For those of you who have not been following along–and frankly, I have no expectation that the larger percentage of my readers will be, because it’s a topic that at best affects them from a distance–Amazon is trying to force publishing house Hachette to agree to more-favorable-to-Amazon contract clauses.
They’re doing this by:
– not listing Hachette titles
– setting Hatchette title prices at (sometimes extraordinarily) high price points to discourage readers from buying them
– setting shipping dates for already-available Hachette books at 3-5 weeks out, instead of making them immediately available
– suggesting other books when readers search for Hachette titles
This is not the first time Amazon has done this. (B&N has been known to do it too, for that matter.) And it’s not the first time that publishing houses and writers are the ones being hurt. Lilith Saint Crow spells out how writers are being hurt, and Harry Connolly writes about Amazon and an eye-opening experiment he ran regarding sales.
I hate this. I really do. Amazon is the biggest game in town; like Harry, 90% of my sales from self-published material comes through it. But for my traditionally published stuff, I have a favor to ask.
Don’t order SHAMAN RISES from Amazon if you’ve got another choice. A local bookstore is best by far: go in (or call) and ask them to pre-order you a copy of SHAMAN RISES. Or B&N, whether online or local to you, if there’s not an independent nearby.
And then–especially if you’ve cancelled an Amazon pre-order to do any of this–email Amazon and tell them you’re not ordering this book (or some other book, if you’re not looking forward to SHAMAN RISES (*sob*)) because their predatory approach toward publishing houses and writers gives you sufficient incentive to shop elsewhere. If enough people change their buying habits, even briefly, and tell Amazon why, it might get their attention.
Let me say this, though: if Amazon is your best available choice for whatever reason, please understand that I am *not* going to hold it against you if you keep shopping through them. It’s not like I’m going to stop *selling* through them, and I like to think I’m not quite that hypocritical. So really, truly: this is not a post to censure anyone ordering through Amazon. It’s just–if you can, this once, stick it to ’em.
(but for god’s sake pre-order SHAMAN RISES one way or another so the first week numbers are bright and shiny! O.O :))