I haven’t blogged much lately, you know with all of that writing stuff I do for a living combined with gardens, canning, freezing, children, dogs, cats, chickens, geese, etc. Things have been a little on the busy side to say the least. However, after an email this morning, I decided to take a brief moment out of everything else and blog.
Authors are being increasingly drawn onto the battlefield that is the Hatchette/Amazon dispute. Hatchette authors are in the middle and now even independents are being drawn in as Amazon sent out a letter to them today. I don’t blame Amazon for reaching out, not after Hatchette decided to parade their business dealings out into public like a bunch of spoiled Kardashians.
After reading the email from Amazon I had to think for a while what my response, if any, would be. I decided against emailing Hatchette.
Why won’t I email Hatchette? It isn’t because I dislike Amazon, far be in fact. It isn’t because I think Hatchette is in the right. I do feel for the authors caught up in the crossfire. However, I decided not to write as a matter of business.
Technically, Hatchette is one of my business competitors. And yes, I can hear the derisive laughter echoing from the halls Hatchette at the idea that a mere, lowly, independent author could possibly be a competitor in the vast field of publishing. However, whether they choose to believe it (or laugh at me) or not, it remains a fact that to some extent, all independents are competitors with Hatchette.
The major crux of the problem appears to be Hatchette wanting to price e-books at 14.99, which Amazon thinks is far to high to be sensible. And they are right. Given the economic climate not just in the U.S. but in many places around the world, the rising costs of heating, cooling, food, gasoline, and everything else under the sun, the difficulty that remains in finding jobs (or at least jobs that pay decent), the record high of outstanding student debt, and wages that seem to go nowhere, why any business would want to price a digital file that high is beyond me.
That said, who am I to tell them where they can set their prices. It’s a free country and all that.
And honestly, why on earth would I care if Hatchette lowered their prices or not? In fact, it’s in my best interest that they don’t. When home budgets are often over stressed for the majority of the population, where even those who are living comfortably aren’t comfortable with shelling out 14.99 for a digital book, when a buyer will look at the price and think, “I can get three or four other books for that price.” Why would I care if Hatchette want’s to price their e-books at 14.99 or 50.99 a book?
Honestly, if Hatchette, in its effort to show Amazon up, wants to cut its nose off to spite its own face, let them. I’m only sad that even if Hatchette wins their little tug of war, their authors will still lose. However, that is between them and their authors and no one else.
So no, I won’t write Hatchette and tell them I think they are stupid even if I think they are. I understand Amazon’s desire to keep prices low, after all they have to think of their own customers. But as far as I’m concerned, let Hatchette have their ridiculous prices. The consumer will be sure and let them know if it the price isn’t right.
Now back to the important things, like that third Dragon’s Call book that is almost finished.