Microblogging Amazon’s Shoving Match

I’ll make this fast.

Amazon is feuding with publishers. Reuters explains why.

Other people have written smart and funny blog entries about it. Like Deb Heiligman. And John Scalzi.

The Author’s Guild just started Who Moved My Buy Button?

The Buy button is missing from the hardcover version of SPEAK because it is published by FS&G, which is owned by Macmillan, one of the publishers that is standing up to the 800-pound gorilla. You can still buy it through Amazon resellers.

I’d rather you bought it from an independent bookseller, but that’s up to you.

What do you think about this? Does it change the way you think about buying books?

(I am sticking with my "20 minutes of writing earn 1 minute of internet time" rule, so I’ll check back here later tonight to see what you think.)




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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    It changes the way I think about Amazon. And the combined effect of this, the homosexuality amazonfail and the books accidentally being removed from Kindles amazonfail really make me think twice about them. I will probably still buy stuff from them because they’re convenient and sometimes necessary but I will definitely be trying to buy more indie. Thanks for all of your support of indie bookstores. I would have no clue about indiebound if it weren’t for you.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I definitely agree with the above on all counts.

  2. Posted February 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    The Amazon gaffes with 1984, the gay/lesbian/erotic book fiasco, and Macmillan only make me even more determined not to buy from Amazon (haven’t made a purchase there in nearly 12). I get all my newly purchased books locally (I work for a bookstore) and use either a local used dealer or Alibris if I need something out of print.

  3. Posted February 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always adored Amazon. I’m far from any large bookstore, so to be able to read from books before buying, and to discover books through their Listmanias (which is how I discovered SPEAK) has been a blessing. I’ve posted tons of reviews and bought extra books to get free shipping.

    Then last week I first heard about all this, and it went over my head. All the business model number stuff from agents and the like.

    But then you posted Nick Harkaway’s take on it, and then I found Patrick Rothfuss’s insight, and his commenters added links to Cory Doctorow and to Scott Westerfield’s brilliant bit, and today you added Deb Heiligman’s own view, and it really shows why it’s bad to piss off writers – they can put things in ways that are not only clear, but really get it across to you.

    So. While indie stores don’t offer free shipping, there’s this one store over in Brunswick that I can always drop by and pick up books at. I can even browse through Bowdoin’s library while I’m there.

    And so I thank Amazon for all it’s done for me, for continuing to let me browse through books, and I thank its current business execs for pointing me back to local bookstores and making my life richer for that experience.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Our whole family was suckered in by the Amazon Wish List because it was so incredibly easy to shop for gifts by pushing buttons. Add Amazon Prime to that so you think you’re getting free shipping and our entire 2010 Christmas list was purchased from Amazon. But as an Macmillan author who is being punished by this fight, I’m livid. I cancelled the Amazon Prime, took Amazon book links off my website, notified the family that we won’t be wish list shopping anymore, and any Amazon boxes that make their way to our house will be sent back unopened. Never again, Amazon!

    MJ Auch

  5. Posted February 6, 2010 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t change the way I think about buying books, because I have made a point of shopping locally for everything. I’ve loved my local bookstore (and ordered through them) through two moves, three or maybe four owners, and the arrival of a large cafe in the space. I love that the long-time clerks know me and can talk books and knitting and all the other things I like to talk.

    The whole Amazon-Macmillan conflict really highlighted the need to think carefully about buying anything. The “best price” may actually carry a high price, not necessarily for the immediate consumer, but for the writer, the publisher, and ultimately for society in general, because the writer and publisher need to earn money, and society needs to have those multiple voices out there, telling their stories and adding to the discussion. (Yes, I know this could be done through self-publishing, but for first-timers to find an audience this way would, I think, be tough.)

  6. Posted February 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    The way Amazon has handled their book sales has really put me off from them. I work at B&N, so I didn’t buy many books from Amazon anyway, but I won’t be buying books from them again (or much else, if I can help it), and I’ll be encouraging others to do the same. Can you imagine if any retail bookseller had done the things they’ve done? Taken books from one publisher off the shelves? Taken back e-book purchases? We wouldn’t have gotten away with it. Amazon is no better than Walmart in my mind, undercutting everyone else with loss leaders.

    Also, did you know Chains has been nominated for a Nutmeg Award? It’s a CT state award chosen by librarians, and the nominees always make it onto school curriculum and summer reading lists. So I was really excited to see that Chains and the excellent Unwind by Neal Shusterman were nominated!

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