Author Topic: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette  (Read 35722 times)  

Offline abishop

  • Status: Jane Austen-10011
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Ottawa
    • View Profile
Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
« Reply #225 on: August 09, 2014, 09:55:47 am »
I fully understand why many people here want lower priced e-books (I do too).  I don't understand why any self-published author believes they need to insert themselves into a business negotiation that they are not a party to.

Adam Bishop | Web | Twitter

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline JETaylor

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1103
    • Gender: Female
    • Tolland, CT
      • View Profile
      • My Website
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #226 on: August 09, 2014, 09:56:14 am »
    Did anyone send an inquiry to KDP to find out if the email is legitimate or is all this just speculation?

    I just shot off an email because there is no way I am pressing links within the email until it is confirmed that they sent it.

          

    Reading books never felt so dangerous.
    J.E. Taylor | author website | blog | facebook | twitter | goodreads | Newsletter

    Offline SA_Soule

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1484
    • Gender: Female
    • Northern CA
    • Author, Creativity Coach, & Avid Reader
      • View Profile
      • Amazon Author Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #227 on: August 09, 2014, 09:59:22 am »
    I'm on Amazon's side on this dispute but I'm going to wait to see what KU does to my sales/revenue before leaping to Amazon's defense. I'm not sure if I'm as important to them as they claim.


    What is KU?

    S. A. Soule

    Offline ToriWritesWords

    • Status: Dr. Seuss-10022
    • *
    • Posts: 46
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #228 on: August 09, 2014, 10:02:57 am »
    I'm sorry but this is gross. It's just gross and I'm now officially boycotting Amazon. I wasn't before. Just bought a Kindle book yesterday. Today I'm pricing Nooks.

    I saw a copy of the letter (a friend forwarded it to me) and it's disgusting. It opens with talk about World War 2. This isn't a war and writers--no matter how they publish--are not armies. Hachette authors have a horse in the race because Amazon's practices are actually affecting their sales. Self-publishers only have a horse in the long game and even then, wanting Amazon to put a ceiling on ebook prices doesn't seem like it's that awesome for small presses and self-pubbers either, but that's just my opinion.

    Either way, this is going too far, rallying their troops. I bet far too many people are bombarding Hachette with ridiculous emails.

    I'm putting my Kindle in a drawer and not buying from Amazon until this is over. Possibly not even then. I'm sending AMAZON an email telling this this too. Ugh. So gross.

    Offline Cherise

    • Status: Emily Dickinson-10017
    • *******
    • Posts: 7958
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
      • dogaliens.com
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #229 on: August 09, 2014, 10:05:17 am »
    What is KU?


    Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's new subscription program

    Offline AgnesWebb

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle-10007
    • ****
    • Posts: 637
    • Gender: Female
    • Los Angeles
      • View Profile
      • The Day Job Diaries
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #230 on: August 09, 2014, 10:06:15 am »
    I have to give Amazon props. This whole thing is very Sun Tzu; I'm digging it.

    Offline Anne Victory

    • Status: A A Milne-10008
    • ******
    • Posts: 4250
    • Gender: Female
    • Victory Editing
    • The Original "Oops Detector"
      • View Profile
      • Victory Editing
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #231 on: August 09, 2014, 10:07:14 am »
    I just got this, too, and was, in fact, coming to post a thread about it. I see I've been beaten to the punch :-)

    I found it to be well-written but distasteful. It reminded me of someone urging their followers to invade a message board or whatever. Just... no.
    No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style. - Vlad Taltos
    From Jhereg, by Steven Brust

    Services Offered - Manuscript Editing & Final Proofing Pass (AKA Oops Detection) - More Information

    "An Editor's Tips for Selecting Editors"--Feel free to check out my free article on WritersWin.com.
    My Facebook page--Some silliness, lots of caffeine, and the occasional snippet from a project I'm working on :)

    Offline Lisa Grace

    • Status: Emily Dickinson-10017
    • *******
    • Posts: 8104
    • Gender: Female
    • Florida, USA
    • Me
      • View Profile
      • Lisa Grace
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #232 on: August 09, 2014, 10:10:53 am »
    Why should we have an opinion on the topic? Because if Hachette is doing things to hurt Amazon's ebook sales, that will affect quite a few authors here.
     
    Angel books in movie development
    Lisa Grace - Where Good Meets Evil | author website | facebook | twitter | google+ | Youtube

    Offline Mark E. Cooper

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe-10016
    • *******
    • Posts: 6549
    • Gender: Male
    • Essex, England
      • View Profile
      • Impulse Books UK
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #233 on: August 09, 2014, 10:11:21 am »
    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.

    I'm for Amazon and against Hachette, BUT I am also the type of person who likes to keep his head down. I understand why Amazon might decide to climb down to Hachette's level from the high ground they were maintaining before, because if I'm p*ssed off hearing from the Patterson and his 900 AND hearing about his itty bitty $100k NYT adverts, I can only imagine what Amazon is feeling.

    I felt it was very low of Patterson to give out Bezos' email address that time and tell his sycophants to email him, and I'm disgusted that the loudest mouths in this seem to be winning the media war. PR propaganda is powerful. I totally see that Amazon needs to keep up with the runaway train Patterson is riding in.

    By asking us and readers to email Hachette they are trying a tit4tat move. I understand it, but I don't necessarily like it. The problem is I don't know what else they can do but use the same tactics. Its all very well maintaining a moral high ground, but will that be a comfort when you lose the war? I don't think so.

    Personally I don't think Amazon will lose. In the end they won't get what they want but neither will Hachette. There will be a compromise.

    As for emailing Hachette. I wrote one but didn't click send yet. I wrote it when emotions were running high like one of those posts we sometimes write and later wish we hadn't. My cowardice is kicking in now and I feel I should wind my neck in and just not click send. I think Amazon have sent this to millions of readers not just writers. I have a feeling they have probably succeeded in blitzing Hachette email servers without little old me.

    Edit: spelling sycophants!
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 10:15:47 am by Mark E. Cooper »

    Offline A Tiger

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle-10006
    • **
    • Posts: 86
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #234 on: August 09, 2014, 10:13:03 am »
    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?

    That's probably the problem being negotiated. If I'd guess, I'd say Hachette probably wants a higher royalty cut.

    Offline ToriWritesWords

    • Status: Dr. Seuss-10022
    • *
    • Posts: 46
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #235 on: August 09, 2014, 10:13:08 am »
    Yeah, but... Authors also pay Hachette for publishing their books. By the above logic, Hachette-published authors are not "Hachette authors," either. The publishers provide a service to their authors, and they take their cut. Amazon provides a different service to its author-publishers, and takes it's cut. In that sense, big pub has authors, and so does Amazon. OR neither entity has authors - they have business associates. Sure, Hachette is more selective, and sure, Amazon authors can also be Apple/kobo/BN authors, but I don't get how there's such a huge difference, practically.

    Sigh.

    Hachette is a PUBLISHER. They publish work they think can sell. Before publishing it, they edit it, work through revisions with the author, line edit it, copyedit it, and make a cover and a marketing plan. They also PAY THE AUTHOR an advance against royalties. The author doesn't pay them anything.

    Amazon IS NOT a publisher. They are a vendor. They are the same vendor Hachette uses. The same one you use.

    Amazon wants you to conflate the two for some twisted sense of loyalty but it is not actually the same. If you do not want a publisher, that's fine. You can act as your own, which you're doing if you self-publish. But unless you're with an Amazon imprint, you are not an "Amazon" author. You are a self-published author who sells books on Amazon.

    Offline hardnutt

    • Status: Scheherazade-10012
    • *****
    • Posts: 1200
    • Gender: Female
    • Norfolk, England
      • View Profile
      • Why Didn't They Ask Evand?
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #236 on: August 09, 2014, 10:18:06 am »
    I have never quite understood the flippant attitude towards Amazon. I have given it a lot of thought and finally decided that people who feel Amazon is just another service provider (who is being more than generously compensated with their 30% commission) must do a lot better on other retailers than I do.

    I may not like everything Amazon does. And I don't agree with all of their policies. But I can never ignore the fact that 96% of my income is a direct result of Amazon's self-publishing platform. It's one thing to say that we're all self-published and therefore not under contract to Amazon, but the fact that I've only made $7,400 from all the other platforms combined in the last year makes that a hollow statement for me.

    I may not be an "Amazon author" so to speak, but the truth is that all those other platforms could disappear and it wouldn't bother me much at all. For me, Amazon is the only one that matters. So Amazon is my business partner. They aren't my friend. Or my mommy. But they are a huge part of my life, and I wouldn't be making a living publishing without them.

    So if they actually deign to ask for my support, they're likely going to get it.

    This. I'm only too aware who has made my indie life as a full-time author possible. And it sure ain't Hachette or any other big, medium or small traditional publisher.

    I wrote an email to the Hachette CEO, as requested and was happy to do so. I don't understand why others on these boards are getting so uppity over it.

    Yes, we may be indies, but we're NOT independent as I understand the term. I don't believe in biting the hand that (literally) feeds me by enabling me to put food in the fridge and freezer. If I was to rely on the other retailers I would be certain to starve in the gutter in the best tradition of most of those in the past who pursued the creative life.

    The way I see it is that I owe Amazon some loyalty (even if they're unlikely to reciprocate).  They've changed my life for the better and I'm grateful. I couldn't have done it without them and I know it. I'm surprised that others here don't adopt this basic, common-sense viewpoint.


    'Evans' series has stand out central characters and clever plots.' AUNT AGATHA'S BOO
    Geraldine Evans | website/blog | newsletter sign up | facebook | linkedin | twitter | [url=https://www.goodrea

    Offline 75845

    • Status: Dostoevsky-10015
    • ******
    • Posts: 3602
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #237 on: August 09, 2014, 10:20:34 am »
    I felt it was very low of Patterson to give out Bezos' email address that time and tell his sycophants to email him

    But Patterson is always asking others to do his writing for him!

    Offline Jash

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 160
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #238 on: August 09, 2014, 10:21:59 am »
    I saw a copy of the letter (a friend forwarded it to me) and it's disgusting. It opens with talk about World War 2. This isn't a war and writers--no matter how they publish--are not armies.

    It doesn't open with talk of World War 2. It opens with "Just ahead of World War II..." but it's only used to establish a time. They don't actually talk about World War II (or any war) .

    Offline Joel Ansel

    • Status: Jane Austen-10011
    • ***
    • Posts: 361
    • Gender: Male
    • Texas
    • Purveyors of Fine Fiction
      • View Profile
      • Odd Tree Press
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #239 on: August 09, 2014, 10:22:49 am »
    One corporation fighting another corporation.  Yawn. 

    Too busy writing to pay attention to the greedbots.
     

    Yep
    Too busy writing, working and paying bills.

    BTW, I just couldn't pass up your brilliant covers. Thus proving that the right cover does promote sales:)
    October 2015 Odd Tree Quarterly: 100%

    January 2016 Odd Tree Quarterly: 15%

    Raven and Cat: 25%
    Joel Ansel | Author Blog | Odd Tree Press | Four Dead Ones

    Offline Anne Victory

    • Status: A A Milne-10008
    • ******
    • Posts: 4250
    • Gender: Female
    • Victory Editing
    • The Original "Oops Detector"
      • View Profile
      • Victory Editing
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #240 on: August 09, 2014, 10:23:00 am »
    I just e-mailed them back and CC'd Jeff Bezos. I'm not a fan of their tactic.
    No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style. - Vlad Taltos
    From Jhereg, by Steven Brust

    Services Offered - Manuscript Editing & Final Proofing Pass (AKA Oops Detection) - More Information

    "An Editor's Tips for Selecting Editors"--Feel free to check out my free article on WritersWin.com.
    My Facebook page--Some silliness, lots of caffeine, and the occasional snippet from a project I'm working on :)

    Offline ToriWritesWords

    • Status: Dr. Seuss-10022
    • *
    • Posts: 46
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #241 on: August 09, 2014, 10:23:25 am »
    I wrote an email to the Hachette CEO, as requested and was happy to do so. I don't understand why others on these boards are getting so uppity over it.

    Yes, we may be indies, but we're NOT independent as I understand the term. I don't believe in biting the hand that (literally) feeds me by enabling me to put food in the fridge and freezer. If I was to rely on the other retailers I would be certain to starve in the gutter in the best tradition of most of those in the past who pursued the creative life.

    The way I see it is that I owe Amazon some loyalty (even if they're unlikely to reciprocate).  They've changed my life for the better and I'm grateful. I couldn't have done it without them and I know it. I'm surprised that others here don't adopt this basic, common-sense viewpoint.

    Amazon is a business. You don't owe them loyalty in some made up war because they send a flowery email.

    It's awesome that they helped you with your indie author career. But they aren't the only vendor in the world and they certainly aren't a general in some holy war you need to follow.

    I'm "uppity" about this because it's gross. It's gross to send a letter called "Important Kindle Request" that asks people with no stake in a business negotiation
    flood another company's inboxes with emails for their own cause. If you don't think it's gross, well, okay. I hope they never send an Important Kindle Request to flood your inbox.

    Offline Lucas

    • Status: Jane Austen-10011
    • ***
    • Posts: 287
    • Gender: Male
    • United States
    • Sure, why not?
      • View Profile
      • https://www.lucasalpay.com/
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #242 on: August 09, 2014, 10:23:39 am »
    Really, I'm on amazon with this but as I read the comments and some hostilities further, I'm starting to see all the views. I see where the authors of Hachette are coming from (as seen on YouTube), and they have a point. Amazon has a point. We all have points. This is making my head hurt. My only wish is that a big "gag order" from the heavens fall upon these two companies. It's getting immature, seriously.

    Still with amazon BTW. 
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 10:25:11 am by Lucas_Alpay »






    Offline Jash

    • Status: Lewis Carroll-10005
    • **
    • Posts: 160
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #243 on: August 09, 2014, 10:24:00 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.



    Bravo. I like this one. I'll go with this.

    Offline 75845

    • Status: Dostoevsky-10015
    • ******
    • Posts: 3602
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #244 on: August 09, 2014, 10:27:26 am »
    If I had a horse in this race it would say Neigh to any requests by one favourite to hobble the other favourite.

    Offline AngelaQuarles

    • Status: Jane Austen-10011
    • ***
    • Posts: 315
    • Gender: Female
    • Mobile, AL
      • View Profile
      • Angela Quarles
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #245 on: August 09, 2014, 10:29:39 am »
    I got it too, and am tempted to reply to them with this:

    Quote
    Im not sure why Im being brought into this? What Hachette does and how much they want to charge for their books has nothing to do with me and my books. They want to charge more? Fine. Let them. Its their business and if they want to price themselves out of the market, thats their problem. Let the marketplace decide how much theyre willing to pay for an e-book. Theres also more going into an e-book than paper, warehousing, etc. Theres professional services that need to be paid for: cover, first-class editing, plus the skill, imagination and education of the author as well.

    But am worried they'd flag me somehow and my books will never see the light of day with their algorithms, LOL So I probably won't send it.

    I'm happy that Amazon has allowed me to self-publish and potentially make money (haven't pressed 'publish' yet) but why should I care what someone else prices their ebook for? Hachette pricing their books higher doesn't hurt Amazon, no? There has to be more going on here than we know--Amazon is a business, they aren't in this dispute because they're trying to be champions of lower-priced ebooks.

    Sexy Laughs. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
    RITA-award winning and USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles | website

    Offline Diane Patterson

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle-10007
    • ****
    • Posts: 750
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #246 on: August 09, 2014, 10:36:24 am »

    Godwin's law...

    To be fair, Amazon pulled that trigger first, with the very first line of their letter.

    Diane Patterson | blog | twitter | facebook

    Okey Dokey

    • Guest
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #247 on: August 09, 2014, 10:42:04 am »
    Thought the letter was right on, except for this Amazon lie:

    "With an e-book, theres . . . no returns . . ."

    Offline Gerald Hartenhoff

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle-10006
    • **
    • Posts: 87
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #248 on: August 09, 2014, 10:49:18 am »
    I sent the e-mail Amazon asked me to.

    Offline vlmain

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke-10014
    • *****
    • Posts: 2299
    • Gender: Female
    • WA
      • View Profile
    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #249 on: August 09, 2014, 10:55:00 am »
    Yes, Amazon is a big business out to make money. But it's the big business that enabled me to sell over 68,000 books, when all trad pub did for me was waste my time.

    When Amazon asks me for help, I'm likely to say yes.

    My sentiments, exactly.

    And lets hope they continue to make big money, because if they don't, most of us are in trouble. This issue definitely can have an impact on Indies. 

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***