PG’s first impression is that this is a classic NYT piece full of status signaling. Refined people support authors like Preston and quaint little indie bookshops and understand that Amazon is irredeemably unfashionable.
Preston’s “little shack” in the Maine woods is complete with “a picture of the Dalai Lama, a high-speed data line and a copy of Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience,’” where he “summers” signals that Preston is the right sort of person, one refined enough to focus on the finer things in life, as compared to the grubby capitalists in Seattle who are only interested in serving “hordes” of consumers who obviously are not the right sort of people at all.
“Consumers,” the Times carefully informs its readers, are beneath contempt, interested only in “cheap” books, certainly not the class of books the Times would ever review. Democracy is fine, but the rabble need to know their place.
The Change.org petition supporting Amazon “is a rambling love song to the retailer. Signers sometimes append invective decrying the New York publishers for having the audacity to reject novels.” Obviously the whole Change.org group are lower class, not the sort of people for whom theTimes is meant. It goes without saying that New York publishers are exactly the right sort of people, holding back the teeming hordes from book stores and sensitive readers.
Because, of course, Amazon treats writers very, very well, much better than Hachette does. Hachette is clearly the abuser of authors here, despite what its pet authors have to say.
When a self-published author sells an ebook on Amazon, Amazon will pay the writer 70% of the sales price, assuming the ebook is priced properly to maximize sales and profits.
When Hachette sells an ebook on Amazon, Hachette will pay the writer 17.5% of the sales price at most, which is then reduced to 15.8% after the agent’s commission.
Amazon pays authors on a monthly basis. Hachette pays authors every six months.
Amazon shows authors exactly how many books they’re selling, the sales price and how much they’re earning from each sale in nearly real time, including graphs that clearly help the author understand sales trends.
Hachette royalty statements are at least 90 days out of date when they arrive and largely impenetrable. Hachette doesn’t prepare its royalty statements with a quill pen, but they are a paean to the best of 1960′s mainframe computer technology.
PG could go on.
Former Hachette authors could go on for much longer.
Current Hachette authors who have complaints are advised to shut up if they want to keep receiving their insultingly small royalty payments.
Passive guy is always a lot of fun…I wish I could remain as calm when I’m ticked off!