Author Topic: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette  (Read 35251 times)  

Offline ABBradley

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Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
« Reply #150 on: August 09, 2014, 06:09:20 am »
Just putting on my thoughts but I think amazon is getting ancy. Google and Apple are both investing in competing with them in ebooks and more. Right now, amazon is the dominant player in both markets. Apple is sitting on the worlds largest pile of cash and googles not far behind. If they don't push publisher prices down now, Apple and Google could feasibly begin capturing some serious market share in the ebook industry. Plus, google and Apple have hands down the two dominant mobile and table operating systems. iBooks is already a native app, meaning it comes preinstalled in all apple devices. Android may have something similar as well. Plus Samsung has announced a partnership with Barnes and noble, and Samsung is as big as apple in the mobile/tablet industry.

Forcing hatchette to have lower prices on amazon is about them having lower prices on amazon and not elsewhere. They're trying to ensure they have the greatest discount possible so they can ensure most consumers go to amazon for their books and not other retailers.

When I read the email, my immediate reaction was, "wow is amazon getting worried about this or what?"

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    Offline Quiss

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #151 on: August 09, 2014, 06:09:51 am »
    Is time yet to start with the conspiracy theories?

    Mine: This letter was penned by a Hachette supporter who's looking to rile up the pro-Amazon authors.


    Offline Caddy

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #152 on: August 09, 2014, 06:13:34 am »
    Is time yet to start with the conspiracy theories?

    Mine: This letter was penned by a Hachette supporter who's looking to rile up the pro-Amazon authors.



    Mine: Both sides have been taken over by aliens from another galaxy who want to destroy all of our work and only allow theirs to be purchased. It's a slow, evil destruction of civilization as we know it. Pretty soon leading ladies and men at the movies will all have three eyes and tentacles...and tentacle port will become cozy romance.
    ALSO WRITING HOT GAY M/M ROMANCE UNDER SIBLEY JACKSON

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    Offline Joe_Nobody

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #153 on: August 09, 2014, 06:15:22 am »
    If we're afraid of competition, then why do so many of us offer help on this forum? Indie books are competition as well.
    Why do we support free books? Why do we help each other? Why do some of us enter our books in Select and KU?

    If Hachette is allowed to earn 70% of books above $9.99, what do you think they're going to do with that extra profit? If I were them, I'd use it to promote my books. I would take the extra money and avalanche a marketing campaign like no other. Do any of us want to compete against that?

    Hachette wants high ebook prices (while still maintaining 70%) to protect their hardback (not paperback) business. It is their highest profit line and the only one where Amazon and indies can't compete. They want that for a reason, and I don't think it's good for me.
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 06:18:01 am by Joe_Nobody »

    Offline ElHawk

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #154 on: August 09, 2014, 06:16:29 am »
    Hell, if Hachette wants to shoot itself in the foot by charging $14.99, let it. It's their funeral.

    Obviously Amazon wants lower ebook prices because it will also make 16% more if it sells 1.74 times more books. But of course, by now I don't want Hachette to win even if I think they ought to go nuts with their pricing if they want to, because then Douglas Preston and James Patterson will spend $104,000 on a NYT ad to talk about how they won and they're revolutionaries and YAY THE 1%!!! and frankly, I effing hate those guys and I want to see egg all over their faces.

    Anyway. Whoever wins or loses, I'm still selling books.


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    Offline Brandon Shire

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #155 on: August 09, 2014, 06:16:40 am »
    Or you've never been a dairy farmer (or any kind of farmer, really).
    Actually, dairy was my very first job. Great respect for them. But those farms are all gone now. Replaced by big corps.
    I haven't thought of them in years. Thanks for that. :) Simpler times back then.


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    Offline dkgould

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #156 on: August 09, 2014, 06:22:26 am »
    I too received the email. If anyone's interested, here's my take:

    One of Paterson's rants asked people to email Bezos and gave his email address. I'm sure several thousand did. I'm also sure it was annoying. I've noted several folks on this thread who were offended at receiving one email. Imagine receiving tens of thousands.

    So this letter asks those that support Amazon to return the favor. I'd do the same thing if I were in Amazon's shoes. I hope the prez at Hachette receives a gadzillion of them. I imagine readers will be brought into this as well. I'd do that too.

    My bottom line is that Amazon has the right to charge, and pay, whatever they want for the product they resell. They act no differently than any reseller on the planet. Big suppliers that deliver in volume get better terms (pre-order buttons and KU exclusions). Mom and pops (read us indies) get different terms. No one has to list their product on Amazon. No one has to accept their deal.

    If you don't think Amazon is worthy of your support, then that's cool. Don't help them.
    If you think Hachette is in the right, then delete the email. Don't shop on Amazon. Delist your books. Vote with your dollar (or BPS or Euro).

    I've already sent off my email to Hachette because I don't agree with their position. 
    See, that's the thing.  Why should I participate in an insult war between two people that I don't know? (or anyone for that matter) This reads like a personal war that's pulling other people in, not even two companies fighting any longer.  So Patterson got a bunch of people to write some hate mail to Jeff Bezos.  Why should I send hate mail back to Michael Pietsch?  It's messed up (in stronger verbage).  If Amazon really wants us to do something, they should be emailing us as customers and laying out their message.  Then they should stop carrying the Hachette books and in addition ask customers not to purchase them (and the reasons for that). 

    I DO support lower prices for ebooks.  And just in case there's anyone left who isn't mad at me, I hope someday that indie prices rise and trad pub prices lower until there's no longer any distinction between them.  I don't want people reading my books just because they are cheaper, I want people to read my books because they are BETTER.  And if they aren't, if they can't compete, then I don't belong in this job.  Period.  So I DO support what Amazon is trying to do, but I don't understand how using authors as a personal army in a flame war is going to help them achieve it.

    Offline AngryGames

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #157 on: August 09, 2014, 06:26:54 am »
    Listen, let's put a stop to this "Amazon is feeling pressure" or "Amazon is losing the upper hand" bs right now.

    Amazon has every single card in this dispute. EVERY. SINGLE. CARD. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the most important aspect of this question:

    1. Hachette, at the instant I hit post on this reply, pulls ALL of their books from Amazon. Instantly. Does this affect Amazon? No. Sure, they'll lose some revenue, but that's not the same as losing money. A product that they were simply a storefront/distributor for is gone from their virtual and warehouse shelves. Ho-hum. They'll make it up in other areas. And to be realistic, Hachette's book sales account for very little of Amazon's overall sales (no, I don't have actual sales audit figures, but I've seen the millions of products Amazon has for sale, and there's no way Hachette books make up more than a single percentage point of sales).

    2. Amazon decides, at the time of this post, to stop carrying all Hachette books. Period. None. Does this affect Hachette (and more importantly, Hachette authors)?
    You %#@$#@-A right it does. It would be a very serious financial hit on both the company, and the authors. Hachette relies heavily on the volume of sales they do at Amazon. Amazon can easily survive without Hachette books being sold. Hachette would have a very hard time surviving without Amazon's storefront and customer base.

    Advantage: Amazon. Completely. Amazon knows this.

    I mean, I don't even have to carry the argument any further. Hachette is in a fight for its life, and the other publishers know that what happens with Hachette will likely happen with them. Only Randy Penguin has any real clout, and even they can't force Amazon's hand, because again, Amazon can survive just fine without them. And other publishers, they all know they need Amazon a lot more than the Zon needs them.  WHEN Hachette fails and has to eat whatever Amazon feeds them, the rest of the publishers will see the truth of the matter.

    Now, don't go telling me I've got my tongue so far up Amazon's butthole that I taste sunlight. It doesn't matter how I feel about Amazon. Look at the imbalance in power between Amazon and any of these publishers. Again, Amazon holds all the cards. They are not worried. They are not paranoid. They are not afraid of negative PR. Because no one gives a [crap] about this other than authors, publishers, Amazon, and some media outlets (and only when it's a slow news day).

    Oh, Amazon isn't carrying some publisher's (because who the %#@$ knows the names of publishers other than those of us in the industry?) books? I'll just go ahead and order my case of Brawny paper towels, a new fishing pole, one truck tire (don't ask why I only need one truck tire), and a box of thin mints. I'll also, just like my neighbors and everyone else that shops on Amazon, keep buying the books that Amazon DOES carry. If we really want a Hachette book, we'll buy it from B&N or some other website or retail store.

    Because Amazon KNOWS that customers are not going to stop shopping at their website simply because they are in a spat with a publisher (again, who the [expletive] knows the names of publishers other than us? No one). Again, advantage: Amazon. Completely.

    If you want, I can go into why pre-order buttons don't hurt authors, and other rants I left at TPV.

    Better yet, I'll just repeat what I said earlier, because I'm still unable to grasp exactly why the shock and outrage that authors are feeling about this:

    Quote
    Funny, I see it (Amazon's letter to authors) as the exact opposite. It's Amazon doing a mirror image of what Hachette did by asking the AG and Patterson and Colbert to shill for big publishing. I think it's meant to say "hey, you got like... 600 authors to sign your little petition to us, yet self-pub authors got 7500+ to sign theirs, so let's see what happens when we copy something else you've done."

    I'm interested in seeing what happens. I have no idea why any author would be shocked or angered at receiving this email. You sell your books through Amazon. This concerns authors. Maybe not you, since you don't have a trad-pub contract. But it affects authors, regardless. Hence, you get an email when something concerns authors.

    Why the surprise and dismay? Delete it and move on with your life, or write to Amazon and complain, or write to Hachette and complain, but don't pretend to be shocked and outraged that the company you sell your books through thinks since you are an author, you might have an interest in this situation. No one is that naive. Are they?

    Also, this email came to me at the email address that is solely for receiving KDP communications. Looks legit, but I think I'll wait for Konrath to say something (or Howey, or someone who might have an inside contact within KDP to verify this is a legit email to us.
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    Offline Cherise

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #158 on: August 09, 2014, 06:27:45 am »
    Why would I write to Hachette and ask them to lower their ebook prices to a level where they compete with my books?

    I say, the higher their prices, the better!   



    This is how I see it, too.


    I was one of the 7600 who signed the original petition. I signed it to let the public know Amazon was not some big bad meanie and in hopes of keeping our overzealous government from stepping in and shutting Amazon down.

    I am not in the least inclined to write to some big 5 publisher and beg them to lower their ebook prices. That is against my self interest.

    Offline Daizie

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #159 on: August 09, 2014, 06:27:53 am »
    Out of curiosity, for those posting saying that they find this disturbing, how is this move wildly different to Hachette enlisting their authors to blog, tweet, email, write newspaper pieces or drop anti-Amazon bombs on TV shows?

    Is it just the request that you consider getting involved disturbing?

    Amazon should just pull the buy buttons for Hachette and be done with it. I imagine negotiations would restart pretty quick if that happened.

    Because Hachette asks THEIR authors. The authors they invested in, whose book launches they paid for, whose book tours they organised.

    The only thing Amazon does for us is proved a service (a handy one, to be sure), but we pay Amazon a commission for selling our books. We are not Amazon's authors.

    Exactly. We have nothing to do with the negotiations or either company's stance. Why would some CEO care what a bunch of indie authors think?


    Offline beccaprice

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #160 on: August 09, 2014, 06:39:03 am »
    I intend to write Hachette, but I'm not sure how many of Amazon's talking points I'm going to use.

    I'm going to say something like, go ahead. Sell your ebooks for $19.95, and your hardbacks for $40. Double - no, tripple - the price of all your books (especially your children's books, please). Because the more people can't afford your books, the more likely they will be to look at my independently published books.

    and please, while you're at it, lower your already unconscionably low rate that you pay your midlist and other authors who aren't in the gilded 1%. Because, as Princess Leia said, The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin Hachette, the more star systems authors will slip through your fingers and join the indy world. Can you survive on just the top 1% of authors who claim to be "authors united" (although they don't speak for me), as more and more strong but not top selling authors realize how much more money they can make by going indy? You can keep your Prestons and Pattersons. I"ll stay with Courtney Milan and other favorite indy writers.

    Offline Andrew Ashling

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #161 on: August 09, 2014, 06:47:22 am »
    At least is doesn't say, "All your ebook are belong to us."

    Bu they do say, "The Hachette is a lie."












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    Offline Error404

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #162 on: August 09, 2014, 06:49:46 am »
    After reading the email and this thread, my initial reaction of anger towards the email remains.  I didn't give them that email so they could mail me propaganda, and I don't believe we should put the control of prices for ebooks into the hands of the one who distributes them.  If that's the way it's done win other sectors of distribution, fine, but not in a sector where I'd like to set my own prices.

    And as others have said, if they cared about every author they wouldn't be giving perks to the honored few or forcing us into exclusivity contracts to get into their programs.

    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #163 on: August 09, 2014, 06:50:50 am »
    Here is the letter I sent to the Amazon address on readersunited.com:

    # # #

    Dear Amazon:

    I read the "readersunited.com" page and noticed the comment thread about your letter on both ThePassiveVoice.com and Kboards.com. While I am not sure if this is truly an Amazon effort or just a spoof, my comment assumes (for the sake of argument) that this is a legit letter on Amazon's behalf.

    Please, please give in to Hachette and give them what they think they want. Allow them to price their books at outrageous prices. Let the rest of the Big 6 follow suit. Adopt a standard wholesale model where you pay them their wholesale cost and sell books at the retail price they want. Don't discount them. In fact, refuse to discount them.

    And simply allow the magic of the "you might also like" and "customers also bought" algorithms to direct readers to books by other authors that are more reasonably priced.

    There are an incredible number of independent authors who write exceptional books and who are much more reasonably priced. They will gladly fill the vacuum created by the foolishness of the traditional publishers.

    Give Hachette what it wants and allow them to be hoist on their own petard as their sales plummet. And then you can simply say, "We gave them what they wanted. It's not our fault that they choose not to be competitive."

    # # #

    Now, as for Amazon having ALL of the cards -- not entirely true IMHO

    1) The Big 6 could all pull out of the Amazon store. Then the Amazon stores looks pretty sparse and Amazon is likely to lose a ton of momentum, especially if the major publishers stay in B&N, Apple & Kobo.

    All it takes is for one publisher to do it on their own and the others can follow suit over the course of a couple of days or weeks. It would be hard to prove a case for collusion -- all the companies have to do is publicly state that they will not do business with a company that bullies them. You can't be forced to sell your product to anyone you don't want to -- you have the right to refuse to sell if you can't come to terms.

    (Of course, that means the Big 6 need to have a backup plan for selling their books...which I doubt they have. And even if they did have one, I am absolutely certain that they would bungle any direct sale effort in amazing and profound ways.)

    2) Remember that most of the Big 6 are owned by Big Media companies -- Time-Warner, Disney, Fox, etc. We are talking not just books, but DVDs, ondemand video, music, basically any form of media in the world -- if the parent companies decided to strong arm Amazon or pull their products from Amazon, it would be a BIG problem for Amazon.
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 06:58:05 am by BillSmithBooksDotCom »
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    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #164 on: August 09, 2014, 06:52:44 am »
    An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos and Amazon:

    Got your email. Won't do anything you've asked. I have no dog in this fight. I don't expect you to ask Hachette to interfere with us when you update the TOS I sign to have you distribute my books, so why should I interfere in this? Please do not include me in any future negotiations in contract disputes with your suppliers.

    Thanks.

    Ta,

    Indie Author

    I appreciate the role Amazon has played in the ebook revolution, but it would have happened at some point anyway. I don't dislike Amazon. I'm sorry traditionally published authors are getting screwed, but they signed the contracts. They can get lawyers to negotiate those contracts. I either sign Amazon's TOS or I don't. That's it.


    Offline Joe_Nobody

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #165 on: August 09, 2014, 06:53:53 am »
    See, that's the thing.  Why should I participate in an insult war between two people that I don't know? (or anyone for that matter)

    A valid, understandable point. My logic for taking sides is that I do business with Amazon, I don't with Hachette. For better or worse, Amazon is my partner. Like Mrs. Nobody (another partner), we don't always agree. But it works, and now my partner is asking for my help.

    Even at that, I agree with Amazon's position more-so than Hachette's. If I didn't, I wouldn't have sent the email. Neither corporation is a saint by any means. Neither cares about me. My bottom line is that I could be impacted if Amazon looses and the result is a significant change in their business model. If Hachette looses, then I could care less.

    Offline Catchy

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #166 on: August 09, 2014, 06:55:17 am »
    I got one too. I have never published an e-book on Amazon (I had a publisher who did years and years ago), and I've never purchased a Kindle product. Not sure how I made that list.

    Offline 75845

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #167 on: August 09, 2014, 06:56:42 am »
    Amazon has been losing the PR war from the day they broke their silence and informed us that Hachette were not even negotiating and were out of contract. No amount of fan fervour can spin that into Hachette needs Amazon.

     It is not economics that makes Amazon need Hachette it is Bezos' compulsive drive for market share over profits. If he lets Hachette go the institutional shareholders will want to know why they have foregone dividends for the promise of worldwide domination by the Everything Store.

    Listen, let's put a stop to this "Amazon is feeling pressure" or "Amazon is losing the upper hand" bs right now.

    Amazon has every single card in this dispute. EVERY. SINGLE. CARD. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the most important aspect of this question:

    Amazon can easily survive without Hachette books being sold. Hachette would have a very hard time surviving without Amazon's storefront and customer base.

    Advantage: Amazon. Completely. Amazon knows this.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #168 on: August 09, 2014, 06:58:55 am »
    I'm neither shocked, nor annoyed, nor elated, nor anything really.

    Amazon has outlined its position on the same day the NYT ad from the Preston camp is going out (and a day after a hilarious puff piece on Preston in the NYT). One PR move countered by another, as has been the case for a few weeks. Don't see the big deal.


    Amazon mentions YOU in the email!

    That has to feel like a big deal on at least some level, David.  ;)

    Offline Rick Gualtieri

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #169 on: August 09, 2014, 07:15:04 am »
    A valid, understandable point. My logic for taking sides is that I do business with Amazon, I don't with Hachette. For better or worse, Amazon is my partner. Like Mrs. Nobody (another partner), we don't always agree. But it works, and now my partner is asking for my help.

    Even at that, I agree with Amazon's position more-so than Hachette's. If I didn't, I wouldn't have sent the email. Neither corporation is a saint by any means. Neither cares about me. My bottom line is that I could be impacted if Amazon looses and the result is a significant change in their business model. If Hachette looses, then I could care less.

    Pretty much sums up my thoughts as well.


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    Offline Cherise

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #170 on: August 09, 2014, 07:20:49 am »
    I blame the Russian hackers. They stole 1.2 billion passwords and 500 million e-mail addresses. Since there has been no widespread looting of bank accounts it's now clear what their target was all along.


    Good one!

    Offline Alondo

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #171 on: August 09, 2014, 07:26:10 am »
    Here is the letter I sent to the Amazon address on readersunited.com:

    # # #

    Dear Amazon:

    I read the "readersunited.com" page and noticed the comment thread about your letter on both ThePassiveVoice.com and Kboards.com. While I am not sure if this is truly an Amazon effort or just a spoof, my comment assumes (for the sake of argument) that this is a legit letter on Amazon's behalf.

    Please, please give in to Hachette and give them what they think they want. Allow them to price their books at outrageous prices. Let the rest of the Big 6 follow suit. Adopt a standard wholesale model where you pay them their wholesale cost and sell books at the retail price they want. Don't discount them. In fact, refuse to discount them.

    And simply allow the magic of the "you might also like" and "customers also bought" algorithms to direct readers to books by other authors that are more reasonably priced.

    There are an incredible number of independent authors who write exceptional books and who are much more reasonably priced. They will gladly fill the vacuum created by the foolishness of the traditional publishers.

    Give Hachette what it wants and allow them to be hoist on their own petard as their sales plummet. And then you can simply say, "We gave them what they wanted. It's not our fault that they choose not to be competitive."

    # # #

    Now, as for Amazon having ALL of the cards -- not entirely true IMHO

    1) The Big 6 could all pull out of the Amazon store. Then the Amazon stores looks pretty sparse and Amazon is likely to lose a ton of momentum, especially if the major publishers stay in B&N, Apple & Kobo.

    All it takes is for one publisher to do it on their own and the others can follow suit over the course of a couple of days or weeks. It would be hard to prove a case for collusion -- all the companies have to do is publicly state that they will not do business with a company that bullies them. You can't be forced to sell your product to anyone you don't want to -- you have the right to refuse to sell if you can't come to terms.

    (Of course, that means the Big 6 need to have a backup plan for selling their books...which I doubt they have. And even if they did have one, I am absolutely certain that they would bungle any direct sale effort in amazing and profound ways.)

    2) Remember that most of the Big 6 are owned by Big Media companies -- Time-Warner, Disney, Fox, etc. We are talking not just books, but DVDs, ondemand video, music, basically any form of media in the world -- if the parent companies decided to strong arm Amazon or pull their products from Amazon, it would be a BIG problem for Amazon.

    Kudos to you, bro!
    The Lodestone Series of Science Fiction
              

    Offline Josh St. John

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #172 on: August 09, 2014, 07:27:22 am »
    So... just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly.

    Amazon wants me to email a huge publishing company that I: hate the values of (hence, being indie and all), and that I'm going to be competing against in an already over-saturated marketplace, to tell them that I want them to LOWER the prices of their eBooks?

    I am at a total loss of why this was sent to SELF-publishers. I think what Amazon has done for indies has been an amazingly awesome thing. We're SELF-publishers because we DON'T want to deal with this BS.

    Sorry Amazon, I'm not grabbing my broadsword to fight in a battle that'll most likely end up in me accidentally chopping my own head off.

    This should have been sent to... uh... I dunno... maybe... customers? Yeah... customers.


    Josh St. John | jstjWrites.com | Facebook | Twitter

    Offline SunHi Mistwalker

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #173 on: August 09, 2014, 07:37:21 am »
    Uhm, yeah I got the letter. And if it is in fact legit, I am VERY annoyed to say the least. I did not signup for KDP to be sent letters like this. I don't want to be involved with their disputes. And I'm furious that the letter is so long, that's MY time. When I receive a letter from KDP I expect that it is official business not them trying to make me a pawn in their war. I'm just hoping this letter is not legit. Who would come up with an idea like this?  >:(
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 07:41:11 am by SunHi Mistwalker »
     
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    Offline btsc99

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #174 on: August 09, 2014, 07:42:44 am »
    I have replied to the Email as follows :-

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    As a "KDP Author" I am requesting a copy of my employment contract.

    Thanks in advance.

    KBoards.com

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