From Chris Meadows via TeleRead:
On J.A. Konrath’s Blog, Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath have a grand old time defenestrating an event announced for later this month by an organization called New America. The event is called “Amazon’s Book Monopoly: A Threat to Freedom of Expression?” which should immediately call to mind the old “Threat or menace?” headline formulation. As Eisler points out, the event title assumes Amazon has a book monopoly, as the basis for asking a question where the question mark is only rhetorical—even though Amazon has never actually been shown to have a true “monopoly.”
. . . .
What I find most interesting is where Joe Konrath chimes in at the end to point out that all the opposition’s ranting and raving about Amazon seems to have had remarkably little effect, because the vast majority of consumers simply love Amazon. Groups like the Authors Guild and Authors United attempt to stir up resentment against Amazon. But as Konrath points out:
But I don’t think this approach works when it comes to Amazon. People aren’t so ready to buy what the pinheads are selling. Today we can have the New York Times, which I believe still has the motto “All the news that’s fit to print”, show such stunning anti-Amazon bias that the public editor has called it out more than once, and the public simply doesn’t give a [darn]. Amazon still gets their approval and their business, no matter how many times David Streitfeld one-finger-types his screeds while busting out knuckle babies with his other hand.
Konrath adds that he would like to think people are too smart to buy into what Authors United and their ilk are selling, but he suspects the more likely answer is that people just like Amazon.
Link to the rest at TeleRead
As PG has mentioned before, these biblioluminaries are reflecting Big Publishing’s fear of Amazon.
One of the reasons Big Publishing is worried about Amazon is that Big Publishing has become worried about self-publishing. Perhaps he has missed it, but PG doesn’t recall anyone in Big Publishing seriously discussing what has happened over the last 9 years with indie authors (Amazon opened beta testing for KDP in late 2007).
Of course, there were some drive-by insults, but no real conversation by an industry that generally loves to talk about all sorts of topics, including bestselling authors. What do successful indie authors meant for the future of Big Publishing? It is the Subject That Must Not Be Mentioned.
Of course, Amazon never endeared itself to Tradpub by its discounting of books either. Amazon was, of course, following in Barnes & Noble’s footsteps with competitive pricing. Big Publishing hated BN before it realized that BN might go under just like Borders did. Now they don’t talk hate on BN much at all.
Suppressed fears have a habit of manifesting themselves in all sorts of strange and illogical ways. Hence Amazon Derangement Syndrome and symposia devoted to the evils of selling a lot of books.