Hey look, Amazon Didn’t Take Over the Publishing World

Just yesterday it was confirmed that the dispute between Amazon and Hachette over e-book pricing has been resolved. Of course. I mean, all that crap about this author or that author calling out Amazon over their practices and signing letters to Jeff Bezos did absolutely nothing for the actual deal. What made the two sides come to a deal is the fact that this was never going to go on during the holiday season. Period. And if you think otherwise, you’re an idiot.

Amazon just recently inked a deal with fellow Big Five publisher Simon and Schuster. Which should have caused you to ask yourself two questions. How come they can come to a deal with Amazon and Hachette can’t? And then also, the terms of this agreement can’t be too much different from what Amazon was offering Hachette, right? Unfortunately the terms of the agreements have not been released. But Amazon made it a point in both cases to state that the publisher has a financial incentive to lower e-book prices. I would not be surprised if the deals are exactly the same or very similar.

So now everyone can stop acting like they hate Amazon when you know behind your computer screen or smartphone you love them. Why? Cheaper books. And if you buy dozens a year there really is no reason to pay full price elsewhere. Unless you just like wasting money. Then go right ahead.

4 thoughts on “Hey look, Amazon Didn’t Take Over the Publishing World

  1. I’m not trying to convince anyone who disagrees with me- we can all relate to the facts that are out there differently- but I come to this issue from a perspective that I don’t feel has been well represented in the articles that I’ve read, wherein the high profile personalities seem to distract from the real point.

    Please remember that publishing companies have to pay people as well produce the physical books… and not just the gatekeepers who send rejections, but also staff who make sure that everything is tied up neatly, in the text and in all areas of production. If they can’t make enough profit, there are layoffs and the few people left will be doing three people’s jobs for one salary… that’s if the publishing house manages to keep running. (I don’t work in publishing, but I know enough people who do. Like every industry, it’s possibly glamorous for a tiny percent, but it is mostly made up of people struggling to support themselves and their families, and those are always the ones who wind up picking up the slack in times of crisis.)

    You’ve expressed your admiration for Harry Potter- check out the unedited bits that J.K. Rowling has published on her site, to thank her editors and show how much they helped her craft her earlier drafts into the final product that was published. Amazon’s bottom dollar philosophy disregards the fact that this process requires a lot of time and hard work from actual human beings (honestly, it’s pretty similar to how they disregard their assembly line worker’s rights, as well).

    Amazon insists that they are doing all of this “for the customer,” and I know they are following a larger trend (often associated with WalMart), but as a consumer, I would rather pay those extra $2 to know that the people who brought me the product I’m about to enjoy were compensated fairly for their work.

    For the record, I haven’t stopped using them altogether, but I’ve found it so much easier than I thought it would be to cut my business with them down by more than half. I will be happy to buy more from them again, if they begin treating workers- both white and blue collar- with more respect. However, right now, I don’t see them taking responsibility for the larger issues their current business model impact.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazon would still be in business even if they never sold another book. They don’t make their money on books–never have. No one can stay in business by selling just books. To prove my point, I give you all the big box bookstores that have gone broke trying–Borders with Barnes and Noble hanging on the ropes. Big publishers make their money off rights sales, not books. Costs too much to manufacture books, too many advances that don’t pay out, too many returns. Some money is made from E-books that’s why they want to keep the prices high. More money is made by selling rights; movie rights, toy rights, foreign rights, classics for educational purposes, translations, stuff like that.

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  3. I think traditional publishers are, as one of my fellow writers puts it, “a necessary evil” (his words not mine). Amazon, B&N and other online book stores can’t afford to lose them, they give these companies balance and a form of legitimacy.

    The quality of ebooks has dropped drastically with the influx of indie writers. Being an indie writer myself, I hate saying that, but it’s true. Online book sellers have turned a blind eye and a deafened ear to their unhappy consumer’s complaints of overpriced books, books rife with errors and the emergence of the fifteen to fifty page serials that go on forever while milking the reader’s wallets. It is beginning to be the norm, not the exception. Everything is about profit and the bottom line now.

    I do not mind paying more for a book from a top publisher. I know when I purchase a book from a traditional publisher, the work has been honed until it is the best it can be. People complain about the pricing of books produced by big publishers, but what about the independents? I’ve seen $4.99 for five pages and up to $7.99 for a couple of chapters. If we are talking about fair pricing then everyone should be regulated not just the traditional publishers.

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