What Do You Think Of The Amazon vs Hachette issue?

Friday, The Book Wheel wrote an excellent post about the Amazon vs Hachette issue- to sum it up, Amazon and Hachette are having a re-negotiation issue and right now the Hachette authors are suffering.

Ok, so here is my thought: I have been an Amazon fan for some time ( and let me tell you, when you live in the sticks like I do- you probably would like Amazon, too). Years and years ago, when I first started my online shopping- they were who I turned to. They were the place I bought my cozy mystery books (they at one time had a great 4 for 3 deal on books). For years me and Amazon existed in a peaceful, happy relationship. I ordered books & other essentials, shipped Christmas gifts, and more. I was a happy gal.

Then, I began book blogging. And even then I still liked Amazon (even though I was in the minority). I have a Kindle (major Kindle love!) and I still ordered my cozy books (you really can’t beat that getting it on release day thing!)

But I listen to the other bloggers and I see their issue with Amazon. No one likes a bully.

The whole Amazon vs Hachette issue is one of those things that no one is a winner about. The authors lose, the readers lose, the publishers lose, and the store front (aka Amazon) loses.

In the next few weeks, 2 authors books- Elin Hilderbrand and Megan Abbot (arguably 2 very big authors) are being released. Will the Amazon/Hachette issue impact their sales? Yes. Will it ultimately matter in the big scheme of things (meaning will people find their books in other places & buy?) Probably. Because those names are recognized by book lovers. But what about new authors? Or authors who don’t have a huge following? The lack of being able to get the book through Amazon is going to impact them.

Furthermore, the casual reader will be impacted. Picture this: You are knowing that Elin Hilderbrand will have a book coming out this summer, but you don’t know when. So you pop over to Amazon, search for the latest Elin Hilderbrand book, and nada. You don’t see a pre-order button, you don’t see a buy button- what do you do? Do you go to another retailer? Do you wait for it at the library?

Amazon, I’m not sure how I feel. I hate that Hachette authors are suffering. I hate that this issue has blown up into a big issue. I feel quite confident that it will be resolved soon with both sides being satisfied, but I worry that some of the damage will be long-term.

My question to readers of Traveling With T: Does knowing about the Amazon vs Hachette issue affect your thoughts on Amazon? Where will you get your Hachette books until the issue is resolved? And if (when!) it’s resolved, will you still be annoyed with Amazon? Or will you let bygones be bygones?

 

Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

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6 thoughts on “What Do You Think Of The Amazon vs Hachette issue?

  1. Like a lot of people, I have mixed views on Amazon. They’re convenient and affordable–but they frequently do things like this. I guess, before making a blanket statement on “who’s right,” I would need more information on what they’re negotiating, but it does frustrate me that Amazon punished authors in their attempts to put pressure on publishers.

    One of the most important things we can do, however, is draw attention to issues like this–not necessarily to “punish” or “shame” Amazon, but so readers are aware of what Amazon is doing and the fact they may need to look elsewhere for the books they want. Otherwise, as you said, readers just won’t find a page or a buy button for books and will confusedly move on with their lives instead of checking out B&N or another bookseller.

    • I’m frustrated because the authors are losing out AND the readers are losing out. Amazon is not the only one to do things of this nature, though- there was an incident with B&N about not stocking certain publishers at one point (I can’t remember if I was blogging at that point or not- so it could have been more than 2 years ago). The authors were tweeting about it and it was resolved. Here’s the thing (at least my thought of it) While IDK the exact differences in the B&N case & the Amazon case- essentially, from what I do know/remember, they are basically the same thing.
      The #readHachette thing should be (and is mainly) about supporting the Hachette authors, letting people know that, for now, there is a problem and you may need to turn elsewhere to purchase books. I’m noticing a lot of people jumping on the #readhachette bandwagon (which is a good thing) but I do wonder if some are simply jumping on because it’s Amazon and they loathe Amazon.

      My stance on the #readhachette is this: Informing people that Amazon is not currently in an agreement with Hachette and the books are still available for purchase (you’ll just have to look elsewhere). It’s a complicated situation and one I’m still sorting my feelings out over.

      I think, as my mother used to tell my roommates when I was in college “Be Aware Of Your Surroundings”- or in this case- Be Aware of the Amazon/Hachette situation. Gather info and make up your own mind of how you feel- because I just feel confident that this situation will be resolved in a positive light.

  2. I’m not sure how I feel about it myself. I definitely think what Amazon is doing to Hachette is wrong and I definitely think as readers we should make an effort to read Hachette books anyway, especially the new authors. I’m not sure I’m willing to completely give up the convenience of Amazon, but I think I am going to try to buy things in person or on other websites where possible. Great thoughtful post!

    • I agree. I don’t like it. People like Elin Hilderbrand will be fine, but new authors.. well, they will suffer.
      Amazon is a convenience and because of where I live, it’s actually a lifesaver at times. I think for me, at this point, I just want people to be aware of the situation- use your own judgement about whether shopping at Amazon is something you wish to continue.

      Thanks so much, I’ve really been thinking hard about this situation- and hoping that it comes to an end soon!

  3. You know what, this thing doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Businesses do this kind of thing ALL. THE. TIME. Dish Network and AMC did the same thing last year. During negotiations Dish refused to carry AMC even though it was still only in negotiating stages. They do this to prove the impact and necessity of their company / service. Amazon isn’t a monopoly, they are just saying, “Understand the impact to your business for failing to accept our new terms.” Hachette doesn’t have to and is free to use other retailers. Both sides are being stubborn, both are being unfair, both want to have their cake and eat it too. Amazon is saying, “We will sell your books but we want a bigger cut of profits” while Hachette is saying, “We want you to sell our books and aren’t going to give you another cent!” Amazon is flexing their might and if Hachette authors are suffering isn’t that just proving Amazon’s point?

    My main issue is that we, as the general public, are not privy to all of the minute details of their negotiations, what previous contracts they have had or what other agreements they may have reached.

    The best thing, for me, is to not take sides and let these two big powerhouses fight it out. Let’s face it, it’s not like Hachette is a tiny speak in the book world.

    I usually just Google the book I’m looking for and then browse retailers. Sometimes I buy on Amazon and sometimes I buy on other sites.

    Ok…sorry to hijack this I’m just very frustrated by the whole thing. I’m off my soapbox now.

    • Love this soapbox! And I completely can see your point. I do think that some people are genuinely concerned about the impact this situation is having on Hachete authors, but ( & I’ve mentioned this before) I think some are jumping on this bandwagon b/c it’s amazon & it’s a target for some.

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