Author Topic: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette  (Read 35274 times)  

Offline Al Dente

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Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
« Reply #175 on: August 09, 2014, 07:43:28 am »
I also just got the letter. I don't stick my nose into anything other than a good book these days, so I'm staying out of this particular war.

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    Offline Lucas

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #176 on: August 09, 2014, 07:47:28 am »
    I don't know what to think about this. There are various parts of my brain and each one of them are shouting something (I think they're my conscience).
    1st part: Let writers write. I'm a fracking writer, not a business man. SHEESH!
    2nd part: Yes you're a writer but you never heard of Hachette because its name hasn't reached your country until this corporation wars. You've only heard of Amazon.
    3rd part: Let Hachette do their thing, you know the sayings: 'adapt or die' & 'survival of the fittest'
    4th part: Most of your income comes from Amazon. And you never heard of Hachette, right? (until this... this dispute) Stand for amazon, have some balls and do what they requested you to do!
    5th part: Let the readers decide, like what 3rd's said: survival of the fittest.
    6th part: But do readers care about this? I mean... do they? If I'm a reader I don't care if they shoot themselves on the foot.
    7th part: Remember Henry Ford who proved his cars are better against the company who had patented automobiles. Stand for something, I don't care what something, just stand.

    I think I'm on amazon on this...
    History does repeats itself, maybe in another form and in another way, but it does repeat itself. Remember the Dark ages and the printing press.






    Offline abishop

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #177 on: August 09, 2014, 07:57:11 am »
    Hachette could not care less what KDP authors think about their dispute.  They care primarily about shareholders and to a lesser degree their own authors.  Your e-mail to Hachette will not bring the dispute any closer to being resolved, and Amazon has to know that.  They're basically asking parties unrelated to the dispute to try to annoy the other party.  That's incredibly unprofessional.

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    Offline Wolfpack

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #178 on: August 09, 2014, 08:00:42 am »
    I wonder how many in this forum would have never had their voice heard if not for Amazon.

    Here' my letter to Pietsch

    Dear Mr. Pietsch:  Having been involved in publishing in one way or another for 30 years I've seen lots of changes in the industry.  Having written for both legacy publishers and self-publishing I'm more than only slightly aware of the problems faced by both approaches.  I'm also aware of the dangers of any one company having a monopoly or even a majority share of the market place in any industry.  That said, as a former mid-list author in a genre, westerns, I can testify that both the author and the genre were shuttled aside--and not due to a disinterest from buyers of western fiction.  Part of the problem as I see it was the fact legacy publishers went with the flow, moved into the easy markets, such as romance.  And I don't mean easy from a writer's craft standpoint, but easy as a huge market is probably more easily penetrated than a small market is dominated.  I formed a company a year or so ago because I saw a void left by legacy publishers, such as yourself and your company, and am pleased to report that we're selling lots of books...so, thanks for leaving mid-list writers such as myself an opportunity to again work in an industry that many of us are driven to follow.  I'm sending four figure monthly checks to authors who found themselves out of the market for many recent years.  A market that many of us were driven out of due to legacy publisher disinterest.  Then again, my thanks should be directed to Amazon as they are the ones who offered the opportunity to pierce the iron curtain that was formerly cost of participation.  I understand that there is a lot of inferior product now available to readers, but when in a free enterprise system has there not been, be it widgets or books?  One of the wonderful things about our system is freedom of choice, and, now, more than ever before, readers have that freedom.  I personally love the opportunity to make a living by offering my own work, and that of more than twenty other authors, at very low prices. So, ease up on Amazon.  Freedom of choice, remember?  If you don't like what they're doing, invest lots of capital and carve a notch out of their market.  L. J. Martin, Wolfpack Publishing LLC
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 08:05:33 am by Wolfpack »

    Offline valeriec80

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #179 on: August 09, 2014, 08:11:55 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.

    See, I don't see Amazon as my partner. Because things between Amazon and me are not equal. Amazon does not need me. Amazon would not even notice if I pulled all my books and stopped selling them. I need Amazon far more than it needs me. So, we're not partners. Not even close.

    Logically, though, I should suck up to the hand that's feeding me. But, some stubborn, adolescent part of me wants to give Amazon the finger right now. I'm not totally sure why, I admit. The fact remains, the request rubs me the wrong way, it doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy toward Amazon, and it seems like lots of other people had the same reaction as me. So, I'd say bad PR move, all told.

    Offline 77071

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #180 on: August 09, 2014, 08:13:18 am »
    I just got this email and it concerned and unnerved me.  Bad vibes, man.   :-( 

    If this was on Joe Konrath's blog, which it appeared to be at least partially cribbed from to me, I would be OK with it.  I still wouldn't email any company, though.  This seemed weirdly unprofessional and not like the Amazon I've come to rely on. 

    They are my bread and butter, but I am not interested in this dispute except as a curiosity.  I do not want to be hauled into the fight or whatever this is.  I hope that Amazon resolves its issues without having to contact me again in such a seemingly-unprofessional manner.

    I wish them well, and I want nothing but good for Amazon, a company I rely on and trust and that helps me earn a living.  But getting this email still concerns me.  It seems, well, un-Amazon-like.  :-(

    And personally, 8 dollars is my TOP limit for fiction lately.  Very top.  Why would I want to get involved in a price dispute above what I'd pay or sell for?

    Offline NoLongerPosting

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #181 on: August 09, 2014, 08:14:52 am »
    Removed due to site owner's change of TOS.
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 09:08:09 am by Rickie Blair »


    Offline Carradee

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #182 on: August 09, 2014, 08:16:44 am »
    Let's assume the e-mail's legit. I see the e-mail as Amazon giving Hachette the benefit of the doubt. Oh, there's the PR part of it, and the countering what Hachette's done. But look at the talking points they suggest.

    Quote
    Please consider including these points:

    - We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
    - Lowering e-book prices will help not hurt the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
    - Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazons offers to take them out of the middle.
    - Especially if youre an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

    The specific talking points are direct disproof to misinformation/disinformation that Hachette & co. are spreading. They're even phrased politely, without being nearly as harsh or pointed as they could've been. It reads as someone graciously attempting to give a pointed reminder to save someone from themselves. It rarely works. But sometimes

    The e-mail doesn't say "Tell Hachette to roll over and accept all our terms!" It explicitly sticks to historic precedent and fact, except for the "Stop using your authors as leverage"which, if you read the entire sentence, is referring to Hachette's repeated refusal to let the authors keep making money as if the dispute isn't happen. Amazon's made 3 different offers, on that front. They aren't stupid. They know how those authors' careers are being affected.

    Amazon might even be operating with a hope that Hachette will respond to the tactics it itself uses, since classic professionalism isn't working. (As far as the e-mail itself being unprofessional or notthere are different types of professionalism. The e-mail is a polite request and well within the realm of acceptable.)

    While Amazon would've been well within its rights to kick Hachette from its system months ago, the PR backlash would've been horrific. With how loudly Hachette (and media) started yelling "Bully" over the loss of the pre-order buttons, how much worse would it have been if they were kicked from the system? I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon's working up to kicking Hachette from its system just as holiday sales would start up.

    I'm still deciding if I'll e-mail Hachette or not, but if I do, it'll be pointing out their own hypocrisy on details like their calls to have their authors pulled out of the middle while refusing to accept anything that would pull their authors out of the middle. I may even mention that it's a red flag of intentionally manipulative and toxic behavior. My goal there would be reminding Hachette that not all authors support them and that their actions disprove their words.

    If Hachette wants to commit suicide, fine. I honestly don't care which company wins in the pricing debate. The market always changes. That's life. I'm not going to go grasping to keep the status quo. (My personality probably affects thisI thrive on change.)
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    Offline cinisajoy

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    Re: Readers United
    « Reply #183 on: August 09, 2014, 08:21:21 am »
    Reader opinion.
    I don't worry who publishes the book.  I don't care about pre-orders.   (How can I be sure the book will be out when promised?)   And as long as I have something to read I will be happy.
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

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    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #184 on: August 09, 2014, 08:28:24 am »
    I like trade publishers keeping their prices sky high on ebooks. I don't think Amazon should be dictating prices to them. However, I don't think publishers should collude on pricing, or lie about Amazon not selling their books when in actuality all they did was take away pre-order buttons. When my books hit bestseller lists it's because people actually did buy the books on that day, and did not have 4-6 months of orders all fall in on one day, so I'm not upset because they lost this perk from not re-signing their contract.
    Also, on taking 2-3 weeks for delivery of books: Again, it's not Amazon's fault Hachette is not set up for real-time delivery. This is a perk they get from having a signed contract.

    I hope they do keep their prices high. Amazon can keep featuring us lower priced indies, and charge the big boys more for add placement on their high priced stuff. I think this could be a win-win if Amazon would just leave price points be.
    OR
    Amazon could offer those trade authors much higher *royalties* (compensation) and "buy" them away from the publishers.
     
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    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #185 on: August 09, 2014, 08:28:31 am »
    I got my Amazon-Hachette letter today. Ooh, I feel so important now! Too bad I'm not gonna do squat about it.

    I'm not paying this war any mind because I'm still a nobody, but from what I skimmed, I'm of the opinion that you can't force someone to lower the price of their merchandise. It's a free market. If they want to make ludicrously expensive books, then let them. If there are people who will buy those books at those prices, then let them. If that pricing starts to tank their company, then they'll lower prices themselves. If they don't, then they'll go the way of Blockbuster for not adapting to the times.

    I dunno. Maybe I should care more, or would care more if I actually made money off my books, but right now I'm still grinding my way past the first year published checkpoint. The last thing on my mind is a clash of the titans remake in the online publishing world.

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    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #186 on: August 09, 2014, 08:30:12 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.

    ^^ THIS.

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    Offline SarahCarter

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #187 on: August 09, 2014, 08:31:05 am »
    I can kind of see Amazon's point of view here. After all, Hatchette is being supported by all these big authors who are signing petitions and making a fuss on their behalf. So of course Amazon wants some author support of its own. Heck, for all we know Hachette is sending similar emails to its authors, asking them to be vocal in their support.

    But...I think it just comes off as kind of desperate for them to email EVERYONE. And I think it's a bit naff to ask us to email them. The Hatchette people are probably going to fall off their chairs laughing if small-fry authors like myself start emailing them with suggestions for how they run their company. I think Amazon should have simply requested support in the form of petitions and media awareness.


    Offline Mike McIntyre

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #188 on: August 09, 2014, 08:31:16 am »
    Anyone else creeped out by Amazon's request to c.c. them your emails to Hachette? Reminded me of Santa making a list and checking it twice to find out who's naughty or nice.

    Mike McIntyre

    Offline Jan Strnad

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #189 on: August 09, 2014, 08:32:53 am »
    Here is the letter I sent to the Amazon address on readersunited.com:

    # # #

    Dear Amazon:

    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."


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    Offline SarahCarter

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #190 on: August 09, 2014, 08:34:44 am »
    Anyone else creeped out by Amazon's request to c.c. them your emails to Hachette? Reminded me of Santa making a list and checking it twice to find out who's naughty or nice.

    Yeah, I found that part a bit weird. I think maybe they're after good quotes.


    Offline Duane Gundrum

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #191 on: August 09, 2014, 08:35:18 am »
    Yeah, like many others, I got two copies of this letter today. My only response was to come here to see what others had to say about the issue. Other than that, I really don't care. I'm not involved in their dispute in any way. Hatchett would NEVER have anything to do with me, so an email from me would be like asking out Shania Twain for a date. I could do it, but it's never going to result in any positive response.

    My only gripe in this whole fight is that I'm sort of annoyed that Amazon is trying to use me as some kind of leverage when I'm such an unimportant cog in a wheel that hasn't ever turned.

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    Offline Victoria J

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #192 on: August 09, 2014, 08:35:29 am »
    The email looks legit to me. I agree with Amazon's side of things. I don't see the big deal in all of this. I'm not emailing the Hachette CEO (I've got better things to do) but I certainly don't find the letter nefarious or disturbing. If people don't agree with what's said in the letter, delete it and move on.

    Offline Rick Gualtieri

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #193 on: August 09, 2014, 08:38:57 am »
    Here's what I sent.  (apologies for any typos or grammar issues...<7AM is not my most coherent moments :).  I made it more about my points as a person than any boiler plates.

    ************************

    Dear Mr. Pietsch,

    I hope this email finds you well.  I am writing because one of your authors, Douglas Preston, has recently garnered a lot of press asking readers to email Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos regarding the availability of Hachette books on their website.  I am writing to you instead because, while I have been a great fan of Mr. Preston's for many years, I feel his efforts only capture half of the argument.  Books should be available to those who wish to read them, but they should be fairly priced.

    I have been a reader of Mr. Preston (and his writing partner Lincoln Child) ever since their debut novel.  However, I have found myself shying away from their new releases for quite some time, well before your current negotiations with Amazon.com.  The reason for this is simple: as much of a fan of any author I might be, I find myself hesitant to invest over ten dollars for an ebook.

    I have been a proponent of Amazon's Kindle since the beginning. I was an early adopter, purchasing a first generation Kindle reader for my wife on the heavy recommendation of a coworker. I'll admit, at the time it was a bit of a desperation purchase for me, not knowing what to get her that year, but that soon changed.  I found myself greatly enjoying both the experience of ebooks and the convenience of purchasing them from the comfort of wherever we might have been.  For a time, though, the Kindle remained a bit of an odd luxury because there simply weren't a great deal of authors available on it. Then things changed.  It seems that almost overnight I began finding more and more books available on the Kindle that were to my liking.  Slowly, I began to branch out my tastes - consuming novels by authors I had previously never heard of, such as JA Konrath and William Meikle.  Best yet was my joy in realizing that many of these books were priced very reasonably, under five dollars.  I remember purchasing five dollar paperbacks as a teen from such stores as B. Dalton and Walden books, but it had been quite some time since I had been able to enjoy a novel at a price where I didn't think twice about picking up another immediately.  Needless to say, since then, our number of Kindle purchases has been considerable.

    Today, I am happy to still consider myself a fan of Amazon and their ebook technology.  In addition to that, these other - previously unknown to me - authors inspired me to rekindle an old love of my own - writing.  I wrote many stories back in college, stopping once life, family, and career got in the way.  Flash forward three years and I now find myself an independent author with nearly a dozen books and tens of thousands of sales under my belt - a dream come true, if you will.  Regardless, I have never forgotten my own early days as a Kindle owner and the subsequent joy of discovery I felt. As such, I've made it a point to always keep my novels reasonably priced so that I too might be able to bring a smile to a reader's face at a fair value.

    As a reader, I can tell you I look forward to once again hungrily devouring Mr. Preston's new releases should they ever be priced competitively for the Kindle.  As an author, though,  I would ask you to think about the multitude of writers under your wing, specifically those who aren't as fortunate as Mr. Preston.  If there are any real victims in this struggle, it's them.  Mr. Preston has started a movement called Authors United, but I can assure you that is not the case.  That said, what many of us want is very simple: fairness - fair pricing for our dear readers, fair compensation for our hard work, and a fair chance to succeed in this already difficult profession. I don't think that's too much to hope for.

    I ask you to consider these things as you move forward in your negotiations with Amazon.com.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Gualtieri - reader and author.


    Making fantasy fun again, one corpse at a time
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    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #194 on: August 09, 2014, 08:40:05 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?

    Because we're stupid or we are generally more interested in the greater good?

    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?



    They've made it clear what they will do with the extra money during their investors meeting. Pay higher payouts to their investors. It's all about the stock, baby.

    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.

    I disagree. Shipping costs are only going up. Hard copies will be too expensive to invest in shortly. This younger generation is migrating to reading on smartphones. Phablets are the new thing, the last thing kids want to do is lug around a hardback.  Amazon is correct when they say books are competing against all social media, not just books anymore.

    Part of my reading time is now spent reading blog posts, not just "books."

     
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    Offline FictionalWriter

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #195 on: August 09, 2014, 08:42:45 am »
    THE HEIST by Daniel Silva is currently #27 in the Kindle Store. It's selling for $13.99.

    While avid readers may not buy ebooks priced at over a certain dollar amount, that is not true for everyone. And I think anyone who wants to pay $13.99 for Daniel's latest book should have every right to do so.

    When we talk about these high priced ebooks, when it comes to fiction, we're talking predominantly about the bestsellers. The James Pattersons, Nora Roberts, John Grishams and J.K. Rowlings. Those are the authors whose books are priced that high. And they sell millions. And the gross of their sales are huge.

    If these guys, who sell millions of copies of their books, can get readers to part with over $9.99 for their ebooks, I say good for them. How many of us wouldn't like to be in the situation where our books could not only command but GET that kind of money.


    Offline beccaprice

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #196 on: August 09, 2014, 08:47:24 am »
    all the higher prices will do is drive up piracy.

    Offline josielitton

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #197 on: August 09, 2014, 08:57:01 am »
    THE HEIST by Daniel Silva is currently #27 in the Kindle Store. It's selling for $13.99.

    With apologies for the tangent, can someone help me understand why any publisher lists a book for more than 9.99 on Amazon given that the royalty percentage drops to half (35% rather than 70%).  Why not make $7.00 on a $9.99 book instead of $4.90 on a $14.00 book?  What am I missing?  Are the traditional publishers paid on a different royalty scale?  Or is this all about supporting the hardcover price?

    Offline Jena H

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    Re: Readers United
    « Reply #198 on: August 09, 2014, 08:57:21 am »
    Readers United. Heh. If this is legit, I think Amazon and Hachette are both overestimating how much readers actually care about not being able to pre-order a few books.

    Maybe this is an important fight for writers and other industry pros, but readers will keep on reading no matter what.

    Totally agree.  Vast majority of average or casual readers don't care in the least (or are even aware) who publishes the books they read, how they're published, etc.  As long as the book appears on Amazon, and then gets in their hands when they hit the "buy" button, that's all that matters.  Yes, there are readers who are very active and aware and on Goodreads, etc., but even Goodreads readers are a minority in the ranks of all readers.
    Jena

    Offline Colin

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #199 on: August 09, 2014, 09:01:48 am »
    .....Hatchett would NEVER have anything to do with me, so an email from me would be like asking out Shania Twain for a date. I could do it, but it's never going to result in any positive response.

    You're right, Duane. I emailed her and she replied, 'That Don't Impress Me Much.'

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