Amazon vs. Hachette: annals of dopey battles

Oh, the irony.  A big fat publisher who represents big authors is now the hero in a fake David vs. Goliath tale.  Hachette, one of the companies who fought to keep e-book prices high (as high as their print counterparts, in many cases) is now whining that it just can't get a good deal.  And Amazon, which has revolutionized book-selling as well as publishing, is characterized as a "bully" that is trampling on Hachette's invented rights.  

In fact, Hachette has lots of other big retailers to hawk their books, just as Amazon has lots of other content for consumers to buy.  Those brand-name authors who are losing "pre-sales" hardly lack distribution channels.  If a reader is dying to read, say, Kate Atkinson, she can find Kate on at least six other online retailers, including iBooks-- online, it's a click away.  (Isn't content supposed to be king?  Would I stop reading an author because I couldn't buy on Amazon?  I think not.)

What's the reality?  Not only are readers addicted to sales (in clothes, in stores, everywhere,) but they are becoming increasingly addicted to free content (which, in digital, is ubiquitous.)  Inflating prices (which is essentially what publishers like Hachette want) is in no one's long-term interests as Hugh Howey argues in The Guardian.   Higher prices will mean, ultimately, fewer readers for everyone.  Now, that's dopey.



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