Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

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I got one LAST thing to say.... *
Because no, I can't leave this alone -- but I hope to hell it's my last damn post on the matter -- John Scalzi explains why Amazon didn't fare well this weekend, on the PR front.


[my favorite bit is the disclaimer at the end: "Just in case anyone needs the following disclosure: As an author who has books published by Macmillan (and whose books are at this writing still delisted by Amazon), I am not a wholly disinterested party. And yes, by this point, I expect I will be the very last Macmillan author Amazon gets around to relisting."]

And for once on the internet, the comments so far are thoughtful and polite, not ranting screeds of either flavor.

EtA: Amazon.com stock is down close to 10% at at noon EST.
EtA2: word from several sources says that Amazon also, unannounced, pulled sample chapters of Macillan books from Kindles. Yes, if you already downloaded it.. they took it away. Without notice or warning. Shades of 1984, anyone?

*points to anyone who picks up the reference. Hint: it's not literary.

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you know what I love about reading John Scalzi's blog? I always learn something new. I for one had never heard the expression "hump the bunk" -- and now I can't stop giggling. Because I'm 12.

And I would very much like someone to write a story where "renegade Amish attacked Amazon’s server farm and poured jugs of hard cider into the machines"

What a weekend!

Edited at 2010-02-01 01:36 pm (UTC)


I'm still not convinced that Amazon can't properly spin this. People and corporations that I've thought in the past were dead in the water somehow miraculously survive to be jerks for another day, and it's still too early to tell whether Amazon won't be able to turn their fail into a PR boon.

oh, anyone who is drinking the kool-aide will continue to drink the kool-aide -- hey, it's tasty. I'm not even going to blame them, because Amazon got where it did by a combination of ruthlessness and Making it Easy For Us. One-click buying, everything you could ever want, available at 2am. We as a species like easy, except those of us hardwired to cause trouble question authority think about if easy = good.

But Amazon did the one thing you're really not supposed to do -- piss off people who are a) good with words and b) have people who listen to those words.

I tended to spend about $200/year at Amazon, just on books. Now, that money will go elsewhere. I know a lot of other people doing likewise. I somehow doubt anyone who stays buying at Amazon will suddenly buy MORE because of this.

So, that -- from a business perspective -- is a loss.

Worse: had this remained a battle between Mac and Amazon over sales agreements, behind closed doors, between CEOs, then that's Business. But Amazon chose to throw the temper tantrum, and then sulked when thy lost -- and did it publicly. If you're really paying attention, that's a warning sign. Me, as a shareholder (not of Amazon, but in other companies) I'd be looking to dump shares, because I have no faith in the company's leadership/ability to control their destiny.

Edited at 2010-02-01 01:59 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I know. Logically speaking, Amazon screwed up in so many ways. My logical half thinks exactly what you're saying, Laura Anne, but my intuitive half feels a tremor in the Force.

And that bothers me.

You feel the tremor because too much of the human population are sheep. And sheep like Easy, rather than thinking.

This is why I value you guys. You may not agree -- and often argue quite well that I'm WrongWrongWrong! -- but you're here, in the scrum, thinking.

You know, until I came online this morning and saw your blog entries, I had no idea there was anything going on...basically, though, I already boycott the hell out of Amazon for another reason entirely, so any further dumbassery on their part no longer comes as any surprise, and just adds another reason to the list for me.

That said, I enjoyed Scalzi's entry. The snark and the humor have quite set me up for the day.

You know I appreciate all of these links so that I can read more about what the heck is going on, right? Thanks!

I think John nailed it.. There are (to my mind) severe negative impacts to what McMillan pulled, but Amazon's handling of this matter was so horribly, unbelievably awful (and has yet to improve) that they get the big FailTrophy. And as a result, the valid parts of their argument become ineffective.

"Miami Steve, please!"

(Yes, I get the reference.... *grin*)

look, everyone! Keith got the point!

*looks wide-eyed and innocent*

(what? You set it up, I'm damn well gonna spike it...)

The law of averages was bound to catch up to me eventually......

I so rarely do business with them anymore for other reasons but if I hadn't severely cutback my business to them already, I'd do it now.

Thank you for the link! Scalzi's post is awesome, and I think helps me grok why I'm so not on Amazon's side in this, even if I'm not necc on Macmillan's either. A company that big should know how to cover their ass better.

Amazon has lost all future business from me. They've shown me that they could care less about the consumer, that it's all about their bottom line, that they don't care about the authors who's books are STILL missing as of today.

So, I'll make my money speak for me and take it elsewhere.

Sorry, but hopefully you'll do another post. The New York Times has come out with an actual article which starts:

"After a weekend of brinksmanship, Amazon.com on Sunday surrendered to a publisher and agreed to raise prices on some electronic books."


I can't -- this has already eaten up so much of my time and energy, I'm being on paying work. This is important, but so is making deadlines and paying bills, yaknow?

We're discussing it over at the BookView Cafe blog, for more viewpoints, and Jay Lake just posted a splendid letter I linked in my most recent post/

Gosh, you mean authors aren't rolling on couches stuffed with money? My parents cats are going to be pretty cranky: I was going to go down last night but was spending time on energy on this until very late last night.

As much as anything I'd like to just get the information out. It's even more important than what the article is about: a major news outlet has this viewpoint. People on the 'net are one thing -- there's a lot of ignorance out there. But the NYT?

There are also the demographics. We're talking about it; Amazon posting their nonsense to a biased community; and not that many people read the NYT blog. The newspaper is read around the world. And that paragraph was the lead of the article. Newspaper readers usually skim the leads to decide what they're going to read and this is what they're going to take away. The article does have a bit about what's going on but has the same slant.

I'm honestly very puzzled because it seems that no one has thought of any of that. This is the viewpoint of a major media outlet. And the way articles are read is also a factor in reviews: the lead and slant has a lot of impact. I thought of a least tracking down the BookView Cafe blog but I don't have the time or the energy for this either.

I thought of a least tracking down the BookView Cafe blog but I don't have the time or the energy for this either.

www.bookviewcafe.com At the left-hand side there's a link to the blog. No tracking down required.

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