Friday, June 6, 2014

(News) Amazons battle against publishers

I think, some of you have already noticed: Amazon started a huge fight against some publishers. But what is really going on? Lets try to find out!

Amazon wants higher payments from publishers

The first time, I've heard about it, I thought it's a German problem. One of our famous authors Kai Meyer twittered: Amazon blackmails Carlsen and other publishers by delaying shipments, because they want 40-50% profit sharing instead of 30%. Sound great to wait 2 weeks and more for your book to arrive... But it isn't just a German problem, it's international!

Amazon against Hachette

Amazon tries to force Hachette (Publisher of J. K. Rowling and James Patterson) and other publishers into signing a new contract (Probably the same as in Germany). But Hachette (one of the Big Five publishers) said no and has to suffer the consequences now. You remember how it was back in school? There's always a bully. In this case: it's Amazon. It denies costumers to pre-order Hachette titles, (try to order J. K. Rowlings new book. Good luck with that ...), no discounts on Hachette titles anymore and of course: Delayed shipments.

Amazon wants the whole market

Amazon already controls about a third of the book business, which means big publishers depend on it. Also a lot of indie authors prefer Amazon, because they get 70% profit instead of 25% if they publish there book via amazon. That's a great deal, if you are an author but keep in mind, that publishers have to pay editors, advertisements and staff. Well, what is Amazon planing? World domination! No, just kidding, but sadly, it is pretty close to the truth. They want to lower prices on digital books, which is good for us you think? Hardly. The publishers (and we) will pay the price for it because they can't compete with it. So, here is a short of Amazons marketing tactics:

  1. Getting publishers to sign there contracts
  2. Publishers can't afford there productions anymore
  3. Amazon still offers the cheapest prices and outpaces the competition
  4. Publishers have to save on other ends like editing and advertisement. Eventually they'll collapse.
  5. Authors will publish via Amazon
  6. Amazon becomes a monopoly
Sounds scary, doesn't it? But that's exactly what's happening right now. So we have to discuss, write and talk about it! Honestly, I think it is criminal, what Amazon is doing right now because I believe, that they won't keep there low prices. As soon as Amazon completely rules the market, they will increase rapidly again.

James Patteson talked about it at the BEA

James Patterson was talking about it during his speech at the BEA in New York as well. He pretty much predicts the same things I do:

... right now bookstores, libraries, authors, publishers, and books themselves are caught in the crossfire of an economic war between publishers and online providers. To be a teeny, tiny bit more specific, Amazon seems to be out to control shopping in this country. This will ultimately have an effect on every grocery- and department-store chain, on every big-box store, and ultimately it will put thousands of Mom-and-Pop stores out of business. It just will, and I don't see anybody writing about it, but that certainly sounds like the beginning of a monopoly to me. Amazon also, as you know, wants to control book selling, book buying, and even book publishing, and that is a national tragedy. If this is to be the new American way, then maybe it has to be changed, by law if necessary, immediately, if not sooner. I think that might have been a worthy subject for this BEA. I think it's a subject that Indie Bound, the PEN American Center, the National Book Foundation, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Huffington, and NPR should latch onto with vigor, with passion, with urgency. Thank you for this generous honor. It means a lot to me, it really does. I'm pretty emotional about it, more than I ever am at speaking engagements.

As you can see, he even takes this one step further, saying, that if Amazon succeeds, it won't be just the book market. It will influence grocery- and department stores as well, putting family-run stores out of business.

Amazon doesn't care at all

At first, Amazon didn't want to talk about it and even now, the only thing they say is that they won't give up and if customers don't like it, they are free to buy there books somewhere else.

Let's hope, that the government will step in and stop this insanity! That said, I wish you all a great weekend!

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