Greetings and salutations!
Over the weekend I received an email from Amazon, because I published with them using their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. The email was essentially Amazon’s call to action to indie authors to help the retail juggernaut in its contract dispute with Hachette Book Group. I’m not going to go over the email’s details, as Electric Literature has posted the email in its entirety, but I will say that I’m disappointed in Amazon spamming authors who use its platform asking them to spam one of the major publishers.
I’m doing no such thing.
First of all, this isn’t my battle to fight. When two giants go to battle, it’s best for small-fry like me to stay out their way. Amazon needs to put on its big boy pants and handle its business.
Secondly, if I had to choose a side–which I won’t–I understand Hachette’s desire to set their ebook prices however they see fit more than I agree with Amazon’s attempt to put a cap on ebook prices. Yes, I prefer that ebook prices don’t go above $9.99, but I haven’t purchased an ebook over $4.99, and I don’t plan to. If Hachette wants to price ebooks at $14.99 or $19.99 or $199.99, more power to them. If people are willing to purchase their ebooks at those prices, so be it. Let readers decide how much ebooks they’re willing to pay for ebooks.
Thirdly, dude, Amazon, for real, you went there? You went into a history lesson about how George Orwell was against the paperback back in his heyday. And then Amazon reiterated its earlier failed attempts at trying to dictate ebook royalty terms between Hachette and its authors, which is overstepping boundaries if borderline criminal.
I find this whole situation extremely inappropriate on Amazon’s part, up to the point that I’m seriously considering ceasing to use their services in book publishing. This includes Createspace–Amazon’s print-on-demand service–which is unfortunate because it offers some of the best printing prices around. I’ve already pulled most of my Kindle titles from KDP (in favor of making them available for free on Scribd), as Amazon doesn’t allow authors to price their books as free. That’s ironic, since Amazon claims its fight against Hachette is to keep ebook prices low–what’s lower than free?