From The Financial Times:
Amazon’s dispute with Hachette publishing house is threatening the loyalty of Amazon’s customers and sabotaging its relations with authors, according to Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling writer of The Tipping Point and Outliers.
The online retailer’s aggressive tactics, which involve delaying shipments of Hachette books or declining to make others available for purchase, are “a violation of their best interests”, said Mr Gladwell, a Hachette author.
. . . .
In an interview for Saturday’s FT Weekend Magazine, Mr Gladwell said he was “agnostic” on the business dispute but disliked becoming a “pawn”. He said: “I thought Amazon wanted to be nice to me. I thought their endgame was to woo authors. So, then why are they sabotaging us?”
. . . .
The company also acts as a platform for the sale of self-published books, potentially challenging the historic role of publishers, whose services to authors include paying advances and publicising their work, as well as publishing and distributing books.
Mr Gladwell dismissed the idea that successful authors could cut out traditional publishers in the digital era. “I hesitate to weigh in on this most sensitive occasion. I have a very nice arrangement with my publisher,” he said.
“The truth is the relationship between an author and a publisher is not set in stone. It’s a relationship. You can structure it however you wish. And if circumstances change and you think that the publisher needs to do more or less than they’ve done in the past then you should just alter your business arrangement. These things aren’t givens.”
Link to the rest at The Financial Times (which has an unpredictable paywall. Search Google using the title of this post and you should get in) and thanks to SMH for the tip.
PG suggests that if Gladwell didn’t want to be a pawn, he shouldn’t have signed with a company like Hachette in the first place.