I was just sent an email (it can be found online here; http://www.readersunited.com/)
about a dispute between Amazon and Hachette about low e-book pricing. I admittedly have no idea of what it concerns and as I have no dealing with Hachette, had heard nothing about it.
From what I can tell (I skim read it) Hachette isn’t allowing Amazon to charge what it wants for e-books. In the email they essentially ask authors to write to Hachette and tell them they’re wrong. Me, tiny author with no dealings with huge publisher, is being lobbied to contact a HUGE company. Amazon is massive, Hachette is massive and you want lil ole me to get involved?
The email preaches about how lower e-book prices mean ‘helping the e-book culture’ among other things, but I feel they are missing some serious points;
-E-Books are taxed, paperbacks are not.
-An e-book is no less work for the author, the same effort and energy goes into it.
-Authors are always the ones that get screwed for THEIR work and their creativity.
-Amazon is notorious for trying to cut prices at the cost of the author. Due to its size Amazon can INSIST on lower prices which means less bookshops, less money for authors, publishers etc.
Now I don’t make diddly on my work on Amazon. My e-book maybe gets me about £3 every couple of months, and the story I submitted for the compilation has all the profits going to charity BUT I don’t agree with any huge corporation getting such a large say in a person’s creativity. They’re not the ones spending hours pouring their hearts out onto paper (or screens!) and all the other fun that comes from the writing process. They deal with the finished product (i.e when all the work is done) and some how take the lion’s share (In lion society, the females hunt, the males are lazy and do very little, it’s a good term to use!) whilst the authors seem to get very little.
I also fail to understand how such a huge entity is trying to enlist us teeny tiny artists in THEIR fight.
Basically, from what I can understand, Amazon wants authors to get EVEN LESS by putting the prices down EVEN MORE. They ‘justify’ this by saying cheaper books mean more sales, but this is of no benefit to someone who has to make a living from selling the things.
As a consumer, lower prices are good, but as an author there has to be a balance. I am in awe of a world where EVERYONE else is making more money from a body of work than the artist is.
Anyhoo, that’s my rant for the day. Check out the letter in the link above and see what you think.
Here’s a cute picture to calm me down from that epic rawring!