Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Amazon mess

Val Serdy sent this along:

John Scalzi has a great post today about how the writers are getting screwed by the kerfuffle between Macmillan and Amazon. These writers are losing money, and potentially losing future book deals when their sales numbers come in lower during this quarter. He recommends going out and buying their books at other sellers to support the authors.

Scalzi is usually extremely snarky, but I loved this post, especially:
the sales that [Macmillan authors] are getting cut out of here are going to make a real and concrete difference to them when it comes time to tally up royalties, and when they’re trying to sell that next book.
So rather than focus on what should happen to Amazon or Macmillan, here’s an idea, and here’s my point: let’s us focus on the writers, who are getting kinda screwed here. None of this is their fault, it has nothing to do with them, and they don’t deserve to lose sales and their livelihood while this thing goes down. If you want to make a statement here, don’t make it against a corporation, who isn’t listening anyway. Make it for someone, and someone who will appreciate the support.

Support the authors affected. Buy their books.

and Macmillan’s children and teens book list.

And this part is just my opinion, but...I am a St. Martin's author. I also own a Kindle and have bought many a thing from Amazon. I include links to their store from all my sites.

Amazon's move here revealed a lot about the company: They are not about selling books. They are about selling products, and their primary strategy in selling is to sell at the lowest price. Apparently, there is a cost to that for all of us. If Amazon doesn't like our publisher, our books might disappear in a weekend. Who's to say that if Amazon doesn't like the content of our book, they might at some point make it disappear, as well?

Amazon is NOT about supporting authors, nor is it about making books available to readers, as this move makes perfectly clear. They'd rather not sell a book than sell it for anything less than a rock-bottom price.

This is why I'm not linking to Amazon's novel contest. You can find it if you're curious. But I'd rather stick with traditional publishers--who at least love stories--for as long as I can. I'll also be sticking with local bookstores wherever possible.

Have a different opinion? Share it below, please.

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