Author Topic: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette  (Read 35252 times)  

Offline vlmain

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Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2014, 12:57:02 am »
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.

They provide us a tremendous service, all the tools we need to publish and promote our work, a storefront on the largest retail site in the world, and traffic we could never afford to generate on our own. They do the lion's share of the heavy marketing for us, process payments for us on what is probably the most secure website on the planet, deliver the goods so we don't have to. It costs them a huge amount of money to provide us with those tools. They may not have us under contract, or pay us an advance, but they invest in us just the same.

I see nothing wrong with their asking for our support. Suggesting we email Hachette is no different than the people who ask us to write to our Congressmen about a particular issue. They are trying to rally us and I see nothing wrong with that.

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    Offline 75845

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #51 on: August 09, 2014, 12:57:21 am »
    Amazon are not going to be pulling Hachette buy buttons. With no contract Amazon could have walked if they wanted but they cannot. Hachette are pushing the boundaries and Amazon's buttons. Clearly the cheer-leading from Konrath, Howey, and Eisler is not enough, KDP need to recruit us. I see this as conclusive proof that Amazon is backed into a corner. They need to have all the Big Five on their shelves and Hachette are proving just how much the Everything Store needs them. Amazon the box with a frown.

    Offline Alondo

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #52 on: August 09, 2014, 01:01:09 am »
    Why would I write to Hachette and ask their authors to lower their prices to a level where they compete with my books?

    I say, the higher their prices, the better!     
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    Offline Alondo

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #53 on: August 09, 2014, 01:02:52 am »
    I got the email also. I don't feel like their dispute directly involves self-pubbed authors. Besides, why would a self-pubbed author care about what trad pub sets their prices at? Sell your ebooks for $19.99 for all I care. More readers for those of us who charge $9.99 and under.   ;)

    Amazon should just pull Hachette's books. That will bring Hachette running to the negotiating table.

    Amen, brother! (Sorry, I meant, sister!)
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    Offline Lucas Bale

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #54 on: August 09, 2014, 01:05:23 am »
    They provide us a tremendous service, all the tools we need to publish and promote our work, a storefront on the largest retail site in the world, and traffic we could never afford to generate on our own. They do the lion's share of the heavy marketing for us, process payments for us on what is probably the most secure website on the planet, deliver the goods so we don't have to. It costs them a huge amount of money to provide us with those tools. They may not have us under contract, or pay us an advance, but they invest in us just the same.

    I see nothing wrong with their asking for our support. Suggesting we email Hachette is no different than the people who ask us to write to our Congressmen about a particular issue. They are trying to rally us and I see nothing wrong with that.

    +1

    That's what has surprised me about the response here. They asked us for our support. Sure, they have done exactly what Hachette have done by placing authors bang in the middle of this, but they are asking us to say we are not all united here. Yes, there are always ulterior motives, but in business there always are. The question is whether this stance is one you agree with or don't. Some of the points made are weak ones and posturing, but some are very sensible and I agree with the sentiment.
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 01:06:55 am by Lucas Bale »

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    Offline portiadacosta

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #55 on: August 09, 2014, 01:05:48 am »
    A hacker can disguise his mailing address. It's crazy simple.

    Oh yes, I know all kinds of chicanery is possible. I'm just curious as to why I should receive the message from two different systems, one that's not even linked to KDP, as far as I know.

    I do use my pen name for both though, because I needed to for the UK Author Central.
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    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #56 on: August 09, 2014, 01:09:37 am »
    I agree. I'm not very important in the scheme of things. Gee, I hope someone really important expresses an opinion soon.

    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?

    Offline Tim_A

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #57 on: August 09, 2014, 01:11:10 am »
    So Godzilla suggests to all the little people on the ground that we get our pea shooters out and spit peas up at King Kong. Hmm...

    My recommendation: RUN!!!!

    They're using us as pawns in a fight that simply isn't ours.

    Offline 75814

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #58 on: August 09, 2014, 01:11:52 am »
    A month ago, Amazon told me I wasn't worthy enough to get the same KU deal they've given traditional authors and select indies. Now they want me stand up for them? Sorry, but Bezos can go have carnal relations with himself.

    Offline Alondo

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #59 on: August 09, 2014, 01:12:12 am »
    They want self pubs. to campaign for lower prices for traditionally published books so they will compete with self pubbed books?

    Just how stupid do they think we are?
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    Offline AngryGames

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #60 on: August 09, 2014, 01:13:49 am »
    Quote
    I see this as conclusive proof that Amazon is backed into a corner.

    Funny, I see it 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 Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #61 on: August 09, 2014, 01:17:31 am »
    This letter must be a response to that massive broadside Hachette and its 900 authors fired at Amazon yesterday don't you think? I saw it on Passive Guy.

    Offline Lexi Revellian

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #62 on: August 09, 2014, 01:18:10 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.

    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: Readers United
    « Reply #63 on: August 09, 2014, 01:18:43 am »

    Offline Writerly Writer

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #64 on: August 09, 2014, 01:18:44 am »
    Okay, got two emails... one from KDP Support and one from Amazon.

    So, one of the emails is the one I subscribe to KDP with, the other is not.

    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 01:21:02 am by KJCOLT »

    Offline T.P. Grish

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #65 on: August 09, 2014, 01:20:34 am »
    I got it as well, very curious that a letter lacking the normal formality would be sent.

    Offline psychotick

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #66 on: August 09, 2014, 01:24:09 am »
    Hi,

    Just got the email myself and it looks genuine - at least as far as the mailing address goes. Funny thing is that I recall seeing the same stats (16% increased profits by lowering prices etc) about a week ago somewhere else.

    My view, keep your head down. This debate doesn't really concern us indies. We're just fodder in the big boys battle.

    Cheers, Greg.
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    Offline kpaul

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #67 on: August 09, 2014, 01:25:59 am »
    Would've been nice to have gotten an email about KU before they launched it, but very interesting to see this one in my Inbox.

    Back to writing...

    Offline AngryGames

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #68 on: August 09, 2014, 01:30:54 am »
    Interesting conspiracy theory re: the whole whether or not Amazon/KDP authored that letter...

    Here's what I've heard:

    Hachette has purchased a time machine wholesale off Amazon and has sent James Patterson back through time to 1974 to hunt down Jeff Bezos as a child (played by Edward Furlong - of course!)

    Readers unite and send back our own champion to stop the evil Patterson from undoing the revolution! I nominate Hugh Howey to be our Kyle Reese! 8)

    Let's send this idea off to Patterson for him to hire out a ghost writer to pen. I get a cut because I write time machine stories, and you get a cut because you wrote this post. Everyone else owes us a licensing fee when they steal our idea.

    I looked for a time machine at other retailers, by the way. So Amazon must be a monopoly, since if they shut down tonight, I'd not be able to buy a time machine from anyone else. I did see that I could buy plutonium from three different Iranian terrorist cells, but without a DeLorean from Amazon... all we'd have is enough for a bomb. I'd rather ride plutonium through time than watch my fingernails fall off and blood to seep into my pants from radiation poisoning.

    I think I'll go spread some more rumors that Amazon wants to eat babies directly from the womb after they bake everyone to death in their slave warehouses.
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    Offline JRTomlin

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #69 on: August 09, 2014, 01:32:24 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.
    This is pretty much my reaction.
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    Offline rosclarke

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #70 on: August 09, 2014, 01:34:25 am »
    Well, it made me VERY angry.
     
    Amazon's negotiations with Hachette are none of my business.  Using their mailing list for that kind of campaigning is spamming of the worst kind. Trying to drag us in to take sides makes me feel used. Why the hell would I write to the CEO of Hachette and why the hell would he care? I have NO business relationship with him at all. 

    It makes me want to pull my books from kdp and stop buying at Amazon, if they think they can use their customers in this sort of manipulative way. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

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    Offline dianasg

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #71 on: August 09, 2014, 01:35:20 am »
    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.

    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.

    So say what you (general you) will about the tactic, but I don't see much of a difference between what Amazon and Hachette have done to drag authors into this dispute. The only difference I see is that Hachette started it, which is largely irrelevant.

    I'm honestly surprised by the vehement responses here... After all, it's just a request. Nothing stopping any annoyed prawn from deleting the email without another wasted thought. But maybe I'm in the minority?

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #72 on: August 09, 2014, 01:36:51 am »
    I'm neither disturbed by it, nor angered at receiving it. How else are they going to contact you? You're in a business relationship with them and they want to make a point to you. Whether you agree with it or not, they've contacted you legitimately. It's your right to disagree of course, but I see nothing wrong with them putting their point across. Nor do I find it particularly heavy-handed - it's direct and doesn't waste your valuable time. How else could they have written it?

    ^^Agreed.  In addition, I don't think it is anything for people to get aired about. It IS relevant that Amazon clarify their position directly with their customers. I appreciate the fact they took the trouble even though I'm not remotely interested in the battle between them and Hachette.

    Oh! and despite people saying anything to the contrary I think we ARE mostly Amazon authors, or are at least perceived to be by the reading public, especially if we are in KDP Select.

    Offline 75814

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #73 on: August 09, 2014, 01:41:41 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.

    Well first off, I don't think Hachette should enlist their authors to join the fight.

    Second, Amazon is not my publisher, they're my distributor. Just like B&N, Smashwords, DriveThruDigital, Kobo, and iBooks are also my distributors. I'm not an Amazon author.

    Third, if Amazon wants to prove they truly care about indies, then give us the same deals they've given trads. That means the ability to join KU without exclusivity, 60% of list price for KU borrows, and the ability to utilize pre-order buttons. If they're not willing to give me the same deal they're willing to offer trads (and the same deals that Amazon competitors offer), I'm not willing to take sides in their measuring contest.
    « Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 01:43:26 am by Perry Constantine »

    Offline dianasg

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    Re: I just got a letter from Amazon about Hachette
    « Reply #74 on: August 09, 2014, 01:42:09 am »
    Why the hell would I write to the CEO of Hachette and why the hell would he care? I have NO business relationship with him at all. 

    Anyone who has ever bought a book published by Hachette, or who publishes in the same marketplace as Hachette, has some kind of interest in the way Hachette prices books. Maybe no direct business relationship, but some kind of interest.

    The Hachette thread at KB alone is up to 23 pages. Hugh and Joe's petition garnered over 7000 signatures. So it's not totally unreasonable to think that many authors would and do care about the Amazon-Hachette shenanigans.

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