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Thread: Amazon's letter to all publishers - also of interest to anyone who reads books

  1. #31
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    Congratulations, you have quite successfully made the entirely wrong point. This dispute is not about big 5 taking advantage of authors or readers. This debate is over the distribution Amazon is affording to authors as a whole, what Amazon is doing to take advantage and gain market share, and how authors are being harmed in the process. This is why so many thousands of authors have rallied against Amazon in this dispute.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58
    As a writer I don't care what the problems of big publishing are.
    Neither does anybody else. So what? They have their own business to run. That is not what this is about.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58
    They created them. They can live with their decisions.
    Of course they do, businesses live with their choices, so what's your point? Why the vitriol? That's a whole lot of angry words to show hatred for large publishers when that is not the dispute here.

    Hachette took the lead because they have the size and resources to try and help. Small authors have banded together to try and be heard on the same level as these corporate behemoths. Get off your high horse and try to see this from the authors' perspectives that are being hurt by the thousands. It sure sounds like you hold a grudge against publishers, and I honestly don't care because you're most welcome to it, but your rant against an company type you feel has obviously wronged you doesn't address the problem at hand. What an utterly bizarre response.
    Last edited by KenW3; 25 August 2014 at 4:14 pm.

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  3. #32
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Congratulations, you have quite successfully made the entirely wrong point.
    Thank you. It's a cultivated talent.

    This debate is over the distribution Amazon is affording to authors as a whole, what Amazon is doing to take advantage and gain market share, and how authors are being harmed in the process.
    Maybe it is to you, but Amazon isn't doing ANYTHING that big pub didn't practice for the last 100 years. You honestly believe big pub, when they were the only game in town, didn't force authors to do business with them, on their one and only terms, if they wanted to get into bookstores and have distribution? I've already shown how authors aren't being harmed by Amazon "devaluing" their brand. But if you want to talk about someone hurting authors, then let's talk about the 3 offers Amazon has made to take authors out of the dispute by giving them 100% of their royalties for the duration of the negotiation, which Hachette has ignored, refused to consider, nor made counteroffers to. (Would you like some links?) If Hachette cares so much about their authors, why don't they take them out of the dispute? If ANYONE is putting authors in the middle of this dispute, it is Hachette. Why is Amazon still carrying all of Hachette's books then? Amazon hasn't boycotted them, even when they have no contract with them, nor any reason to carry Hachette books. But the big 5 absolutely boycotted Amazon by not carrying Amazon imprint titles and independent authors in bookstores.

    That's a whole lot of angry words to show hatred for large publishers when that is not the dispute here.
    Those weren't angry words....those were nice words. You ought to see me when I'm angry. Let's compromise and say they are "Passionate."

    I've got a question for you since you like diving down rabbit holes and not answering points brought up...why don't you respond to ANY of the FACTUAL points I bring up? You ask questions and I answer them factually. I bring up PROVEN FACTS, disproving your point of view and you ignore them. Then go bouncing off in some other direction on another diatribe. What gives?
    Last edited by dsieg58; 25 August 2014 at 4:50 pm.

  4. #33
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    This is going to have to be my last detailed reply in this thread, as long replies to your long posts are time-consuming and work is very heavy at the moment. I assume it's likely nobody here wants to read the long posts in this thread as nobody else seems to have (any) opinions to add on this.

    Why don't I respond to -all- your questions? Because I can't tell which are serious and which are meant to be entertaining - some seem to be just blowing off steam. It's my fault, I cannot decipher which are which and some seem rather odd - sorry if they're not supposed to be. Also, response to all would make for even longer posts If there's something specific I can help with, I'll be glad to try...

    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58
    You honestly believe big pub, when they were the only game in town, didn't force authors to do business with them, on their one and only terms, if they wanted to get into bookstores and have distribution?
    There was a KD Press in the 80s for getting paperbacks printed cheap, local off-set printers for folded staple books, still have my GBC comb binder used to make manuals for sale, no longer have the perfect-binder glue machine for one-offs. I sold from the backs of magazines, newspaper classifieds nationwide, bought direct mail lists, paid companies to include (those direct mail) postcard order forms with their products shipped, and had deals with book stores (all of which are still valid ways to sell for those not stuck in a spider web mindset). (Anybody here smell a WSO?) Never had a publisher offer, but plenty of rejection letters. Knowing big pub was never the -only- option for distribution is why the question seems odd. How could any publisher ever force anyone to use their services if they chose otherwise?

    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58
    But the big 5 absolutely boycotted Amazon by not carrying Amazon imprint titles and independent authors in bookstores.
    Sorry, but this is confusing. I've never know publishers to be bookshops and never saw any bookstores undertake risk investments in authors. As far as I knew, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Foyles, Waterstone's, Eason & Son, etc. were never any part of big 5 publishing.

    Authors are upset with Amazon over monopolistic actions that are hurting them, but for some reason you're intent on berating big publishers. My perception of your replies is axe grinding against a business model that (obviously) caused you grief, with zero discussion about the plight of the thousands of author's affected (which is the answer to your 'What gives?' query).

    =====

    In the meantime, another large group of authors have banded together to define their experiences with Amazon's practices. In addition to Authors United, Authors for a Fair Book Market (with European writers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland) have joined to relay their experiences with Amazon.

    German authors join protest over Amazonís tactics in e-book dispute

    Quote Originally Posted by Nina George
    We are not against Amazon, but for a fair book market, which means that Amazon is not our main enemy, but their methods are really bad and unfair
    The treatment and sentiment voiced on the German site Fair Book Market by 1,655 (currently) European authors states similar problems to those stated on the Authors United website.

    Translation from Fairer-BuchMarkt.de:

    It has attacked directly (Aladin, arsEdition, Carlsen, Audiobook Hamburg, Piper, Thienemann Esslinger, Berlin Verlag, Ullstein) the authors and authors of the Bonnier group, so to force the publishing group to agree to the new terms and conditions.

    In recent months, boycotted Bonnier- authors and their books not set in stock, even if there are common works. The books are delivered slowed, false statements, and the authors to find about the availability and authors no longer appear in the recommendation list.

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  6. #34
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    You live on a different (writing) planet than I do. Let's agree to disagree. In response to your post, I'll let another hybrid author speak for me. Gene Doucette via The Huffington Post:

    To: Everyone writing about Amazon vs. Hachette
    From:
    An indie and self-published author
    Subject: Please stop

    Dear everyone,

    If you are an author who happens to be published by one of the ďbig 5″ houses, I offer you my congratulations. You are truly fortunate, and hopefully also a good writer, although one does not guarantee the other. I would be happy to hear your perspective on Amazon and Hachette, which Iím sure is interesting.

    However: if the subject of self-publishing comes up in the course of this expression of opinion, you probably need to shut up. It is very likely you donít know what youíre talking about.

    . . . .
    Here is the problem. You all seem to think self-published authors are bad writers, because bad writers are self-published. The thing is, bad writers are everywhere. I agree, itís easy to find examples of self-published authors who are very, very bad, but if you think the traditional publishing industry isnít also full of hacks and terrible writers, youíre either delusional, or youíve never spent more than ten minutes in a bookstore.

    Good authors do not always get the big publishing contracts. Good novels do not always find a way to major market success. Most importantly, being published by one of the big 5 says more about the marketability of a novel than the quality of it. The system has cracks, and they are large cracks.

    Hereís a story. In 2004, I completed my novel Immortal, spent a year getting an agent and then spent another year waiting as that agent sent the manuscript to all of the major publishers. It wasnít picked up, but that isnít the point of this story. The point is: after it was rejected, I had no other options. I was advised to write a new novel and try and get that published instead. Under no circumstances was I to either self-publish or even indie publish Immortal because if I did it would have to be a runaway success or no major publisher would even talk to me again.

    It wasnít enough that the big 5 (I think there were 6 then) decided not to publish it. If I wanted to play the game I had to make sure nobody published it.
    . . . .
    Back in 2006, self-publishing was in truth only barely a viable option. That isnít the case any more, and this is something else youíre going to have to understand, because the writers you seem to be complaining about ó this vast legion of unedited, probably unwashed, no doubt delusional ó are making a sound economic choice.

    I currently have four novels out with a small market publisher, and the fifth is due out in October. Unless something dramatic happens, my next novel will be self-published. I say this because in the past six months Iíve written and published four short stories through Amazonís KDP, and I make more per unit sold from those four shorts than I do from the four novels even though theyíre being sold for less. Sales have not been a problem. I fail to see the downside to doing this.
    . . . .
    In conclusion, let me reiterate: there are plenty of quality authors who aren't contracted with one of the big 5; self-publishing is a real economic option, and a much better one than the old "don't publish it at all, ever" option; you folks on the big market side of the publishing world have plenty of crappy writers too.

    So the next time you sit down to write something about Amazon vs. Hachette, or the state of publishing or whatever youíve got going on that might in some way cover self-publishing, please stop. The assumptions youíve been making arenít reality-based, and your condescension and/or profound naÔvete is just making it worse.
    Full article here

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    Well, Amazon and Hachette buried the hatchet: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/compa...inessinsider11

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    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    I read that today. Of course, no one knows what the terms were except people who aren't talking, but it sounds like (From NYT, and WSJ articles) the same deal they offered S&S, last month. What they are calling the "Agency Model." In other words, essentially the same deal they offered Hachette back in January, and essentially the same deal indies get. But it is no surprise, with the Christmas season coming on, Hachette had to get off the pot or lose their most profitable time of the year.

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    I wasn't listening properly to a BBC report on the subject - an expert, using soccer analogies, said that overall the result was a "draw", but that Hachette had narrowly "won on penalties" because they had held on to the right to set prices on Kindle copies of their books.

    I think that was what he said -

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