The scorched-earth tactics arose out of failed contract negotiations. Amazon was seeking better terms, Hachette was balking, so Amazon began cutting it off. Writers from Malcolm Gladwell to J. D. Salinger are affected, although some Hachette authors were unscathed.
On both sides, the stakes are high. Amazon controls about a third of the book business, which means big publishers cannot live without it. But Amazon risks alienating readers as well as authors, and undermining its carefully wrought image as the consumer’s friend.
Not me. For decades Big Publishing gouged authors and bookbuyers, and continues to try to do so today – for instance, by wildly over-pricing e-books to try to prop up their ailing dead tree versions.
Amazon, on the other hand, pays its authors nearly instantaneously, does so with total transparency, and works hard to keep book prices low for their customers.
If you think I’m backing the dead tree guys, especially that constipated ideological clique of progressives who determines what they will publish, you’re nuts.
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