The Hachette Job

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 :))


  1. Done – but have preordered Shaman Rises (and my other preorders!) from elsewhere – I really need to read it!
    Contacting Amazon to explain why is difficult – the email equivalent of having the complaints department in a locked room at the bottom of a darkened flight of stairs with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’ (after Douglas Adams!)
    And I’m now waiting eagerly for the form email that will tell me how much they value my custom…. :)

  2. I would like to help, but I preordered this as soon as it was available. I have been anxiously waiting for this – hard to wait – and I never buy paper books anymore. Would it help if I cancel my Amazon order and get it from Barnes and Noble instead?

  3. Patsy Tisdale

    I would like to help, but I preordered this as soon as it was available. I have been anxiously waiting for this – hard to wait – and I never buy paper books anymore. Would it help if I cancel my Amazon order and get it from Barnes and Noble instead?

    It would, in fact, particullarly if you then email Amazon and explain to them why you’ve cancelled!

    I hope you’ll love the book! :)

  4. Well… I can’t pre-order Shaman Rises, because I’ve never read any of your books. I just ordered Urban Shaman for my Nook, though. (Yes, technically I *can* pre-order Shaman rises, but I have a book-budget problem (in that it’s never big enough), so I like to “try” a new author with a lower priced book. Not to mention, I prefer to start at the beginning of a series. All that said, I’m “trying” just about every author who has weighed in on this issue. I chose a Nook for my e-reader several years ago because, as a voracious reader, I didn’t want to contribute to a future where Amazon was the sole arbiter of what gets published.

    1. under no circumstances should you pre-order SHAMAN RISES, then! :) It, being the last book in the series, is the absolute worst place to start reading it. I hope you like URBAN SHAMAN! :)

      1. Just so you know… I LOVED Urban Shaman, and have ordered the next two (all my budget would stand right now). I’ll be getting the rest soon enough, and then moving on to your other books. Also left a review at B&N explaining that your writing style perfectly matches my reading preferences.

        1. Oh, I’m delighted you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to get the anthology WINTER MOON, which has a novella that fits between URBAN SHAMAN and THUNDERBIRD FALLS in it! :)

          1. Done and done! I love the novella format since I can read one in one sitting, so I’m looking forward to reading these. I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of Mercedes Lackey’s books, the Bedlam’s Bard series with Rosemary Edgehill is probably my favorite (although it’s a tough call between that and Valdemar and the Elvenbane series with Andre Norton). I’ve only read a couple of Tanith Lee’s, and it was a long time ago, so I’m looking forward to being reintroduced.

    1. Hey, budgets are meant to be busted, right?

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