So it turns out that not only is Amazon blocking Hachette (http://online.wsj.com/articles/amazon-hachette-e-book-pricing-battle-continues-1407708761), but they’re trying the same shit with Warner Brothers (http://mashable.com/2014/06/10/hachette-warner-bros-amazon-lego/) and Disney (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/amazon-takes-the-muppets-off-the-shelf/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=tw-nytimesbits&_r=2&). Umm, I don’t know how you expect this to end guys, but I predict that it won’t go well. In addition, Amazon has sent out a letter to all their self-published KDP writers asking them to write to the CEO of Hachette and complain (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/09/orwell-is-amazons-latest-target-in-battle-against-hachette/). Another really bad idea, I would imagine; even if they had gotten their literary references correct. Amazon is now putting people like me (who just want to read a damn book, or sell a damn book) in the middle of this thing. It’s like running to mommy when the big kid tries to take your lunch money, except that Amazon is supposed to be the mommy in this situation.
I am shaking my head over here. Also, I’m angry.
Frankly, I don’t care how I get my stuff as long as I get it. I liked the fact that Amazon is easy to use and all in one place; I can click a single button and the thing I’ve ordered arrives. However, all my stuff is no longer in the same place or will arrive reliably. Shannon Hale is with Hachette. Amanda Palmer is with Hachette. JK Rowling and Stephen Colbert are with Hachette. I LOVE the Muppets. I really don’t like getting dicked around because two giant corporations can’t get it together and make an agreement. I don’t think that Hachette is blameless, but I do think they’ve played the PR game better. And really, for me, the whole thing is about access. I don’t care how Amazon and Hachette resolve this thing, I just want to be able to read what I want to read. I also don’t mind paying a little more for that privilege.
So basically, this post is to say that I’m done. Amazon obviously can’t give me the customer experience I need. I love that Kindle app on my phone, but did you know that Kobo also has a reading app? I downloaded it last night and I already love it. Their prices are not that different from Amazon, and I was able to preorder both Shannon Hale’s “A Wonderlandiful World” and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” with the click of a single button. It loads faster than the Kindle app, too, and they give me fancy badges for reading stuff! There is also a little green bookmark that goes into your page when you sign out. Next, I’m going to try Powell’s (http://www.powells.com/) or Vroman’s (http://www.vromansbookstore.com/) for all my physical book ordering needs. There is also the fabulous Barnes and Noble, for the large and established factor. I’m not going without stuff to prove a point I don’t care about, Amazon. Maybe if you had gotten that George Orwell quote right… (Okay, not even then).
In the mean time, I wish both Amazon and Hachette luck in figuring this whole thing out. Now excuse me while I go enrich Wil Wheaton’s stock in popcorn by buying a huge bowl for myself. I’ve figured out a way to get my books like I want them and I no longer have a stake in the game. Now the travesty can unfold for my amusement.