Okay, let me state up front, I am NOT an Amazon hater. Nor am I a “hater” of Hachette.

I hate stupidity.

I make a majority of my sales via Amazon. I would say that 75% of my earnings probably come from there. So I’m no rabid-anti-‘Zonian, at all. (And believe me, that’s not anywhere close to Stephen King money no matter how I wish it was.)

I do know that traditional publishing has an unsettling way of trying to screw authors out of money while convincing them that it’s for their own good. I also know that I don’t want Amazon to have a monopsy/monopoly/all the eggs in one basket.

That’s neither here nor there.

I don’t honestly know what the deal is between Amazon and Hatchette, but I’m sure the truth isn’t what either is saying. As the old chestnut goes, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

However. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

They (the ‘Zon) released a statement today. This little gem, the SECOND FARKING PARAGRAPH, popped out at me and that sound you heard was my brain exploding.


In case the screencap doesn’t show, this is the quote:

With this update, we’re providing specific information about Amazon’s objectives.

A key objective is lower e-book prices. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out-of-stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market — e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can be and should be less expensive.


Hold on just a second… *digs around for another graphic*

Ah. This’ll express it.


Okay. Where do I start? Let’s go with the low-hanging fruit, because, frankly, I’m on deadline and too busy for this bullshit.

“no returns” – Um, we authors have bitched…for YEARS…about Amazon’s ludicrous returns policy. YEARS. Y.E.A.R.S. *


“no lost sales due to out-of-stock” – Um, except when the ‘Zon turns OFF your book because you’re in a pissing contest with them, oorrrrrr, they bury your farking book under ridiculous and sometimes completely arbitrary “adult” designations so nobody can find it by doing something as logical as, oh, I don’t know, SEARCHING BY YOUR AUTHOR NAME.

“no transportation costs” – Um, the ‘Zon passes on “delivery fees” for certain books via KDP, usually based on location and price (and, my theory, whether or not you are a large publisher than can negotiate a better, custom contract with them).

and there is no secondary market — e-books cannot be resold as used books” – Not according to a Dutch court. Will that become the law elsewhere? Who knows.

TLDR: Amazon, you’re an idiot. You published an “update” to your spat with Hachette, and it basically made you look like you don’t even know your own farking business.

Here’s a hint: WE DON’T CARE. Solve the farking problem, BOTH of you. Frankly, at this point, I’m fed up with BOTH of you, Hachette AND Amazon. You’re acting like you’re trying to try this in the court of public opinion. Hachette, you aren’t any kind of angel here, either. Suck it up, buttercup, traditional publishing has CHANGED, and you change or die. So you might have to make some concessions that, oh, I don’t know, BENEFIT YOUR AUTHORS. Amazon, YOU are starting to look like a schoolyard bully.

So knock. It. Off. We don’t CARE who started it. Farking FINISH IT. Amazon, if Hachette wants to charge a hand and a left tit for their e-books, LET THEM. LET them find out the market won’t support it. Let Hachette TOUCH THE FARKING STOVE. It is NOT your job to negotiate Hachette’s terms with their authors. And Hachette, if you’re REALLY that po’d about Amazon, then bunky, hire some devs and go to town building a better widget instead of insisting that the car dealer carries your farking buggy whip.

*drops mic, storms off*

* Yes, I realize they likely meant “physical books” but that’s NOT what they said. And the ‘Zon is the one with the ludicrous e-book return policy. So they gave me the hole, and I drove a tank through it. They’re a company built on selling books and failed to clearly state their case. #irony They still need to answer all of us who’ve BITCHED about their stupid e-book return policy.

**Yes, comments are moderated. Sorry. Until I find a way to implant my brain into an eternally youthful robot body, I have to sleep sometime.

Wow. Amazon, reality-challenged, much?
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8 thoughts on “Wow. Amazon, reality-challenged, much?

  • July 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    In this case, I believe they’re talking about returns of unsold copies to the publisher.

    I do think that Amazon has a stupid return policy for ebooks. I also agree that Hatchette and Amazon just both need to get over themselves.

    • July 29, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      @SheriV – I thought that, too, except that’s not what they said. If they want to be an idiot, they should be prepared to have the conversation that they’ve dodged for years. So I took the opening and drove a tank through it. LOL

  • July 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Yeah, I have had issues with Amazon’s eBook return policy before. Even when it was their fault that they had the description attached to the wrong book.

  • July 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Tymber, I do agree with you they need to whip it out and figure out whose bigger and get it the hell over with. However, I will say that the quote you posted is intended for hard copy books not e-books and I truly understand why you drove the tank through it because their e-book return is ridiculous. I am one of those readers who simply REFUSES, flat out REFUSES to pay a ridiculous price for an e-book and that’s nothing against the author it’s the fact that they simply don’t have the same overhead with an e-book as with a hard copy book. Like you said Hachett needs to realize that publishing has changed and if they don’t go with the changes they aren’t going to survive. Of course all of this really started because of Steve Jobs and his greediness which is where the lawsuit came in because he made the agreement with all the publishers to price fix. You’d think Hachett would have learned from that, but apparently they haven’t. Great article! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • July 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      @Slick – Thanks! 🙂 I’m the same way, if an e-book is too expensive, then I don’t buy it. I put it on my wishlist on PaperbackSwap.com, or get it at the library. I won’t buy an e-book that’s too expensive. Hachette will have to learn that the public and market will not tolerate them trying to screw them. And I agree, you’d think the court smacking them around would have taught them a lesson, but nope. They still insist they will control the publishing industry, when the truth is, the rest of us are moving on without them. I feel badly for the authors caught up in this, but I have zero sympathy for Amazon OR for Hachette. They’re companies wanting to make money.

  • July 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I believe I was the one who brought up the physical book reference on FB, Tymber. I did it to point out that the Wizards of Zon are using newspeak trying to make their point. Frankly, I don’t trust either side, which makes me feel like the caveman trapped in the middle of a battle between a T-Rex and brontosaurus–no matter who wins, I’m screwed.

    • July 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      @KB – Oh, I knew that when I wrote it, but Amazon wants to wage a PR war, as does Hachette, and neither side realizes that the majority of us aren’t drinking the punch from either side because we’re just sick of them bickering at the authors’ and customers’ expense.

  • July 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Great blog Tymber

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