Home » Amazon, Big Publishing, Self-Publishing » How Amazon Brought Publishing to Its Knees — and Why Authors Might Be Next

How Amazon Brought Publishing to Its Knees — and Why Authors Might Be Next

31 July 2014

From Mashable:

Morgan Entrekin is happy with the relationships he’s developed with Amazon. As the president of independent publisher Grove/Atlantic Books, he witnessed the industry change as Amazon’s introduction of the Kindle helped publishers like him embrace the digital revolution that has battered other industries.

It’s the future that he’s worried about.

“Right now [Amazon] is allowing me a perfectly fair margin, but what happens when they have total control or twice as much of the market share than they have now?” he said.

Entrekin’s sentiment isn’t unusual. Amazon’s skirmishes with various publishers had been obscure to most until May, when the ecommerce giant began to block preorders of upcoming Hachette books. Since then, the dispute has been a public one, especially by Amazon’s usually tight-lipped nature.

The relationship between Amazon and publishers started out as mutually beneficial. Amazon brought publishers into the digital age, and publishers were happy to provide the content in return for a new revenue stream.

As e-books grew and brick-and-mortar businesses like Borders struggled, the business dynamics between Amazon and publishers changed. Publishers like Hachette — after being boosted by Amazon’s investment and innovation — are now uncomfortably reliant on the ecommerce site and looking for ways to maintain a grip on an evolving industry but finding none.

. . . .

“We have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Amazon and Jeff Bezos and his team for the investment that they were willing to make in those years,” Entrekin said. “They did it in an orderly manner, in a way you could trust, and it’s helped us.”

There was a time when e-books were just a small part of the overall market, but now e-books are reaching parity with print. In 2013, some 457 million e-books were sold vs. 557 million hardcovers, according to the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. (Paperbacks were not included in that estimate.)

The sales growth magnifies publishers’ unease with the with the $9.99 price point that CEO Jeff Bezos had decided on — a number that had no basis in economics but rather in psychological pricing, according to Brad Stone’s defining book on Amazon, The Everything Store. Amazon recently defended that price in a blog post, claiming it is better for consumers, publishers and authors.

The $9.99 e-book introduction came after publishers had already seen the prices of books fall as chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders drove out independent sellers through lower pricing.

. . . .

By outsourcing the innovation to Amazon, publishers were subject to its preferences — including that $9.99 price point.

“[Amazon] put downward pressure on prices because Amazon was always trying to lower e-book prices. Publishers were always trying to prevent that from happening because it lowered the perceived value of books,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University who specializes in digital economics.

. . . .

Whether publishers can figure out how to manage a $9.99 price point and Amazon’s market dominance may end up being a footnote in history if self-publishing continues to grow.

Authors, attracted by the prospect of keeping 70% of sales as long as they price their books at or below $9.99, have begun to sign up with Amazon, skipping publishers altogether.

. . . .

Advocates of self-publishing, like author Hugh Howey, argue that the royalty opportunities are too great to pass up, and that publishers will need to transition into a different role to remain relevant.

“I think today’s successful self-publishing groups will become tomorrow’s boutique publishing agents. The advantage of worldwide distribution through e-books and on demand is already outweighing the advantage of being in a bookstore for three to six months,” Howey said. “And the financial difference between royalties is so massive that more and more authors are discovering this, which allows for colleagues to discover it. I really think in 10 years, you’re going to see a lot more people self-publishing.”

Link to the rest at Mashable 

Amazon, Big Publishing, Self-Publishing

92 Comments to “How Amazon Brought Publishing to Its Knees — and Why Authors Might Be Next”

  1. Read the whole thing, TPV Krewe–there’s a surprise guest star.

  2. …the $9.99 price point that CEO Jeff Bezos had decided on — a number that had no basis in economics but rather in psychological pricing…

    Oh, please! So, with all the data collected by Amazon from its site, it’s choosing an ebook price on whim? I don’t think so.

    • Prices appear with .99 on the end based on the psychology of the buyer, to make it look cheaper than it is. That’s Economics 101. That Brad Stone doesn’t realize that doesn’t help his case.

      • Most people I know round up. 65p? We’ll call it a pound. £3.49? £3.50. £9.99? That’s a tenner.

        Actual total: £14.13. Rounded total: £14.50. Both figures would get rounded to £15.

        Not saying Economics 101 is wrong, just that I’ve never understood the psychology of all the people that make it right. It makes it easier to quickly tally stuff if you round it up.

        Either way I’d probably be more likely to buy two items at $9.99 than I would one at $14.99, even if it meant I was spending $4.99 more over all.

        • Economics has no problem with psychology. If psychology causes certain buying behavior, economics accepts it.

          Demand curves don’t have to be straight lines, they can jog to the right at each $X.99 price point. OK. No problem if that is what the data shows.

    • Didn’t Amazon just explain the economics of the $9.99 price point two days ago in their statement?

  3. You can read Arun Sundararajan’s paper “Pricing digital goods: discontinuous costs and shared infrastructure” at Information Systems Research site … if you pay the $30 fee for 2 days’ access.
    (In case you didn’t get enough irony while browsing this morning.)

  4. There’s a line in an Elvis Costello song: “I can’t forgive you for things you haven’t done yet.” I think it’s fair to say the same goes for vilifying you for things you haven’t done yet. If you have to reach into a fictional future to criticize, I contend you might be overreaching.

    • I contend that they probably have an agenda. Do they do this with other businesses besides Amazon? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a business this vilified by the media based on imaginary crimes. Usually they have to have *done* something first to get this kind of negative coverage.

      • What Amazon did: they got big, they got successful, tradpub doesn’t begin to know how to compete with them. That’s enough, in some people’s eyes. They must be bad.

  5. “Authors, attracted by the prospect of keeping 70% of sales as long as they price their books at or below $9.99, have begun to sign up with Amazon, skipping publishers altogether.”

    Skipping publishers altogether?????

    Oh dear heaven above, children. Truly, it’s the endtimes.

    • THIS!

    • Honestly it’s not the 70% that draws me in, it’s that Amazon doesn’t require that I contractually hand over my work for a time frame that will probably outlast my son’s lifetime. The money is just a bonus.

      • But the theme constantly repeated by agents and publishers claiming that you’re only attracted to the 70% cut is that authors hate, can’t do, are incapable of, don’t undertand etc. the control of their own rights and own publishing process.

        So it’s important for anti-Amazon bias to keep harping on the idea that money alone is the attraction for writers–who are too naive to understand they’d have to produce and publish their own books, a task at which they are ill-suited and incapable!, in order to get that 70%

      • THIS!! Thank you. I didn’t go into self publishing thinking I’d make gobs of money. I thought (and still think) its most attractive feature is rights retention and all the flexibility and freedom that comes with it. Even if Amazon dropped its royalty percentage down to equal a traditional publisher’s percentage, it would still be superior to theirs because of the rights retention piece.

        • And Amazon is too smart to drop it anyway in my opinion. They know there are other online venues that would fill the vacuum and give the authors a better rate.

  6. Chris Armstrong

    Does anyone agree with me that Amazon’s statement didn’t imply that they want to enforce a strict cap of $9.99 on ebooks?

    All they seemed to say is that they consider that optimal. My interpretation is that it would possibly be a criteria for receiving other free “bells and whistles” from Amazon like pre-orders.

    • And they explicitly said it was optimal for some books, not all.

      • Thanks, I thought I was losing my mind. Perfectly reasonable people seem to be running around screaming that Amazon has now announced that they will never sell a book over $9.99 ever again. The outrage!

        • The people who are bringing up these points desperately want something to criticize Amazon for. I have yet to see any substantive points brought up about what Amazon posted. Most of the criticism has been twisting what Amazon said about the $9.99 price point (“They want ALL books to be less than $10!”) or just pure emotion (“How DARE they respond to Hachette that way?!!” to which I say who cares?)

          I keep looking for real, concrete reasons that people dislike Amazon so I know what to look out for. Most of what I get is people panicking and throwing out conspiracy theories/idle speculation. It’s really making me lose respect for some authors. So far, the best critisisms of Amazon have come from people who actually really like Amazon and think they could do better(like Konrath). Other people are just so obviously scared of Amazon. They’ve worked themselves up far too much about it.

          • Well, this is the crux of it, isn’t it? What you just said.

            As it happens, I am opposed to monopoly and I am not sanguine about the consequences of a company getting too big a market share. (I wrote for one such company. By the time I started writing professional, Harlequin completely dominated the series-romance market, probably account for 90% of the releases in that subgenre. And, consequently, they had the most egregious contracts I’ve ever seen or signed, they treated authors like excrement, they treated books like excrement, absolutely nothing was neogitable there, and they always held all the cards and made sure their writers knew it. These not conditions to shrug off as no big deal, and I NEVER want to deal with a monopoly again.)

            That said… I nonetheless completely disagree that the way to deal with the prospective threat of Amazon eventually becoming a monopoly is to make a lot of bad, stupid, wasteful, counter-productive, backward-thinking decisions now. And so far, that’s the kind of decisions I keep seeing advocated and employed by the anti-Amazon crowd.

          • I keep looking for real, concrete reasons that people dislike Amazon so I know what to look out for.

            See, there’s your mistake. They aren’t doing it for reasons. They’re doing it because they are people who never learnt how to analyse a problem rationally, whose first reaction to every issue is to apply their emotions, and whose second reaction is to check what the Cool Kids are saying so they won’t be seen having the wrong emotional reaction.

            When you explain something to a person in a calm, orderly way with facts and numbers, and 8″ x 10″ glossies with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each explaining what it is, and they come back by accusing you of selling your soul to the devil, you immediately know that you are not dealing with a person who is able to think rationally about that subject (or, in some cases, about any subject), and you do not try to engage them again. The little peace of mind I enjoy in this life comes to me when I observe this rule stringently.

          • Something can be benign or good for the market, yet very bad for specific individuals. A market can change in a way where those people can no longer prosper. They are replaced by people who can prosper, but their opposition to the change is rational.

  7. …publishers had already seen the prices of books fall as chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders drove out independent sellers through lower pricing.

    O-o-o-h! So publishers saw book prices fall, when the chains lowered those prices. And the offering of lower wholesale prices to those chain stores, but not to indie stores, had nothing to do with it, huh?

  8. …It’s companies like mine that could be part of publishing more creative, more innovative, more global. We are being put in a position where we cannot innovate the way we should. We cannot provide some of that healthy disruption in the publishing industry.”

    Why not? Is your only workable business model predicated on high prices and screwing the writers?

    • To quote Dilbert’s boss: “Since when is it illegal to shaft innocent people for personal gain?”

    • Sounds like they’re not as creative as they imagine themselves to be. Really creative people don’t sit around lamenting what they could have done if someone wasn’t stopping them.

      • “We are being put in a position where we cannot innovate the way we should. We cannot provide some of that healthy disruption in the publishing industry.”

        This is a gem. Now that Legacy world feels a legitamate need to innovate they feel they can’t, becaue they’re already in such a subservient position to Amazon as not only their prime distributor and also a content providers and end users. Legacy Heads: that’s e-commerce-ese for writers and readers.

        And I assume that by “healthy disruption” he infers a type of Legacy controlled Amazon store and e-book model where they continue to control all facets of the market as they always have? That’s just a guess though.

        It’s NOT innovating 20 years ago that has prevented BigPub from being in that reality now.

        Not that I think any “innovation” from BigPub would amount to any difference in the book market at this point. Not with hundreds of millions of people already hooked on Zon and somewhere between 95-98% of avg. consumers not even knowing (or caring) who or what Randy Penguin is.

        • “where we cannot innovate the way we should. We cannot provide some of that healthy disruption in the publishing industry.”

          This is where a competent journalist, of which there are fewer and fewer out there, would ask a follow-up question.

          What innovations do you want to make that you are being prevented from making? (A relevant question, since we are unaware of een a SINGLE innovative things that publishers have tried or proposed.)

          And: Given us an example or description of what sort of healthy disruption you ideally see your company providing.

  9. …said Angela Bole, executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association. “They set themselves up with relationships and partnerships that aren’t necessarily beneficial to them down the line.”

    So a business partner who reports royalties dishonestly, disrespects you, and turns over 25% of a poorly defined net is a beneficial business partner?

    • Suburbanbanshee

      There’s a benefit to someone, and writer-peons should be glad to have the opportunity to give badly needed money to other people than their unworthy selves. New York business lunches are expensive for publishers, you know!

    • But what if the lying, cheating, business partner is protecting Book Culture? And The Writing Life? Wouldn’t THAT make it okay?

      • Thanks for bringing up The Writing Life.

        • Couldn’t resist, Chris. And the really hysterically funny thing is that those guys don’t realize we’re living it, in great part because of Amazon.

          • Yes, I had a similar thought. I see comments historically from Shatz or Steve Z or Deborah Smith where they roll their eyes and say that people like Konrath or Howey know nothing about “the publishing industry”. I always think to myself “but aren’t they participating in that industry?” or do they just not count?

            • They don’t count, Chris. Neither do the puppies. Or meerkats.

              • I’m living the writing life as an indie, largely because Amazon has allowed me to find my audience among their customers. Not very many legacy published writers are able to live this life, despite getting advances and having the legacy stamp of not being dreck.

    • ““They set themselves up with relationships and partnerships that aren’t necessarily beneficial to them down the line.”

      Well, yes, I confess. Every one of my four agency relationships was a terrible decision.

      Most of my publishing relationships were also bad decisions–though, in fairness to myself, back when I amde those decisions, they were the only decisios available to me if I wanted to earn income from my fiction writing.

      So, yeah, I know about bad decisions. Been there, done that, suffered the consequences.

  10. I noticed that they brought up the pre-order button issue, and I’ve been wondering why Amazon doesn’t allow them for indies at all, but I’m thinking it’s because they have no way to fight massive fraud for pre-orders from unknown entities. With publishers they probably assume that costs can be recouped from a publisher even if a book doesn’t end up in publication. But if individuals can sell things on pre-order and don’t deliver the product (through fraud or lack of follow-through), Amazon might not be able to recoup that loss. Hence, they can’t offer pre-order buttons to indie writers.

    Thoughts?

    • Amazon does not charge your credit card until the ebook whispers onto your kindle or the paper book leaves the warehouse. So, no fraud there. However, Amazon does not like to raise customer expectations and then disappoint them.

      • Exactly, J.M. The pre-order button isn’t about money; it’s about appearances. Amazon was royally burned when Salinger’s last book wasn’t published, and customers blamed Amazon, not Salinger or his publisher.

    • True. I was thinking that Amazon could hold onto the money until the book is delivered, but what if someone calling themselves “Steve King” offers “Joyland” as an ebook and puts up a crappy short story? I would guess that Amazon would have to hold onto the money for a month, allowing customers time to complain. In the end, even if they put in a lot of fail-safes, customers might end up with a terrible experience, even if they don’t lose money in the end.

      One wonders what it would take for small-press outfits to be treated like a company.

    • I think that’s the reason. People keep assuming it’s something negative, but I don’t think it is. With bad self-published books online, I think they know those books will sink and never be heard from again. Letting everyone have a pre-order button is a totally different thing.

      That said, I bet in the future they give more pre-order buttons to self-publishers who prove they can deliver on time. In essence, you have to earn it. The ones who whine incessantly about not getting certain things that other people have are usually the ones who haven’t stopped to consider what would happen if everyone had access to those things. They don’t think through the implications because they’re too busy whining.

    • It’s definitely about reader expectations, and not wanting hordes of readers demanding to know where the promised book is. On this aspect, the mechanics of traditional publishing ensure they will nearly always meet their release date. Whereas indie writers…, not so much.

      Traditional publishers need the final book in hand months before setting the release. They’re waiting while they send it out for reviews, and while they sell it to the bookstores. Also, if they promise a book will be delivered to fit a certain seasonal slot, the store buyers really need to have it there at that time.

      So their systems have a lot of built in elements that make meeting release dates fairly easy. With indies, the release date is much more the author’s best guess about when they’ll be finished, assuming life doesn’t intervene. So lots of possibilities for missed deadlines and annoyed, email-sending, blog-post writing customers.

    • Amazon could easily offer a pre-order button for indies by requiring that you upload the final book at the time you make it available for pre-order. Then there is no chance of the author not delivering.

      • But at that point it wouldn’t necessitate a pre-order, as it’s a finished product, and also wouldn’t account for fraud, since someone could upload the first 300 pages of a dictionary and call it their “novel”. I doubt Amazon has the manpower to read every manuscript of every indie pre-order to prevent such issues.

      • It would still be a bad idea. There are still some self-publishers who are on Amazon to scam customers, unfortunately. They’d have a field day. Amazon has its reputation to protect.

    • As an indie I don’t want a pre-order button. I want my readers to buy my next release in as small a time frame as possible to bump it up the rankings and increase my visibility and exposure. A pre-order button kills that release bump.

  11. Didn’t I read this back in 1990?

    “Right now [Barnes & Noble] is allowing me a perfectly fair margin, but what happens when they have total control or twice as much of the market share than they have now?” he said.

  12. The articlle lost me when it brought up how outspoken amazon has been about this whole thing.

    Lets see, three or four public statements to how many oppositional attacks now?

  13. “The business that comes after the business that comes after Amazon could screw you at any time. They’re not your friend.”

    There. We’re set for the next few decades.

  14. Some of the statements towards the end of the linked article are priceless:

    The fear is that Amazon could end up doing to independent authors the same thing it has done to publishers — make them reliant on a system and then use its leverage to negotiate relentlessly.

    Umm . . . Amazon isn’t *making* anybody reliant. If you don’t want to use their service I don’t think you’re going to wake up with a severed horse head in your bed. I’d call this one a self-inflicted injury for the publishers. Hint: when you shoot yourself in the foot it’s your own fault.

    And from Angela Bole, executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association: “They set themselves up with relationships and partnerships that aren’t necessarily beneficial to them down the line.”

    But unlike a legacy pub contracts you still own your IP ‘down the line’.

    Do people actually believe this manure?

    • I think it’s more about whether Amazon captures a large enough market share to the extent that they shut out viable alternatives. If you’re a publisher, whether a big trad corp or self-published, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you DON’T list your books on Amazon, with its 2/3 market share.

      I don’t mean to excuse the short-sightedness of publishers. They could have taken a lesson from the music industry. What they’re trying to do now actually makes sense from their perspective: trying to preserve as many channels for their product as possible so that they reduce reliance on Amazon. I don’t think they’re going about it the right way, but I understand why they’re doing it.

      I also agree that this article is a bit of fear-mongering. Yes, of course Amazon is going to revisit royalty contracts if/when their number-crunching tells them that the profit made will outweigh the loss sustained by writers leaving the ecosystem. That is nothing to fear. That’s just business, and change. Smart writers will always look forward by innovating and experimenting.

      • I agree that as things stand now the 2/3 market share means not using Amazon is like shooting your own foot. However the quote stated:
        the same thing it has done to publishers — make them reliant
        That Amazon can capture 2/3 of the market marks a failure on the part of the publishing industry. Amazon didn’t *do* anything to them.
        My local supermarket offers many own brand products, as alternatives to ‘premium’ brands. This way I assume they cut steps out of the supply chain, lowering prices and/or increasing profit.The publishing sector had decades in which to eliminate unnecessary steps in the supply chain. Now it’s too late, other companies are doing this for them, and unfortunately (for them), they are turning out to be one of the unnecessary steps.

        I do agree that from where publishers are now they need to protect the only strong (positive) differential they have left – paper distribution.

        🙂

        • “Do people actually believe this manure?”

          Amazingly (and frighteningly) enough, yes. They sure seem to. I think so many of the people behind these statements, and most ADS fueld rants, are so esntrenched in the belief of the sheer importance of the BigPub “eco-system”, that being a published writer, who still works in a cubicle somewhere, is and will always be preferable than being one of “Bezos’s schlock peddlers” writing full time.

  15. It occurs to me that many publishers (not all, but many) do not understand marketing. Many seem caught up in an endless cycle of “doing exactly what worked before,” but since they don’t understand why something may have worked before, the best they can do is guess. Amazon, on the other hand, is all about marketing. They work hard to know their customers and understand that yesterday is past, what matters is what happens and now and tomorrow.

    That tired crap about “under valuing” books reminds me of garage sales where some knucklehead thinks just because his ratty old junk is old it’s a valuable antique and he’s going to get top dollar for it or else.

    If authors want to know the true market value of their printed books, rip off the covers and list the pages on eBay.

    • It’s worse than that; the vast majority of publishers seem not to understand business, never mind marketing. I think if they did they wouldn’t offer advances and wouldn’t accept returns.

      The entire corporate publishing distribution model is broken from the agent to the bookshelf.

      • If true corporate was running a publishing company, here’s what would happen:
        1) suspend new acquisitions
        2a) sack 90-95% of the staff
        2b) close the New York offices
        3) move their new offices to a cheaper state with no cachet
        4a) rework aquisitions department focusing on proven indie published work (while coasting on their sweet backlist profits now that there is low overhead)
        4b) hire a marketing team that actually knows how to market
        5) come out with totally new contracts with better percentage split for the author but *no* advances
        6) start sending letters to likely suspects and see who’ll come around and sign those contracts

  16. “The sales growth magnifies publishers’ unease with the with the $9.99 price point that CEO Jeff Bezos had decided on — a number that had no basis in economics but rather in psychological pricing, according to Brad Stone’s defining book on Amazon, The Everything Store.”

    Because, as we all know, pricing and psychology have no relationship with economics.

  17. Just to clarify – Indies can get pre-order buttons. However, they need to be well established, well known writers.

    When Jason Gurley was promoting his recent book, Eleanor, he managed to negotiate a pre-order button. No, I don’t know who he knows in Amazon. However, his pre-release promotion activity, presumably including pre-orders, helped push his book to an impressive level. It is still ranking well: #3,367 Paid.

    Disclaimer – I was one of his beta readers/reviewers

  18. Small publishers should redirect their anger and vent it towards Hachette and others who had to shoot off their mouths and mount a silly puppet campaign all because 30% of a sale wasn’t enough margin for them. Too many shareholders with outrageous expectations. Small presses don’t reap the benefits of unlimited corporate financing from multinational partners, so they have to be more concerned about such things as getting their author’s books out there into distribution so the widest range of potential readers can find them. y’know, small stuff like that.

  19. Not worried.

    Nice to see a Hugh appearance, though.

  20. “[Amazon] put downward pressure on prices because Amazon was always trying to lower e-book prices. Publishers were always trying to prevent that from happening because it lowered the perceived value of books,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University who specializes in digital economics.

    I would think an economics professor would actually analyze the economics before simply spouting publisher propaganda. Maybe I should send her Barry’s latest blog.

    • Economics is a purely academic study, with very little concern for the facts on the ground, other than observing after the fact. Send the post, if you think it might make a difference, but generally, economists are of the belief that those with the fattest wallets are unvaryingly “right”.

      • You know, the only way to make this statement 100% true would be to edit out all words but the following: ‘Economics is a study.’ Everything else you just wrote is paranoid codswallop.

        • Codswallop? Possibly, but paranoid? NEVER! I have no fear of academics or their pronouncements. I find them entertaining.

          • ‘The belief that those with the fattest wallets are unvaryingly right’ does not exist among economists. Flat-out doesn’t. To characterize the science of economics in this way is a blatant lie, and furthermore, a lie which attributes evil motives to all economists; and what is that if not a practical example of paranoia?

            • Alright, Tom, so you must be an economist. I should have stated my position more clearly. First, I’ve got no axe to grind against the fact that there are those who observe and comment upon the state of economies. It’s their/your choice. However, as an observed science, the results can only be drawn from looking backwards, considering the effects of even cyclic market moves, after the fact. My issue is with making general pronouncements using an economist’s quote to tip the scale in decision making. In economics, the “fat wallet” at the end of an observed period of activity is “proof” of “success”, so prescribed. However, the science rarely dips into the areas of the non-quantitative results of these same activities, and in not connecting these areas with the dollars, the humanity is removed from the equation. This leaves economics a purely academic science with few applications in the real world where the great majority of people have to scramble for the crumbs. But that’s just my opinion, or codswallop, as you say.

      • The only way to observe facts is from after the fact.

  21. “[Amazon] put downward pressure on prices because Amazon was always trying to lower e-book prices. Publishers were always trying to prevent that from happening because it lowered the perceived value of books,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University who specializes in digital economics.”

    I would think an economics professor would actually analyze the economics before simply spouting publisher propaganda. Maybe I should send her Barry’s latest blog.

  22. “Amazon declined to comment for this story, and Hachette did not respond to requests for comment.”

    Once again, Hachette drags its feet. 🙂

  23. Like other shills, two of my comments were deleted at that site.

    They both came down to this:

    Publishers = 17.5% royalties, bi-annual payouts, keep your rights for lifetime + 70 years

    vs

    Amazon = 70% of sales, monthly payout with real-time sales data, no giving up your rights.

    It’s when you present the hard truth to shills that they fold and begin to try and sweep the truth under a rug.

    Or maybe I suffer from Amazon Infatuation Syndrome and Helsinki Syndrome. I blame Konrath and Passive Guy. I’m going to sue both of them (though PG might be a tough nut to crack, him being a lawyer and me being a non-lawyer).

    • Don’t forget: Publishers = less than 17.5%, based on whatever ‘costs’ they deduct from the wholesale price to arrive at their ‘net’ — and you have to take their accounting on blind faith.

  24. I hate strawman arguments about what evil things Amazon or Nissan or Exxon or Rupert Murdoch might do in the future. I got enough problems today. I don’t have the time nor the energy to fret about what isn’t so.

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