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So, I was on Amazon the other day, and I happened to notice that the link to a book by an author, who’s latest book I wanted to purchase, wasn’t working properly, so I did the decent thing and e-mailed the author to let her know that there seemed to be a problem with links to her books.

Anyway, this is the e-mail that she sent back to me:

Hi Karen,

Thanks for your email. I am aware of the problem. Amazon and Hatchette, the parent company of my publisher, are in a dispute at the moment and this is Amazon’s way of getting at Hatchette. They’re doing it to several authors in different ways.

The dispute is over Amazon demanding bigger discounts from publishers, which aren’t to be passed on to consumers, and Hatchette said no. So, Amazon are doing things like this and will keep doing it, apparently, until the stand-off is resolved.


So Amazon are purposely messing up book links so that authors published by specific houses, can’t sell their work?

Does anybody know how true this is?


  • Karen, this is true. The dispute, as I understand it, began between amazon in the UK and Hachette there. Amazon demanded much deeper discounting from publishers, and Hachette took a stand and refused, arguing that there’s a cost in producing books, and therefore a limit to how much they can discount. Amazon retaliated by removing the ‘buy’ links for a number of books published by Hachette – particularly big-selling titles.

    There’s been a fair amount of discussion about it in the media, and on some publishing industry blogs, so if you google Hachette and amazon you’ll find more details I’m sure.

    I’m recently published by Hachette Australia. My book is listed on both amazon and amazon.uk, but as unavailable – which is probably quite true, as it is not published in either country yet. I’m a new author, and not a big enough name for amazon to target in this dispute!

    However, I do support Hachette UK’s stance – even if it does ultimately mean that I lose sales. While it’s nice to have high-volume sellers discount books, there IS a limit to how low that can go, without squeezing authors and publishers dry. Authors, publisher, printers, distributors and booksellers all deserve fair recompense for the work and their investment – and that should be reflected in the cost of a book.

    I’ll step off my soapbox now πŸ˜‰


  • Dang….you gotta be kidding me!

    I applaud Hatchette. Big time.


  • Hi there, Bronwyn, welcome!

    And yes, what both you and Shiloh said.


  • They started with self-pubs who refuse to use BookSurge (Amazon’s POD service which is by far inferior to Lightning Source in product and delivery and responsiveness). BookLocker brought an antitrust suit against them earlier this year. It was speculated upon then that Amazon was going this direction.



  • I stopped buying at Amazon after the Booksurge debacle and the more I hear the gladder I am I’m buying my books online at Bamm.com or occasionally at Betterworld.com.

    I remember when Amazon was the underdog, now they’ve become the Microsoft of the bookworld. πŸ™


  • Chantal
    November 17
    3:39 pm

    I don’t know why people still buy from amazon. They are corrupt, and don’t deserve our money.


  • This isn’t too surprising. Amazon’s profits probably dropped like everyone else’s in the publishing industry. Overall profits are down 9% and rising. This is probably their way of trying to make up for the loss.

    Not that I’m excusing it – this is pretty sucktastic. Amazon used to be way cool and then they turned into a corporate godzilla just stomping on their competition and their customers.


  • MB (Leah)
    November 17
    4:28 pm

    You know this kind of makes me feel how I feel about Walmart. I really hate their tactics and how they brow beat their suppliers into selling to them at basest of costs, and yet, as a consumer it’s really hard not to shop at these places because I save a serious amount of money.

    In a perfect world, I would have the kind of money in which it wouldn’t matter if I spent much more for the same item in order to help keep the local or mom and pop stores going, it’s just not an option in today’s economy.

    It makes me sick and sometimes I do take a stance and refuse to shop at these types of places for a while.

    To be honest though, consistently Amazon offers huge discounts compared to B&N, Borders and Powells Books. Say for a pre-order, Amazon will discount quite a bit, whereas, B&N will only discount a small amount for ordering online and usually Amazon’s price is still cheaper than using B&N’s membership program. Border’s and Powells don’t even discount.

    I buy an awful lot of books, and I usually buy them new, so everyone gets a full cut. But if I can get a $4,5,6 discount, that means I can buy another book that I wouldn’t have if I paid full price.

    So what to do? It sucks and I hate being put in that position of having to choose. I fully support any publisher and or author who stands up against these tactics though because there really is a limit on how much you can squeeze from a turnip.


  • I remember when Amazon was the underdog, now they’ve become the Microsoft of the bookworld.

    Well said, GrowlyCub.

    So Bamm.com and Betterworld.com are good? What do y’all think of B&N?

    If anyone has some other suggestions of places to buy books online besides Amazon, please share. If I can avoid feeding the monster, I will. πŸ™‚


  • Emmy
    November 17
    4:53 pm

    I haven’t bought from Amazon in longer than I can remember. I used them mainly when I was living in Japan, because there were some things I just couldn’t get there. Now, I can get books locally for about the same price.

    Speaking of links and things…Karen, are you messing with this site? The font looks really really small.


  • Kay Webb Harrison
    November 17
    5:52 pm

    I dropped Amazon.com, of which I was a fairly regular customer, following one of the author/reader comment controversies. I had already become a B&N member and began to shop there for all but Harlequin/Silhouette new book purchases on-line. The member discount is good; a purchase of $25 or more has no shipping/handling charges; the selection is excellent; and the bargain books frequently include titles I want.

    There is also the Rhapsody Book Club, which I recently rejoined. The membership deal offers 8 books for $0.01, the choice of a free book or a tote bag, option to purchase the first book of your 4-books-in-two-years commitment for $9.99 and thus, to reduce the commitment to only 2 more books, plus shipping and handling. I chose the nine book option: $10.00 for nine hardcovers– including Nora Roberts’s Tribute and The Pagan Stone and J.D. Robb’s Salvation in Death–plus $19.67 shipping and handling. In addition, I was able to choose the “Bill Me” option, which allows me to pay after my books arrive. Of course, all the club books are hardcover editions, with $12.99 the lowest price; but the introductory package certainly balances things out.



  • Fiordiligi
    November 17
    6:13 pm

    I know why I stopped buying at Amazon for a long time ago. My list of auto-buy authors is not overly big but I try to get them from small indy stores. I mainly use Bookmooch nowaday which is the best invention since chocolate *g*.


  • Chantal
    November 17
    6:37 pm

    I don’t care if Amazon will save me enough money to buy one more book. There are some things that I stand for, and a few bucks is not going to compromise my morals.
    Unless more people let Amazon know how terrible they are, then they will never change.


  • Anne Brighton
    November 17
    10:11 pm

    You can always go to DeepDiscount DVD. They sell books and I never pay a S/H fee there. http://www.deepdiscount.com

    And there’s Alibris: http://www.alibris.com


  • Or you can hit your local ubs. Mine carries new books that are discounted 20% and the selection is much better than Walmart or Target or Barnes and Noble.


  • Unfortunately for me, I bought an Amazon Prime membership before this whole fiasco with the stalking authors and the POD vice grip and all the other controversies. I’ll sue it for those single books I HAVE to have because the $6.99 is a lot easier when the shipping is free.

    But I also buy at B&N and have a membership there for a long time. I stick with them when I have several books because I’m sure to go over the $25 mark. I prefer their customer service by far and I also have a brick and mortar store just a few miles from me so I can go there if I’m desperate for something.

    As soon as the Amazon Prime membership is done though, I’ll be done with them. Just wish B&N offered a membership like that!


  • dew
    November 18
    8:33 am

    Which site has the lawyer blogger, DA or SBTB? Does this fall under RICO?


  • @dew, Dear Author. Jane is the lawyer. There has been a few discussions about this over there.


  • I stopped buying from Amazon ages ago. Right now, no-one is getting book money from me because the budget won’t allow it (I use the library) BUT when I can afford books again, I’ll gladly buy fewer from my local indie than lots from corrupt ol’ Amazon.


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