Want to know my real reaction?
So the latest volley in the Amazon vs Hachette wars is the same letter sent to Amazon book customers and Kindle Direct Publishing authors. Not going to link to it, it’s around. But my reaction? I think this response I wrote elsewhere (modified slightly) sums it up:
I have spent fifteen years as a sporadic political activist. One thing I did for a couple of campaigns was writing templates for letters to the editor. Once you’ve done a bit of that work, it’s easy to recognize the product of a writing template.
So. Onward to the letters from Amazon. They’re superficial. They’re the same damn thing I see coming from a bunch of issue campaigns trying to sway public opinion. The only difference between these letters and a SuperPAC letter writing campaign solicitation letter is the issue.
And I’m not playing “swing the court of public opinion” game. Both sides need to sit down and negotiate. This is ridiculous, and if it spreads to other types of business organization, well, then….(ah. Hmm. Damn. Okay, it’s MY story idea, ‘kay?). No matter how you phrase it, though, politicizing what should be a negotiation between two corporations is really not a good thing. Businesses should not be run like the U.S. Congress of the Twenty-teens (and Congress shouldn’t be run like that, either, but that’s a diversion).
In any case, I have no interest in playing the game in the court of public opinion, because ultimately, neither Amazon nor Hachette are my customer. They are distributors, both of them. Readers are my customers, and these public opinion games as part of a business negotiation interfere with reader access.
It’s time to get back to the business of writing, publishing, and distribution. Amazon and Hachette, I’m looking at BOTH of you. Knock it off.