miércoles, 23 de julio de 2014

The Readers against Douglas Preston

After reading a post by Hugh Howey I finally got around to reading the "Us vs. Amazon" letter penned by Mr. Preston. From Mr. Howey's post it would seem that Mr. Preston is both able to backtrack and apologize (good) and prone to view readers from an... er... exalted sense of self. Un-bad. As in un-dead.

Mr. Preston's letter includes the names of 780 writers (Oh, sorry, "authors"). It pains me to see some names, there. Names of people I'd read as a teen, valued, cherished and looked up to. Names of people who'd been with me as I explored new places, went through pain and joy. Names of people I'd discovered more recently and enjoyed. Some 40 wri... authors, in a rapid check.

Names of people I'm increasingly unlikely to ever read again.

Now, I don't buy through kindle. My computing environment would require way too much work. I fight computing emulators and file formats for a living, not to reach my hobby... when I have other choices. Also, it insists on computing taxes 21% higher than most of my dealers. That said...

Besides the fact that the original letter's links are extraordinarily biased (and that the WSJ should learn about bussiness from Amazon), what that letter is saying is that amazon should
  • Engage in risky bussiness practices, entering into agreements with its customers it doesn't know it'll be able to fill (unless it bows down and says "yess, masster" like it properly should).
  • Price its books at the writer's whim. Not its needs, its marketing analysis or even the price the publisher suggests. Amazon is expected to create its own price and guess what Mr. Howey thinks is an adequate one.
  • Fill its warehouses with items from a publisher in a contract dispute
To say nothing about the fact that some waits are normal for many other writers. No, amazon must handle Hachette writers like special flowers. Hachette is good, hachette is our friend, Hachette can't do wrong. All hail our glorious publisher.

As I've said before, I have other choices now. Often cheaper choices, choices that don't scam neither writer (or the occasional lost "author") nor readers. Farewell, gentlemen. Be seeing you if you turn around, but you just lost the advantage you could have.

Take care.

PS: As expected, SFWA joins a battle for irrelevance. Without checking its members, as far as I know.

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