Posts tagged with "macmillan" - Faerye Net 2010-01-31T14:12:41+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Amazon won't sell these books 2010-01-31T14:12:41+00:00 2010-01-31T15:22:23+00:00 <p><a href="" title="These books are not available from Amazon, 1/31/2010 by Felicity Shoulders, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="375" alt="These books are not available from Amazon, 1/31/2010" border="0" /></a></p> <p>I&#8217;m a little disappointed to see only writers and publishing industry folks talking about Amazon&#8217;s dispute with Macmillan. Short version: Amazon has a dispute with Macmillan Books over one small aspect of their business (ebooks) so they pulled <b>all</b> their <b>paper</b> books from sale. They are throwing their weight around in a maneuver straight out of the WalMart Monopolist&#8217;s Handbook.</p> <p>I know the previous #amazonfail furor was over social justice, and this is &#8220;just business&#8221;. A lot of readers also have a personal pocketbook-pug in the ebook-pricing dogfight. But publishing is the business of selling </b>ideas</b>, and that makes it everyone&#8217;s business. I&#8217;m by no means saying everyone needs to delete their Amazon account as a few authors have done. To be honest, I&#8217;m not doing so. I haven&#8217;t bought a book from Amazon in a long time because of their strong-arm tactics toward publishing companies (they did something almost identical to a UK company) and print-on-demand sellers. I intend to continue that policy.</p> <p>All I&#8217;m hoping is that some folks outside the publishing industry &#8212; readers, consumers who are affected by this &#8212; read about this and think about it. Books are the lifeblood of our civilization, the strongest thread connecting past and future. I&#8217;m not gnashing my teeth with anger over this dispute, and I&#8217;m not asking you to do so: I&#8217;m just saying that, given Amazon&#8217;s powerful place in the bookselling industry, this is an important conversation, and one everyone who reads and loves books, paper or digital, should pay attention to.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s some reading:<br /> <ul><br /> <li><a href="" target="links">Just the facts Friday, from the New York Times</a>.</li><br /> <li><a href="" target="links">Macmillan&#8217;s statement</a> yesterday.</li><br /> <li><a href="" target="links">Cory Doctorow&#8217;s BoingBoing post</a>.</li><br /> <li><a href="" target="links">Tobias Buckell on this situation, and e-book pricing in detail</a> (long, quite thorough) (Mirrored on <a href="" target="links">SFWA&#8217;s blog</a>).</li><br /> <li><a href="" target="links">Live feed on the #amazonfail twitter topic</a>. Tweeters who&#8217;ve been voluble include <a href="" target="links">the Science Fiction &amp; Fantasy Writers of America (<span class="caps">SFWA</span>)</a> and <a href="" target="links">Tor author Jay Lake</a>.</li></ul></p> <p>If you decide to do something, here are some ideas:<br /> <ul><br /> <li>Buy a Macmillan book (Tor, Forge, St. Martin&#8217;s, Picador, Farrar Straus &amp; Giroux, et c.) from another retailer, like <a href="" target="links">Powell&#8217;s</a>, this weekend.</li><br /> <li>Commit to buying all your books from another retailer.</li><br /> <li>When you link books from your blog or website, link to another retailer (I use Powell&#8217;s: their <a href="" target="links">Partner Program</a> is nice.</li><br /> <li>Write an <a href="" target="links">email to Amazon</a>, telling them if you disagree with their actions. If you&#8217;re taking any business elsewhere, you can tell them this way.</li><br /> <li>Blog about this, <a href="" target="links">delicious</a> links about it, whatever comes naturally.</li><br /> <li>If you&#8217;re on <a href="htp://" target="links">Twitter</a>, retweet messages and links about this.</li><br /> <li>If you&#8217;re on <a href="" target="links">Facebook</a>, post links or update your Facebook status so your friends hear about this.</li><br /> <li>If you belong to <a href="" target="links">Flickr</a>, take a photo of any number of Macmillan books and contribute it to <a href="" target="links">my new group, &#8220;Amazon won&#8217;t sell these books&#8221;</a>. I love taking photos of books (weird, I know) and I hope this will cause some conversation.</li></ul></p> <p>Thanks for reading!</p> <p><strong>Update, 3:18pm, 1/31/2010:</strong> Amazon has announced they will acquiesce to Macmillan, in a <a href="" target="links">post on their Kindle fora</a>. The tone of the announcement, I feel, is very misleading. It paints Amazon as the victim of Macmillan&#8217;s strong-arm tactics, even while it admits Amazon pulled the books. Choice language: &#8220;&#8230;Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.&#8221; They don&#8217;t mention that Macmillan wanted to charge as little as $5.99 later in the book&#8217;s life cycle.</p> <p>So now that I&#8217;ve read their spin, I have a correction to make to this post: I <em>wasn&#8217;t</em> angry. Now I am.</p> <p>Amazon hasn&#8217;t said when they will restore the books, and I would still love to see your Macmillan books added to the Flickr group &#8220;Amazon won&#8217;t sell these books&#8221;.</p>