Amazon sent me a note this morning, asking me to write Hatchette and voice my opinion on this matter.
I decided to take them up on that, as I had an opinion during the MacMillan spat as well. here is what I sent:
OK, you two, this is getting ridiculous.
You both realize the entire world is watching as you play this game? Not with bated breath, as you may imagine, but more with long sighs and “oh great, NOW what?”
Well, maybe not the whole world. But as someone in the literary scene, each time something like this happens, it makes the rounds. It is more akin to watching your neighbors fight than anything else. (we’d like you to quiet down so we can get back to work)
Here is what you need to know:
Give Hatchette the same deals, the same percentages and costs you give me, Apokrupha press, who has 8 books. Let them price their stuff anyway they want. They are the ones making this stuff, they can make those choices on price. Treat all publishers, big and small, the same. It is for the author to decide if they are happy with their deal with Hatchette, and act accordingly. Your dealings are between Amazon and the publisher. Treat all of us equal.
I will never, ever, pay $10 for an ebook. Ebooks must be cheaper than the mass market. Period. It is a digital file that you are crippling with DRM, making its value about that of a cereal box. Now, this is important so listen, if you price your book at $15, I won’t just buy the mass market–I will forget the book all together and buy a different book. The price of the ebook should be YOUR choice, but never forget that purchasing it will always be MY choice.
Both of you:
Your public temper tantrums are getting worse, between this email, the public ad the other day, and it isn’t making anyone like you two more. Quite the opposite, it is seeding doubt in the minds of writers, readers, and more importantly, CUSTOMERS about both of you.
And both of you need to realize that there are options, different places to buy online, different publishers selling ebooks. If you push us, the readers, enough, we will go elsewhere.
Fix this. Restore our confidence that both Amazon and Hatchette are companies that we, writers, want to work with and that we, the customers, want to buy from.