Author Topic: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette  (Read 35790 times)  

Offline dianasg

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Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
« Reply #200 on: August 09, 2014, 09:02:00 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.

This.

Speaking as a reader, I want readers to have affordable books. I want them not to feel like someone's taken them for a ride when they spend $14.99 on an ebook (because the physical paperback costs basically the same thing).

If that same book is $9.99, that's $5 extra dollars that could go to an affordable indie title.

Zon said it: The pie is simply bigger.

Regardless, I think it is inevitable that someday, yes, indies will have to compete on more than just price. But I also think there are many indies who are MORE than capable of doing so.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 09:04:54 am by DianaGabriel »

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    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #201 on: August 09, 2014, 09:03:08 am »
    Ebookbargainsuk really don't like Amazon's letter. Whoa! muhahahaah! I just saw it mentioned on Passive Guy's blog.

    Offline Desmond X. Torres

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #202 on: August 09, 2014, 09:06:49 am »
    Was surprised when I first read the letter because Amazon isn't exactly known for airing their laundry in public so to speak. But reading it again, I'm not sure why it's disturbing.

    Amazon is simply presenting their position on the conflict to their business partners (us) and asking for their business partners' support. That seems reasonable given that Hachette's position has been all over the internet along with calls to email Bezos directly and give him what-for.

    Actually, one of the things I often hear Amazon slammed for is their reticence to make their affairs public knowledge, so maybe they've heard those complaints and are trying to do better at letting their partners know what is going on?
    ^^^^
    This.
    I haven't formulated my thoughts yet for adding my two cents, but frankly, I think I'm being asked to pick a side and take a stand. And I'm cool with that. My relationship with Amazon has changed my life for the better, full stop. What Hachette does as a company... well, ya know.

    Back to reading the rest of the 9 pgs of comments. I'm only on pg 2.

    Offline Desmond X. Torres

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #203 on: August 09, 2014, 09:11:42 am »
    I agree with you entirely. I'm surprised at the hostility and shock some people are expressing that they have been contacted.
    That makes two of us.

    Offline SA_Soule

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #204 on: August 09, 2014, 09:12:29 am »
    The letter was in my Inbox this morning. I have to say that I am on the fence about the issue. If Hachette wants to price their books at higher prices they should be able to. I'm not sure I understand why Amazon cares what price they set for their own titles.

    And this may sound selfish, but with some eBooks listed at higher prices, it allows us self-pubbed/Indie authors that have our books listed at lower prices to gain more sales. If Hachette lowers the price, it means more competition. Does that make sense?

    S. A. Soule

    Offline Donna White Glaser

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #205 on: August 09, 2014, 09:12:53 am »
    Dang it! I had this beautiful, well-thought out post and then accidentally deleted it. Argh!  Going to try to recreate but you know it's NEVER as good as what got deleted.
    Okay.
    I'm sooo conflicted by this. On the one hand, I really don't want to be dragged into the middle of this mess. I have this feeling of disdain because I don't feel like it's any of my business what Hachette and Amazon ultimately wrangle out. And that's an important word: business. Because it really is in my best business interests to let Hachette have its way. In fact, I really *like* that arrogant ignoramuses are busily hacking away at their own ankles with a dull knife. Go for it, guys! And then send all your readers my way.

    If I do have a dog in this fight, it's as a reader, not a writer. I almost would have felt better if Amazon had put out an open letter to readers and asked them to send their opinions on price points to Hachette. As a reader, I'm really angry that the Big 5 are insisting on their rights to GOUGE their customers and CHEAT their authors, to use their own authors to misdirect the readers, and to break the law to get their own way.

    But on the other other hand, I do feel a sort of... shall we say, tenderness? for Amazon. They made my lifelong dream possible. No, they didn't achieve that dream for me. I did that. But they *did* provide the tools to let me publish and reach a large number of readers and they continue to point readers to my work--although not as enthusiastically as I might like them to. :) Because of that and because I disagreed with Hachette's media tactics I signed as one of the 7600 authors in protest to the 900 Prescott/Patterson-ites.  But isn't that enough? I took my stand.

    I'm still on the fence, but I'm leaning toward "I took my stand for Amazon" and I was happy to do it. I really don't mind that Amazon sent me an email. That, to me, is no big deal. The power of the delete button is mighty. But I keep coming back to 1) I did protest publicly already and 2) Hachette's stupidity is to my benefit as an author, if not as a writer. 

    Offline MJWare

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #206 on: August 09, 2014, 09:13:55 am »
    After sleeping on this, I see no incentive in trying to get any of the big publishers to lower their prices. Before the Big publishers realized people wanted to read ebooks, my sales were about 300% higher (this was a time when a lot of Kbords members like Amanda and David G made it big).
    But when the big boys started making their catalogs available in ebook (it was Goosebumps and the Wimpy Kids books that did me in) my sales plummeted.

    I really don't want them lowering their prices on those books. Price advantage is my last advantage at this point.

    Offline wtvr

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #207 on: August 09, 2014, 09:16:10 am »
    That makes two of us.

    Three! Man, there are some itchy trigger fingers around these parts!

    Offline MatthewBallard

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #208 on: August 09, 2014, 09:18:01 am »
    I received the same message this morning.

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    Offline SA_Soule

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #209 on: August 09, 2014, 09:19:22 am »

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

    Ha! I bet, you're right! LOL They would settle the dispute within 24 hours.

    S. A. Soule

    Offline MJWare

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #210 on: August 09, 2014, 09:24:56 am »
    I agree with you entirely. I'm surprised at the hostility and shock some people are expressing that they have been contacted.
    I've only read 4 pages of the current 9 or 10, but I see lots of shock, and a little hostility. I'd agree many of us are surprised at this move, only a minority if the responses are hostile, IMO.

    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #211 on: August 09, 2014, 09:25:17 am »
    I do hope the trades keep prices high. This is a purely selfish thought on my part.
     
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    Offline Desmond X. Torres

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #212 on: August 09, 2014, 09:28:36 am »
    Aww I'm sorry. I didn't mean it to sound THAT way! I meant that I won't make a decision MYSELF until I get a good cross section of opinion in this thread. I'M not important. I don't know you. You could be REALLY important for all I know ;) Seriously, PLEASE don't take offense at my bad wording?
    Uhh... just so ya know Mark (and I'm being serious) I really am curious where you land on this one. I've been reading your posts here for a while, and you're pretty level headed, dude.



    Offline Lehane

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #213 on: August 09, 2014, 09:31:18 am »
    Three! Man, there are some itchy trigger fingers around these parts!
    Exactly how I feel. Amazon isn't forcing its authors to do anything. They aren't using us as leverage -- that's Hachette you're thinking of, who are holding their author's books hostage and telling them Amazon did it. Amazon is just reaching out to find willing voices. Some of us aren't up for putting a dog in this fight and that's *fine*. But as someone who is all for the progress and accessibility of tech in popular culture, I think it made some really fantastic points. These are the types of letters that went down during the days of the internet music revolution, and I sure am pleased with the result of that. Paying $15+ for an e-book where the publishing company still gets a larger piece of that pie than the author? Bullcrap.

    On a more emotional level, I'm just all for telling trad publishers to get off their mountain top and letting their authors know they aren't the most important people on the block. How many self-pubbed authors are on the 'Authors United' thing, again? Yeah.

    It's quite bold of Amazon, but when I tried to find articles for friends about this dispute, there was no shortage of people condemning Amazon. They needed to bite back. They did so with historical backing. Kudos to their PR department for having the cojones to send it.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #214 on: August 09, 2014, 09:32:33 am »
    Dang it! I had this beautiful, well-thought out post and then accidentally deleted it. Argh!  Going to try to recreate but you know it's NEVER as good as what got deleted.



    IF you use the Firefox browser, then you can undo this from the 'edit' dropdown menu next time.  ;D

    Offline Victorine

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #215 on: August 09, 2014, 09:34:33 am »
    If it really is all about being able to discount books, can't Amazon find some loophole somewhere? Instead of offering the books at a discount, can't they offer some kind of Amazon rebate or something, when people buy overpriced books?

    At this point, I think Amazon needs to just say, "Hey, we tried to get ebook prices down. This high price is all Hachette's doing." And then do something that makes customers happy, like offering some kind of reward or rebate for buying books with them.

    But what do I know? I'm just an author.
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    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #216 on: August 09, 2014, 09:36:44 am »
    After sleeping on this, I see no incentive in trying to get any of the big publishers to lower their prices. Before the Big publishers realized people wanted to read ebooks, my sales were about 300% higher (this was a time when a lot of Kbords members like Amanda and David G made it big).
    But when the big boys started making their catalogs available in ebook (it was Goosebumps and the Wimpy Kids books that did me in) my sales plummeted.

    I really don't want them lowering their prices on those books. Price advantage is my last advantage at this point.

    This. I think it is against self publishers' best interests to encourage trade publishers to lower their prices.
     
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    Offline Ethan Jones

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #217 on: August 09, 2014, 09:38:14 am »

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for meand there was no one left to speak for me.

    I already sent an e-mail to Hachette and Amazon about how I feel about their dispute.

    I hope everyone will do that too.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

    Ethan

    Offline 75845

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #218 on: August 09, 2014, 09:42:26 am »
        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Then I sent an email to Hachette who did not have a contract with Amazon and did not know why I was speaking to them.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #219 on: August 09, 2014, 09:43:15 am »
        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

    I already sent an e-mail to Hachette and Amazon about how I feel about their dispute.

    I hope everyone will do that too.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

    Ethan



    Godwin's law...

    Offline Griffin Hayes

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #220 on: August 09, 2014, 09:44:58 am »
    Maybe instead of colluding over book prices, the major trad publishers should have gotten together to create their own version of Amazon. Then pull all their books from A, leaving online shoppers with little choice but to migrate to the new website. Sure they'd lose some money in the short term, but readers will go where the books are.

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    Offline Jan Strnad

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #221 on: August 09, 2014, 09:45:12 am »
    Following Bill Smith's lead, I sent this note back to Amazon:

    Quote
    Here's a better idea:

    1.  Let Hachette price their ebooks however they like.
    2.  Promote cheaper ebooks through also-boughts and featured recommendations
    3.  Let readers decide for themselves what prices they're willing to pay for which authors.

    Jan Strnad
    KDP Author who prices his books at $5.99

    Books are not commodities. They shouldn't be priced the same across the board because some are in more demand than others.

    Amazon should know this since they track sales and adjust prices all the time on other items. The more people who buy an item, the higher the price goes.

    If Hachette's authors are in demand and Hachette can charge more for their ebooks, fine. Let Hachette decide how much to charge... you know, just as we indies do.

    Amazon's wanting me to take sides and now I've gotta say, I'm leaning toward Hachette's POV.

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #222 on: August 09, 2014, 09:49:26 am »

    Offline TuckerAuthor

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #223 on: August 09, 2014, 09:52:16 am »
    I think anyone who wants to start up an Authors' Guild for, or that includes, Indies should be pointed to this thread to show why it will never work. Could there be a more diverse set of opinions created from a letter?

    Getting us to agree on anything would be like herding a country full of cats with no access to catnip, tuna, or milk.

    bardsandsages

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #224 on: August 09, 2014, 09:55:13 am »
    Maybe instead of colluding over book prices,

    This has nothing to do with the contract negotiations and is a red herring. If Amazon is so concerned about Hachette's past "illegal" activities, maybe they should just not be trying to do business with them? Or maybe Hachette should get the unions involved and start dragging the nonsense about Amazon's wages to warehouse workers into the mix. Stuff that has nothing to do with the actual contract shouldn't even be a point of discussion.

    This entire thing is just a train wreck of nonsense on both sides.

    Maybe what we need is a "Sane-people-united" petition, telling BOTH sides to stop acting like drunk parents in the middle of a nasty divorce and get their acts together...

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