Though I don’t yet have a dog in the race, I’ve been following the Amazon vs. Hatchette/authors battle. Looks like there’s been another volley, and it’s just a bit silly. Amazon apparently emailed a bunch of “their” authors (those who have used the KDP) requesting that they email Hatchette and cc Amazon’s PR folks on it…to prove it, I guess?
Basically, they wanted to use the authors are human battering rams against their rival corporation. The funny thing about writers, though: they like to write things. So I saw a cascade of folks offering up their opinions.
Here are some good ones to read:
- Neil Gaiman: “It’s like Godzilla battling Gamera, and we’re looking up from the sidewalks of New York rather worried that a skyscraper might topple on us.” And he points out some independent bookstores people might populate instead.
- Chuck Wendig: Who wrote a long, detailed and really great post about the whole thing. “It’s a cheapy tactic meant to drum up support from a group of people who don’t really have a huge dog in this fight — this is a fight with traditional publishing about traditional publishing. “
- John Scalzi: The following quote is only tangentially related to the controversy, but it hit home for me.
“Look, here’s the thing: You can construct in your mind a world where there are the tough and scrappy self-published authors on one side of a battle and the posh and pampered traditionally published authors on the other, and pretend to set them against one another, like flabby, middle-aged Pokemon. But I think that’s kind of stupid and I’m not obliged to live in that particular fantasy world. Nor do I believe that the successes of other writers take away from my own. It’s not actually a zero-sum game where only one publishing model (and the authors who use it) will survive and the rest are eaten by weasels, or whatever. The world is large enough to have authors publishing one way, or another, or by some combination of various methods.”
Considering that Amazon has widened its fights to include a drag-out fight with the monolith that is Disney, I can’t see this slowing down anytime soon. However, I must say it has given me pause regarding whether I’ll publish with Amazon. I mean, I probably will–they’re the biggest fish in the pond in the ebook space, and it’s sort of crazy to ignore that–but it does make me hesitate.
Anyone else keeping tabs on this? Thoughts?