This sunday, a small group of authors are buying a $104,000 full page ad in the NY Times, protesting Amazon.com’s side in the Hachette dispute. They are mad that Amazon is dragging them into the dispute, and endangering their livelihood....
First, let’s be clear about what is happening here.
Hachette is refusing to sign a new contract with Amazon because they don’t like the money that they will make from the deal, and their contract ended months ago. It’s that simple.
Now Hachette is quick to point out that Amazon is being a bully and delaying delivery of some of the books they sell on the site, as well as taking away the pre-order button from their titles. This sounds horrific, unjust, and just plain mean of Amazon, doesn’t it?
If you want to continue to swallow the rhetoric of the top 1%, it does. Amazon is hurting authors by insisting that Hachette sign a contract that they don’t want to sign! Let’s all stand up and protest the big, bad website! How can they call themselves the worlds most customer service oriented company while keeping the reader from buying my books three months before they are available?!
Now consider the fact that, currently, there is no way for the Indie published author to even get a pre-order button on Amazon without some major connections on the inside. Also consider that if we failed to sign the contract, our books would not be for sale at all on the Amazon website!
If you ask any self published author how he or she would feel in the position of these angry authors, you would hear an overwhelming and resounding cheer! You mean I could refuse to sign a contract with Amazon and still get paid? Sign me up!
Don’t let them fool you -- they are still getting paid.... a lot!
How do I know they are getting paid a lot? Um, well.... A small group of authors just paid $104,000 to take out a full page ad in the NY Times!!
Now, I’m going to do the math here....
If I team up with my bestselling author buddies Ashley Delay and Robert Pruneda, and each of us found two other bestselling authors to pitch in, and each of them found two more, and each of them found two more, we may be able to scrape together a couple hundred bucks to post a help wanted ad in the same paper--and only if it was a week with no bills to pay and I had enough insulin to get me to payday!
All Amazon did was bring the playing field a bit closer to level for all authors, and these authors are crying? I’m not much for swearing, but that level of complaining has caused a great myriad of livid vocalizations to fly from my mouth today.
Plus, Amazon isn’t the one who dragged them into the fight; that was their publisher. Amazon isn’t refusing to sign the contract that would allow them to sell their books on the site. If their publisher wants to sell their books on the website, all they need to do is sign the contract that is offered. It’s not that complicated, folks!
In case Hachette may have missed it, the publishing world has changed in recent years. If they don’t find a way to evolve with it, and possibly take less money for themselves to keep their authors happy, their authors are going to start to see through the disguised, overcomplicated idiocy and get the hell out of Dodge.
There is a solution that would satisfy all. I have the solution that will end the argument, and this is it:
Amazon, stop selling any books by Hachette or any of their multi-conglomerate companies. Just take them off the site completely. Eliminate them altogether. Why? Let’s just say it’s for slander, violating terms of a contract (or not having a contract at all), and conduct unbecoming. Let’s see how Hachette handles setting up their own website, delivery company, sales page, self publishing platform, and developing their own e-reader overnight. Maybe they could have a couple of the authors who paid $104,000 to buy a full page ad in the NY Times help them with the logistics?
Here’s another idea. I suggest we get 104,000 indie authors to pay a dollar to take out our own ad. I’m serious, too! Indies, pass this around and let’s see how big of an ad we can take out! No joke, let’s have our voices heard! What better site than the one that has our name in the title to bring us all together?
Do you suppose we could get anyone to listen to us if 104,000 authors spoke with one voice and told our side of the story? Pitch in your Indie Published dollar here. That is a link to the actual fundraiser on indiegogo.com to show the real bullies in this debate that we won’t be intimidated by the size of their bank accounts!
Edit: It appears that I can be intimidated by the size of their bank accounts because I can't afford the tax burden that 104,000 would lend. But I would be happy to donate if someone else has the ability to shoulder that burden....