Oh, Amazon, Really Now?

I suppose if I were an enormous entity, growing all the time and convinced I was poised to transform my industry, I might start thinking I could just roll over anyone I wanted to.  And once I started thinking that I might start thinking the best way to handle any conflict was to just throw my massive weight around and crush anyone who had the gall to oppose me.  But is really wise for Amazon to once again go running around throwing a hissy fit and yanking books because someone who has a disagreement with them?  Sooner or later, everyone else who has dealings with Amazon might just start wondering when it will happen to them.  Amazon is gearing up to be big in doing their own publishing, but do they really want to alienate every other publisher just to simplify things?

Of course, long-time readers will remember when I was griping about Amazon acting all passive-aggressive rather than like Galactus.  But remember, that was really more of a “tsk tsk” kind of post.  I really do prefer that sort of thing to this, only because it isn’t so ridiculously author-hostile.  The problem is, not only is Amazon huge, but books are only a chunk of what they do.  It makes perfect sense for them to burn a little money now to make more later, and it makes perfect sense, from their point of view, to use authors like pawns if gives them a shot at knocking out a publisher or whatnot who might get in their way.  But for obvious reasons I’m less than sympathetic with that view.  I don’t think Amazon is trying to hurt authors.  I don’t think they are even really thinking about authors.  Which is sort of the problem.

~ by smwilliams on February 28, 2012.

2 Responses to “Oh, Amazon, Really Now?”

  1. I heard about this, but why are they doing it? All I read was they they were boycotting indie publishers, but I couldn’t find why. Kind of freaks me out, since I’m planning to self pub soon, and I really don’t want to get screwed by a distributor war.

    • I guess in theory it is about a disagreement about how much Amazon wants to pay someone. I can’t figure out if it is really just that, or whether Amazon is really just trying to crush the publisher. I think they’d just as soon be the only publisher out there, but they have to know there would be some blowback if they really put everyone else out of business. The thing that worries me is that Amazon’s go-to move seems to be to yank stuff from being sold, and the effect that has on authors doesn’t even seem to be part of the equation. I know that traditional publishers will screw authors now and again, but I feel like I’d rather be a target than collateral damage.

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