Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Amazon: Hypocrite. Customer is not Always King


Ready for the Memorial day weekend in NYC!! Woot. Now if it would just stop raining.

Listening To:

nothing at the moment.

One of the reasons why I wanted Hachette to be forthcoming when I started asking about the shipping issues (many moons before the news became public) was because I had already guessed that Amazon was flexing some muscle in a contract negotiation.

So confirming it wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t probably already know…

But also so I could tell Hachette and the editors that my authors and I were firmly on their side and hugely supportive of what they were having to face.

Amazon – I have been very appreciative of the many changes you’ve already created in publishing but now you are just being a big old fat hypocrite.

Because your motto is customer first, always.

Well, this kind of hardball in no way serves your customers. It hurts authors (whom you claim to support) and you deserve the public fall-out that this spat creates.

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5 Responses

  1. Elissa Hunt said:

    I live 30 miles from the nearest town, and over 100 miles from the nearest bookstore. I rely heavily on the internet for much of what I buy.

    Even so, this latest stunt by Amazon is making me look anywhere but to them for my online purchases. I’ve had it with bullies.

  2. Dan DeWitt said:

    Aww, now this is sad. When you’re done clutching your pearls, maybe you can try to explain how the heck Hachette is Amazon’s customer. Hachette(s a supplier.

    You could have kept this article much shorter just by being honest: “I support Big Pub acting in its own self-interests (including collusion), but if Amazon does it, they’re evil.”

  3. Carradee said:

    I’m not seeing how Amazon negotiating to serve its customers betters in the future = “not putting customer first”. From a business perspective, a short-term delay to produce long-term gain can ultimately be to the customer’s advantage. Hachette’s a supplier, and Amazon and/or Hatchette is negotiating widget delivery.

    As for what happens to the authors who created those widgets and licensed them to Hachette, Amazon really isn’t at fault if the publisher decides to, say, cut an author because of low sales that weren’t the author’s fault. That’s the publisher’s decision. (I don’t know if that’s happening; I’ve just heard of & seen it happening in other situations.)

    Of course there are a lot of factors involved here that those of us outside it don’t know, but neither the precedents for this type of situation nor the data that has actually been given indicate that Amazon is being malicious nor hypocritical toward anyone involved.

    Note that I’m not saying that those affected by the situation can’t be frustrated and upset by it. But let the anger be at the reduced paycheck, or at the prospect of a reduced contract next time (which would be the publisher’s fault, if they do that).

    Don’t call Amazon a hypocrite for actually having an eye to the long term. That’s something they’ve ALWAYS done.

  4. Terrence OBrien said:

    What are the specific issues in the Amazon Hachette negotiations?What are the specific positions of each party?

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