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Hachette vs Amazon... the war continues

If you don't live under your porch, it's likely that you've heard about the widely publicized dispute betweenAmazon and Hatchette Book Group. If you do live under your porch, here's a brief synopsis.

  • Amazon is, well, Amazon. They currently control 50% of all US book sales.

  • Hatchette, while not Amazon's size, is one of the 5 largest publishing houses in the US.

  • Amazon and Hatchette are currently at a standstill in negotiations... (it's likely this stall is about pricing, particularly for ebooks).

  • In response to this, Amazon has begun to remove the ability for consumers to pre-order Hatchette books (include big names such as James Patterson and David Sedaris) and appears to be slowing the shipment of current books to customers coming from this publishing house. Amazon's response to the outrage about this treatment of its customers is essentially "then go shop elsewhere".

If you don't live under your porch, it's likely that you've heard about the widely publicized dispute betweenAmazon and Hatchette Book Group. If you do live under your porch, here's a brief synopsis.

  • Amazon is, well, Amazon. They currently control 50% of all US book sales.

  • Hatchette, while not Amazon's size, is one of the 5 largest publishing houses in the US.

  • Amazon and Hatchette are currently at a standstill in negotiations... (it's likely this stall is about pricing, particularly for ebooks).

  • In response to this, Amazon has begun to remove the ability for consumers to pre-order Hatchette books (include big names such as James Patterson and David Sedaris) and appears to be slowing the shipment of current books to customers coming from this publishing house. Amazon's response to the outrage about this treatment of its customers is essentially "then go shop elsewhere".

This issue appears to be impacting approximately 5,000 titles previously available for pre-order and normal shipping on Amazon. It is impacting authors such as JK Rowling, David Foster Wallace, Donna Tartt. In an even larger way, it is impacting the lesser known authors who don't have readers who would just say "Alright then, Amazon... I want this book so badly, I'll just take a drive to my local brick & mortar bookstore". So, how does it impact you as the consumer? I was originally torn about this war. I am a big fan of Amazon's ease of use and speed of delivery. I've been a Prime member for sometime and, let's face it, I've become spoiled. I love that I can be sitting on my couch watching an episode of Bones and decide that I must own a particular book. I have an app on my phone, Amazon has my credit card and shipping information saved... BAM! I timed it once and including search time, it takes me less than 10 seconds to order a book that will arrive at my door less than 48 hours later. In addition, Amazon's muscle when it comes to publishing houses has meant increasingly lower prices for me. And given the number of books I purchase a year, it adds up to a significant savings. If Amazon's wins this particular negotiation, the outcome means even lower prices for me as a consumer. But is a lower price worth it? In the end, while I love that Amazon makes all of literature available to anyone, anywhere, at any time... it's a dangerous game we're playing at here. How much longer until independent booksellers cease to exist entirely? I recently realized that I had been spending too much of my power as a consumer just throwing it thoughtlessly to an online giant. Will Amazon support my challenge? Will Amazon make sure its customers know about this blog? Will Amazon have a thirty minute discussion with me about the books and authors I love and work tirelessly to find the next book that will change my life? Will Amazon give me a pleasant, soul-enriching afternoon as I meander through its stacks? No... because Amazon is just an idea and it's stacks are just a cold warehouse located in a large cement box. Yes, Hatchette is one of the five largest publishing houses in the country... it's run by wealthy CEOs and CFOs just like Amazon. But at the end of the day, this dispute is less about the loss to Hatchette and more about the resulting loss to independent booksellers everywhere. Our spending dollars give us a good amount of power in this situation. Where do you choose to throw your support? For further reading, here are some interesting articles on the topic: http://www.bustle.com/articles/26570-amazon-vs-hachette-everything-you-need-to-know-about-this-feud http://news.yahoo.com/john-green-criticizes-amazon-com-201555336.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-walton-hamilton/amazon-vs-hachette-a-book-sales_b_5431335.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2014/05/14/inside-amazons-battle-with-hachette/ https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/amazon-v-hachette-dont-believe-the-spin/

#amazon #hachette

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