Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Financial “Entitlement” Morphs Into “Legal” Outrage ~ Amazon & Hachette


Heard about the Battle—major retailer and big publisher?

Does it “matter”?

Perhaps

But, probably not in the way most of the news coverage would have you believe.

I’m going to give you a few links to some of the more ridiculous stories; but, first, I need to give you some defense against the verbal barrage.

Last year, in the post, So, What The Hell Is Wrong With Traditional Publishers?, I featured a piece by David Gaughran:

“Right after he indicates that the two essential players in the book-world are writers and readers and that retailers are at least acting somewhat rational about justifying their cut of the money (leaving agents, publishers, and distributors in a somewhat suspicious position), he says:

“’Publishers seem determined to move in the opposite direction: making the proposition of publishing with them less attractive rather than more attractive, reducing advances, worsening contract terms, and treating writers as marks rather than partners – despite whatever guff accompanies the launch of their latest initiatives.’”

And, another bit of defense against the other articles I’ll link to is this from Forbes:

As Hachette Battles Amazon, A Small Publisher Defends Bezos (Bezos owns Amazon)

O.K., here comes the media blitz

An apologist piece from The New York TimesHachette Chief Leads Book Publishers in Amazon Fight—that begins with “…Mr. Pietsch [the boss at Hachette] finds himself fighting not just for the future of Hachette, but for that of every publisher that works with Amazon.”

Hmm they seem to be overlooking that small publisher up there

Then, there’s the piece in SlateBringing Down the Hachette—that says:

“Literature could end up suffering

“If publishers make less money on every book, they are going to pay people less to write and edit them, and talented people will decide to do something else with their time.”

Maybe they could, uh self-publish………?

Plus, the article in Money MagazineWhy Amazon Is Battling Book Publishers — in Three Charts.

Maybe there’s some meat in this one but I’m a bit suspicious about reducing a complex issue to a few charts—as they say, the “map” isn’t the “territory”

And, again from The New York Times, an article that prompted the title I gave this post—How Book Publishers Can Beat Amazon—which has these incendiary words:

“…unless Amazon backs down — through public pressure or government intervention — publishers will have no choice but to employ their own nuclear option…”

Finally, a piece from the Miami HeraldPublishers could defeat Amazon — here’s how—which, even with its overkill title, makes a bit of sense:

“To be sure, what Amazon is doing is of the brass-knuckle variety, and while I get that authors are upset, the reality is that it is publishers who have made a Faustian bargain: Unwilling to make their cost structures viable in a digital world predicated on much lower costs and much higher volume, and unable to build their own DRM and companion devices, publishers embraced the Kindle’s DRM, and thus gave Amazon complete power over the only means of enforcing the artificial scarcity that undergirded their old-fashioned business model.”

Anyone with any opinions about this issue is encouraged to leave a comment—I’d appreciate it, even if it only makes me laugh
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3 responses to “Financial “Entitlement” Morphs Into “Legal” Outrage ~ Amazon & Hachette

  1. Pingback: Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute… | Notes from An Alien

  2. Pingback: How Close to Insanity Is the Traditional Publishing Industry? | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: An Author Writes an Open Letter to His Publisher . . . | Notes from An Alien

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