Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Clearing Our Heads About Amazon

First, even though I cover Reading, Writing, and Publishing, Amazon does not carry only books.

Amazon Hachette

Image Courtesy of mantis wong ~

That may be quite obvious but, in the raging battles over the company, there are many folk who, for various reasons, forget the obvious…

If you haven’t been up to speed on the Amazon-Hachette battle, the best I can do to catch you up is have you read my past post, Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute…

And, to catch you up on other important issues in the book and publishing world, check out these articles by Joe Konrath:

For the Authors Guild & Other Legacy Publishing Pundits

Death and the Self-Pubbed Writer

Konrath’s Advice to Publishers

I thought my post up there, with Almost Against My Will in the title, would be my last about Amazon, for awhile—the hoopla and grizzly name-calling is just too much…


When Joe Konrath weighs-in, reason lights up the alleys of conflict, so, I’m sharing this article:

The great Amazon debate: A leading Amazon critic and a self-publishing rock star try to find common ground

This is a communication between Konrath and Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House magazine and editorial advisor of Tin House Books.

At the beginning of the piece, Spillman refers to Konrath as an author who “…has self-published 24 novels (three of them No. 1 Amazon sellers), hundreds of stories, and has sold over 3 million copies of his books.”

Then comes Rob’s letter to Joe, then Joe’s answer, then Rob’s attempt at rapprochement…

For those of you who don’t follow links and read what they point to, I’ll give you just one excerpt of what Joe says concerning his experience with the “Big” publishers and, then, his experience with Amazon:

“I was a Roman prisoner in the Coliseum, being feasted on by lions. Those lions were big publishers. After 20 years, a million written words, and nine rejected novels, I finally landed a book contract. And I worked my ass off and published eight novels with legacy publishers, dozens of short stories with respected magazines, and went above and beyond everything that was required of me, in order to succeed.

“And I got eaten. One-sided contracts, broken promises, lousy money. But it was the only game in town. If I wanted to make a living as a writer, I had no choice.

“Then Amazon invented the Kindle.

“I first self-pubbed in May of 2009. That first month I made $1,500, publishing books that New York rejected.”

Joe went on to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from those “rejected” books…

So, if you’ve been confused about whether Amazon is an evil giant and Hachette is the aggrieved party, read that article…
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4 responses to “Clearing Our Heads About Amazon

  1. Nicole October 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I read your post. I read the article. Everyone has a side, and I appreciate that, but the back and forth between the two of them was too much for my pea brain to spin out…
    So I hope it’s okay if I just say, the way that the playing field is (better) leveled(with self-publishing and so on) is beautiful. Even with social media and all of that, we’re all allowed a closer to fair (than maybe ever) platform (teenage kids how-to channels on youtube in tow) and that is sure to come with pros and cons–but so does everything in life, I suppose.
    And if the pros include giving readers access to great (& rejected by traditional publishers) writers, and helping those writers finally earn a living doing what they love, then perhaps the cons are worth withstanding.
    Most of us don’t have the connections or maybe even ‘skill’ to become a successful author through traditional publishing. That doesn’t mean we don’t have something good to say. And that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be read. 100%, I’m on board with that.
    The fact that I don’t fully understand everything that’s going on is probably going to cause you to want to pull your hair out when you read this. I apologize in advance. ;)

    Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexander M Zoltai October 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    There was no hair lost in this response to Nicole’s comment:-)

    Whether you can “understand” all the back-and-forths of the argument, Nicole, you’ve lifted out the major points…

    My summary of the legacy publishers view (what they’re saying behind closed doors) is:

    “Oh! Please!! Let us keep our monopoly on abusing writers!!!”


  3. D.G.Kaye October 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Of course I’m sharing! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexander M Zoltai October 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you, So Much :-)

    Liked by 1 person

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