writing

Appeal to Readers

Amazon and Hachette have been embroiled in battle over book pricing for some time now. I’ve blogged about it here before. Both companies are huge conglomerates, but only one seems to actually care about you, the readers. Only one is actually attempting to make sure that authors are paid fairly and promptly for their work. 

Yesterday I received a letter from that company, asking me and my reader friends to make an appeal to the other company, to show a united front for readers and authors. I’m sharing part of that below, along with the email addresses you would use if you choose to join me in letting our voices be heard. Your choice, and it wouldn’t take a lot of time to type a quick missive.

Once, it was paperback books who were declaimed as being the herald of the death of literature. Now, it’s ebooks, and the movement to suppress them is alive and well.

“Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.
Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com

Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com

Please consider including these points:

– We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
– Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
– Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
– Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

Thanks for your support.

The Amazon Books Team

P.S. You can also find this letter at www.readersunited.com

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Appeal to Readers

  1. I’ll support Amazon if for no other reason that James Patterson wants the federal government to get involved in this mess.

    Of course, it’s sad that the media has ignored the petition written by Joe Konrath, Hugh Howey, and others and signed by thousands of authors – including me – supporting Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Not funny at all. But utterly expected. This is the Culture-War equivalent of Trench Warfare.

          I’ve got friends out at the big Hacker Con in Vegas this weekend, DefCon, and this year the Badge has some interesting things hidden in it, including a set of messages that the Big Media send us all the time. .

          cat -A /dev/ttyUSB0
          ^@^@ DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M NO IMAGINATION^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M CONFORM^MWATCH TV^M OBEY^M SUBMIT^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M NO IMAGINATION^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M OBEY^MOBEY^MMARRY AND REPRODUCE^M CONFORM^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M SUBMIT^M EAT^M BUY^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M OBEY^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M NO IMAGINATION^M SUBMIT^M WATCH TV^M CONSUME^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M CONSUME^M OBEY^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M CONSUME^M STAY ASLEEP^M BUY^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^MCONSUME^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M STAY ASLEEP^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M BUY^M NO IMAGINATION^MBUY^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M SUBMIT^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M CONFORM^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M OBEY^M EAT^M OBEY^M SUBMIT^M STAY ASLEEP^M WATCH TV^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M STAY ASLEEP^M OBEY^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M SUBMIT^M BUY^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M CONSUME^M SUBMIT^M BUY^M EAT^M CONSUME^M CONFORM^M SUBMIT^M EAT^M BUY^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M NO IMAGINATION^MWATCH TV^M CONSUME^M CONSUME^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M STAY ASLEEP^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M EAT^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M CONSUME^M WATCH TV^M CONFORM^M OBEY^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M STAY ASLEEP^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M STAY ASLEEP^M NO IMAGINATION^M CONSUME^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M BUY^M BUY^M STAY ASLEEP^M CONSUME^M CONFORM^M EAT^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M EAT^M DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY^M SUBMIT^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M WATCH TV^M WORK EIGHT HOURS^M SUBMIT^M BUY^M SUBMIT^M EAT^MNO IMAGINATION^M OBEY^M NO IMAGINATION^M WATCH TV^M NO IMAGINATION^M NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT^M WATCH TV^M STAY ASLEEP^M MARRY AND REPRODUCE^M BUY^M^PWELCOME TO DEFCON TWENTY TWO^M^MCOME AND PLAY A GAME WITH ME^M^M

          Me, I’d rather kick ass and chew bubblegum. . .and Hatchette. . . I’m running out of bubblegum. . .

          Now, where did I put those SPECIAL sunglasses. . .

          Like

  2. It just blows mind that companies can actually convince people that ebooks should be in the 16-20$ range. When they moved to making paperbacks taller and charging more for them it curtailed my reading from two books a week to maybe one a week. Sometimes only two a month. When I got my first kindle appbon my phone I was in heaven. When I realized that I could get good books in the 2.99-4.99 ranges I was able to go back to two a week. Sometimes even three.

    I am one of those that will read just about anything to just have something to read but I’m not going to pay hardcover prices for a paperback and won’t pay paperback prices for a eBook. Unless your are 1 of 3 authors Corria,Simon R Green,Butcher and even those guys get put on a waiting list till I get extra money.

    I’m loving kindle select, in the past two weeks I have read 12-16 books all for 9.99. Some I wanted before KS became an option and some I wouldn’t have picked up before. I’ve found at least 4 new authors that I will be willing to pay for their next book that I wouldn’t have even looked at before KS. So I’m rooting for Amazon cuase right now if they succeed then I get to keep reading.

    Like

  3. Pingback: I come not praise Amazon, or to bury it. | madgeniusclub

Comments are closed.