Ahhhh, Amazon Fail, Fail, FAIL

The Monday Post

The ReckonersLook, it’s a muddy Monday!  On all counts.  Mud in the yard, mud on the roads, and oh, look.  Amazon muddying the waters for authors again.

Not really a huge surprise.  Lots of things live in the murky Amazonian rivers.  Things that will EAT you.  Things that will eat authors, anyway…

Amazon has a bottom line.  It’s not authors; it’s not readers.  It’s not building a more stable future for books in print or e-version.

No big shock:  it’s market share and profit.

Also no big shock:  Macmillan publishing has a different bottom line.  They want to protect their own interests–among which is making sure the book marketplace remains robust overall.

I can get on board with that.

And, of course, I can understand how these bottom lines differ.

But what Amazon might not have realized is that since there are sharks in the waters of those muddy rivers (the bull shark, if you’re curious),  it is possible for Amazon the company to yes indeed, jump the shark.

Whether they’ve done it this time, I don’t know.  It’s the second time they’ve pulled this particular bullying tactic–yanking every listing of certain books from their ranks on a Friday night, leaving the results to resonate through the weekend.  In this case, yanking every listing of every Macmillan book, including Tor books, because they don’t like the direction of ongoing discussions over ebook pricing plans–new plans inspired by the emergence of the Apple iPad, in which–can you imagine!–the publisher would have the right to set the cost of their product.

(Want some obsessive clicky-links?  From the Tor site, a primary source.  From Falconesse, who has a skill for pulling complexities together.  And oh, I do not have the willpower to not list Laura Anne Gilman’s reaction to Amazon’s whining announcement.)

I know that something in me feels that enough is enough.  It’s time Amazon the company learned that behaving like a bully–and especially behaving like a bully for the world to see–is not the way to do things.

(You may excuse me if I think it is especially not the way to do things when I have a book releasing in one day via Tor.)

For readers, this is about whether one retailer is allowed to gain a monopoly, and control the cost of publisher product–and what effect it will ultimately have on reader costs and availability.  For publishers, it’s about whether it’s healthy for the marketplace, short- and long-term, to allow that to happen.

For me, it’s about both of those things.  As I said in my previous post, I swing both ways when it comes to books.  But as a writer, it’s very much especially about how this will mess with my livelihood, and the how it might interfere with the success of a book I hold very near and very dear.  And, as a writer, I am very much not happy.

But as it happens, you can find the purchase option–for any of my books–that best suits you by going to Indiebooks.org.  Or  AllBookstores.com.  They list new, they list used…whatever floats your boat.  Including Amazon.  Because…dude, check it out.  Not everyone believes that monopoly is good.

ConneryBeagle also has an opinion about the Amazon situation, which he will now demonstrate with his Posture of Woe:

Oh, okay… I confess.  He just fell asleep like this one evening.  Is he a very silly Beagle, or what?  But he would like to continue eating kibble, which is paid for by my books, so I’m quite sure this would be his actual Posture of Woe if he truly understood the situation.

In any event, like many others I’ve read about today…I won’t be renewing my Amazon Prime next month. The wishlist has become a tool, not something I’ll be using there on Amazon. And I’ll be following my own provided links to do my shopping through AllBookstores and IndieBound. Because, really…I don’t think bullies should get their way.  And I don’t like being jerked around by a company throwing a tantrum–not as a consumer, and not as a provider.

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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18 Responses to Ahhhh, Amazon Fail, Fail, FAIL

  1. Kristen B. says:

    The Pimp My Novel blog also had a very nice, clear, level-headed breakdown of the MacMillan/Amazon thing.

    Connery must have an elastic neck… That’s how it looks, anyway!

    • Doranna says:

      Thanks, I’ll take a look at the PMN blog!

      Re Connery–I know! His butt is higher than his face! It’s a shame we couldn’t get a close-up of his nose mooshed against the couch…

      My mare used to do that sort of thing, too–she’d lie couchant but shifted slightly to the side, and then rest her nose on the ground and sleep with it balanced that way. You’d think it would hurt her lips, but no. She thoughtfully peeled them back so the weight of her upright head rested on her teeth.

      Very handy for those moments when she roused just enough to want a snack. *nibblenibbledoze*

  2. Lucienne says:


    Brilliant, as always.


  3. Lexie says:

    I admit I was shocked by the announcement of Amazon’s new fail–didn’t they have enough during 2009? I followed it throughout the weekend, since I had an unconsciously easy weekend for the first time in months, and I felt like a ping-pong spectator between the twitter explosion, blog explosion and article explosion.

    I can understand both their sides, but badly handled is badly handled. amazon didn’t need more bad PR.

    Happy Fresh Fiction Valentine’s Day!

    • Doranna says:

      The whole e-book thing is hard to sort out, and it’s not surprising there should be some struggle. But you said it very well–badly handled is badly handled! I can’t imagine how I’d have felt if I owned a Kindle–except gratitude that Amazon is not, in fact, the only buying option for Kindle-owners!

      Happy FFVD! You’re in the contest!

  4. Lexie says:

    For a while I considered buying a Kindle, I do want more portability in my reading–carrying 5 books around on trips is a hassle and that’s just for a 2 hour flight…–but I don’t know Amazon has been operating less than happily for my consumer tastes. I’m still considering the Nook however.

    And you know I didn’t realize it until I started seeing authors posting, but I read a LOT of Macmillan subsidiary publishers! Mostly in YA and fantasy–more than half my pre-orders for the next 5 months were ‘cancelled’ by Amazon b/c of this.

  5. Doranna says:

    I’m looking at a Sony, myself…one of these days.

    I think the cancelled pre-orders, when all is said and done, will be the biggest part of this mess, logistically, and customer inconvenience-wise. Did Amazon even give those customers a second thought, one wonders?

    The books themselves are still delisted (mine is, anyway), but supposedly not for too much longer?

  6. Lorraine says:

    Hopefully enough authors are pitching in to draw attention to the McMillian authors’ books and alternate avenues to buy them. (I did.)

  7. Doranna says:

    Boy, you sure did!

    That’s the trick, I think. Is making it easy to do otherwise.

    This is actually an opportunity for other booksellers, if they’d take it. It’s true no one else has Amazon’s combination of convenience and features. Well, why not?

  8. Hi, coming over from Facebook to read this post!

    The whole Amazon vs. Macmillan brouhaha made me buy a nook last night (well, I was going to do that anyway, but it bumped up the priority), as well as five ebooks by Macmillan authors. But if you have a shiny new one out I shall clearly have to pick that up too. 🙂

    • Doranna says:

      Hi, Angela! Glad to see you here!

      Yup, the whole mess has cemented my intention to go with a Sony reader, whenever I do that…though Nook is highly rated, too. And yes, I *do* have a shiny new book out! *hugs the book* I hope if you get it, you enjoy it!

  9. I’m pretty sure I shall, although it may have to compete with all of those ebooks of yours I’ve been scarfing off of Fictionwise, to get all the paranormals you’ve released that I missed. 😉

  10. Doranna says:

    Fictionwise is a seriously cool resource!

    Oh, gosh, the pressure, the pressure… (squinches eyes closed, starts the chant, *ihopeshelikesthemihopeshelikesthem*)

  11. I do indeed love me some Fictionwise!

    But for you, unless it ain’t available no more otherwise, I’ll buy in PRINT. Picked up The Reckoners last night (although I had to get the nice young lady at Barnes and Nobles to go grab me a copy out of the back because they hadn’t shelved it yet). Am sure I will enjoy it. 🙂

  12. Crysta says:

    It’s a shame that Amazon is such a fail lately; I used to buy a lot of things from them.

    Could be worse though…Simon and Schuster’s once FAILED to send me an entire shipment…that I paid for!

    Happy Fresh Fiction Valentine’s Day!

    • Doranna says:

      Hi, Crysta!

      Oh, gosh…BAD S&S, BAD!

      A friend just clued me in to a place called Book Depository. I’m going to check it out…

      And just today I bought horse blanket waterproofing from someone other than Amazon, although I bought it through them the last time.

      HFFVD! Entered in the contest!

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