I was a very early fan of Amazon.com, but now Amazon is deciding what to sell based not on what customers want, but on how much they can undercut pricing and harm the publishers. I have come to believe that Amazon is a psychopathic institution. Here in America there is a great movement to imbue corporations with rights. To treat them as real people/individuals. That means a few are going to be sociopaths and psychopaths. Amazon now qualifies.
I am slowly replacing all the ‘buy online’ links on my website to link to other book buying sites like Barnes & Noble or Powells or Indiebound. Not that this will make a big difference to Amazon as I’m sure my links only deliver a handful of sales a year if that.
But after their latest conflagration with Hachette shows, they would rather destroy an industry than spilt a penny. Their offer to keep selling books released from Hachette only if the authors take all of the profit and cut out the publisher is so ugly in spirit I found it hard to believe. But here it is.
I have nothing against indy-publising. I’ve done it most of my life. I sold photocopied comic books for years. I ‘self published’ an iPad read-along comic book App. three years ago.
I will probably release some short, illustrated horror stories this Halloween for the iPad on the iBook Store. Putting work out there when you want can be a good thing for your creative spirit even if the work falls short for a broad majority of readers. But for Amazon to treat publishers and editors as if they add nothing to the work I do as an author and illustrator is beyond arrogance. My earnings are about as far from Stephen King’s earning as an author can be, but I have never once regretted working with a publisher and editor. They have done nothing but raise the quality of my work and help sell the books. Unlike Amazon that more or less throws up 10 billion things and hopes someone will find what they like. It’s road-kill-buffet style capitalism.
I would shop at Amazon for the convince alone even if they weren’t selling books at losses and strong-arming publishers. But they have made a choice. Domination or bust. Arrogance is such an unpleasant shortcoming for anyone or any corporation.