On 9 August Amazon emailed a public letter to all of its authors stating its side in the ongoing dispute with Hachette.
Basically Amazon’s argument boiled down to:
- Large publishers had illegally colluded to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
- Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
- Hachette should stop using their authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
In support of its argument Amazon went public with information on the offers it had made Hachette to take authors out of the middle, specifically: Continue reading
In a previous post (Round Three - Hachette vs Amazon) I covered the developing stoush between Amazon and Hachette which at that time, although threatening to affect both writers and readers, really seemed only to affect the companies concerned. But as the ‘negotiations’ continue to drag on the fight is starting to get bitter with writers now taking sides.
The taking of sides started with “letter to our readers” spearheaded by bestselling writer Douglas Preston and signed by 69 of Hachette’s authors. However the reaction to this ‘letter’ by many smaller authors can be best characterised by Amy Eyrie’s response on the Bookseller’s blog: “… the reaction of these rich writers protecting the status quo is deeply disappointing. A little more time acting as mentors to fledgling writers and a little less time guarding their monopoly is what I expect from artists. What I see is a bunch of shallow, cynical business people.
In response, as Barry Eisler explains (see Barry’s blog or his specific post) Hugh Howey created an alternate petition to Hachette’s CEO that as at 13 July had obtained 7,110 signatures. The petition reads: Continue reading