Macmillan and S&S filing a...