Okay. I’m going to deal with this quickly and I’ll be out of here.
Background: Last night Amazon sent an email to everyone who had published books through their Kindle Direct Program (KDP) and since I’m one of those authors (Buy My Books) it came to me, too. You can read the whole thing here.
It’s kind of weird. I mean, I do business with Amazon. I don’t do business with Hachette. However, Hachette isn’t releasing oddball press releases via email, nor are they sending out rallying cries to garner support. Some of their authors? Yeah. And it’s weird. The company themselves? Nope.
So, let’s linkfarm this shit:
Amazon says that George Orwell was against cheap books. Accurate or selective quoting? The answer
will won’t surprise you. Unsurprisingly, this is what people are talking about, not whether Amazon is totally on your side, readers.
Should KDP authors be on Amazon’s side? Actually, higher ebook prices from big publishers helps indie authors. Why would I want to help Amazon bring their prices down to my level?
Like Chuck Wendig, I’m not terribly moved by the Authors United push.
Also like Chuck Wendig, I think Amazon’s latest press release is fucking ridiculous.
Why? Because they published the Hachette CEO’s email address and gave people a bunch of talking points to send him in an effort to make him cave on their negotiations.
Seriously. Let me state for the record that I am not going to spam anyone’s inbox for the sake of a big corporation. I wouldn’t spam someone’s inbox for a real life friend, so I’m definitely not doing it for Amazon.
Let me also state that anyone who thinks Hachette’s CEO is going to be skimming through those emails thinking “Hmm. SilverDragonLady211883 At Yahoo dot com makes a good point about her mother’s reading habits” is kidding themselves. The only people who’ll see these emails are the bored interns tasked with deleting them all.
I shouldn’t be surprised by this PR fail (after “human shields”) but I am. It’s incredibly unprofessional.
Amazon, get new PR people. Stop trying to be loved. You can’t be beloved by consumers and be Walmart at the same time. Choose between those options and live with the consequences.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this!
Giant corporations trying to enlist artists in price-fixing and profit-margin wars. We are the backstory of a hacky cyberpunk novel.
— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) August 9, 2014
UPDATE 2: I’d seen the Authors United NYTimes profile, but not the big ad they purchased. Apparently, that ad includes Jeff Bezos’s email with a request that readers spam him. Uncool, AU.