Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Yesterday I reblogged a post by novelist Cinthia Ritchie, in which she talks about the effect of the Amazon/Hachette feud on her career as a writer. To put it bluntly, it has put her book in sales limbo.
What’s that? You haven’t heard about the Amazon/Hachette feud? Well, read this NYT article, then this piece in the Washington Post (which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, by the by), and your dander will be up pronto. Basically, Amazon is shaking down Hachette for a better distribution deal by making its books more or less unavailable via Amazon.
The paperback of Cinthia’s novel, Dolls Behaving Badly, for instance, is currently listed at $52.75, with shipping in 3 to 5 weeks. You have to think that this is a complete glitch (the price at least), though other Hachette books are being handled in similarly odd ways, including unappealing discounts and suggestions of books you might prefer to read rather than Hachette’s. This, to me, is the equivalent of a grocer letting the products of companies he wants a better deal from rot on the shelves.
Cinthia is an innocent victim in this crazy cage fight, but her situation recapitulates how it is generally the author who gets the short end of the stick in such capitalistic duels. Let’s face it: there are a lot of books out there. If one particular book is no longer so easy to buy, a typical reader moves on to the next one — from an Amazon-approved publisher — in a blink. Moreover, the author is helpless to do anything about it.
It would be great if readers rose up as a group and told Amazon, “Cut out the bullshit, man!” And it would take a great many readers to be heard this way. Likewise, if we could organize a mass purchase of Hachette books via other vendors — enough to be noticed — maybe we could help put an end to Amazonian piracy.
So with that in mind, consider dropping over to Barnes & Noble and purchasing a paperback copy of Dolls Behaving Badly. It’s very reasonably priced at $13.99 there, and you won’t feel like you’re “feeding the beast,” as us Amazon customers are feeling more and more.
By the way, you can read my glowing review of Dolls Behaving Badly here.