I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading about this dispute for a while now. For one thing, there are a whole lot of blogs, editorials, and even “articles” (a term I use loosely here) which have been written about a negotiation where none of those writing have any solid evidence of what is being negotiated. People have theories, hunches, or side with their fighter (those who are published by Hachette versus those who are self-published via Amazon). But little in the way of hard fact has been released, just teaser info here and there. All we know for sure is one large company is arguing with another large company about a large amount of money over books. People who complained about Amazon discounting books before are now complaining that Amazon ISN’T discounting their books; give me a break!
Let me say for the record: yes, Mazz Press sells our ebooks via Amazon, so in some sense we do have a “horse in this race”. However, we do not sell our print books through Amazon, and any print copies you see for sale on that site are being sold by someone else (either used or remaindered copies of the first edition of our first novel). And no, Amazon is not the only place we sell our ebooks.
For some time now I’ve felt uncomfortable that Amazon was the primary place for people to buy their ebooks (for all except those who have iThings and use iBooks). So I wanted to be sure that the Mazz Press ebooks were available elsewhere, and encouraged others to buy our ebooks from those other places. Diesel was a great site for a while, but they appear to be closed for the time being. iBooks is the place to be for those with iThings, and our ebooks can be found there, too. Or go with the other leviathan, Barnes and Noble, and buy a Nook version of the ebook. Kobo? Yep, got that covered. You can even buy our ebooks direct from our distributor at Smashwords. When deciding on distribution, the key for me was to have our ebooks in as many different places as possible.
But still, almost all of our ebook sales come from Amazon. So I have to ask ebook readers: why do so many complain about how big Amazon is, and yet still buy their ebooks only from them? Don’t complain to me that the selection isn’t elsewhere; it is. I know that Amazon makes it really, really easy, often easier than other sites, and that is why so many people go with them. These days, we look for easy and cheap, and are willing to go with it rather than thinking about other possibilities.
In some ways, I’m happy about this public disagreement regardless of the outcome, because it is forcing a reminder on to people’s awareness that there are more places to buy reading material than just Amazon. So go ahead and buy your books (print or electronic, put out by Hachette or other publishers) from someone else, and get in the habit of doing it. Stop complaining that Amazon is a monopoly, and start doing something about changing it. Or stop complaining about it and admit you just don’t care, as long as you get your stuff cheap. Our choices can make an impact, and it’s time we remember that.