Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amazon Versus Hachette

Lee Child Vs Amazon: The Passive Voice

Carolyn found this link and it's a wonderful read. There's a huge wall between the successful trad. pubbed author and the rest of the world. Fascinating read.

And I thought I'd wade into the waters with my own opinion.

I'm not a lawyer, a scholar or a mathematician. I don't own stock in amazon and as an author I appreciate my royalties from them but I'm not buying a yacht anytime soon. Usually I can buy a fast food meal from KFC for me and Mollie monthly after I get paid.

I own two specific reading devices: a Kindle keyboard and a Kindle Fire. I have the kindle app. on my computer and on my phone. I NEVER read using the app on my computer, I just use it for publishing reasons. I rarely read on my phone but I have out of necessity (long wait and nothing else to do).

My Fire is under my Amazon account and I primarily have used it to watch Netflix and play games. The Kindle keyboard device is under Carolyn's account and has an embarrassing number of books on it. I won't say or guess how many books Carolyn buys in a month but it's no secret that it's a lot.

I've begun buying more books on my account for the Fire. These are books I don't share with Carolyn because they're either books I hope to share with Mollie, cookbooks (the Fire is an awesome way to use a cookbook) and titles I want that I know Carolyn won't read because they're specific to my tastes. (I can access her Amazon account and download possibly 3 - 5 books monthly. We have very differing tastes sometimes.)

I almost never spend more than $4.99 on a title for myself. If there's something higher and I must have it, then I might buy it as a gift to Carolyn for our shared account. That happens maybe twice a year. Most of the books I buy are from .99 to $2.99. Most of the free books I've downloaded I've since deleted and I almost never bother with them anymore unless there are trustworthy reviews.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen is currently retailing on Kindle for $10.49 (I think). I love her writing. But I haven't yet bought the book. If it was priced at $9.99 I probably would. But I can't go over that price.

My budget is extremely limited and to pay over $5. for a book is a commitment for me. It has to be worth it and worth it means that the book has to transcend for me, it has to be something I want to share with Carolyn and it has to guarantee that I won't be kicking myself thinking that I could have used that money to buy cupcakes.

I agree with Amazon.

On the other hand, I disagree with what Amazon is doing. I believe they should let Hachette price their books however they wish. And they should refuse to offer any discounts. No price matches. Hachette wants to put an ebook out for $20.00, let them. If they expect Amazon to discount the books and eat the difference, Amazon shouldn't. Let the books sell at publisher chosen price and move the hell on. Then when the authors like Mr. Child see their sales statements and realize how much less money they make, they might get an idea of how their publisher is pricing them out of sales.

That's just my two cents.

And I will also state that I got the letter from Amazon asking me (and all KDP authors) to email Hachette and fight the fight. Um, no. It ain't my fight.

I love you, Amazon. I love you for many many reasons. And as long as my books have any sales, I'll continue to publish my books with you. But seriously, step it down. You're right. They price too high. Let that be on them and just do what you do. They're fighting to survive because they still don't want to adapt. Let them.

Sometimes you have to let others fail so that they learn.

1 comment:

  1. When ebooks were young, little things, I - along with many others - said 'I'll never buy an ebook that costs more than XX dollars! Grrr'

    Well, confession time.

    I have.

    I can afford it and if I love the author and the book is hardback, then I'll pay the hardback ebook price. I don't say I'll LIKE doing so, but with some authors my instant gratification kicks in, and since I'm fast sliding down (or up) to 70 years old, I tend to not put things off too long.

    I don't blame Amazon. Or B&N. Or any other outlet. Price is strictly the publisher's decision, as it always has been. An outlet will be more likely to decrease price than raise it. (In other words, put it on sale.)

    It's just that a majority of people are more educated about publishing these days and it's hard to pull the wool over their eyes.

    Bottom line: if you want the author's work in a timely manner, you'll pay the price. If you'll pay $20+ for a hardback, you shouldn't flinch at paying $10+ for the ebook. Or, you can wait whatever amount of time it takes for the paperback to come out and pay $5-8 for the ebook.

    Ya know, people may be right about Amazon; they may be trying to become a monopoly. But the US is a capitalist country and Jeff Bezo started with nothing and he made something out of his nothing. A big something. Now he's being attacked because he was successful at the capitalist game.

    Go attack Apple instead!