Over the weekend a corporate brawl over e-book pricing lit up the Internet. After the U.S. publishing firm Macmillan announced that it would be raising prices of its e-books above Amazon’s $9.99 standard, Amazon responded by silently removing the “buy” buttons on all Macmillan titles. On Sunday, Amazon announced in a confusing note posted to its online Kindle forum – in which it claimed without irony that Macmillan has a ‘monopoly‘ on its own books – that it have will ‘have to capitulate.’
In a humorous round-up of the Amazon/Macmillan e-pricing hijinks, blogger and novelist John Scalzi details how Amazon failed over the weekend:
Amazon apparently forgot that when it moved against Macmillan, it also moved against Macmillan’s authors. Macmillan may be a faceless, soulless baby-consuming corporate entity with no feelings or emotions, but authors have both of those, and are also twitchy neurotic messes who obsess about their sales, a fact which Amazon should be well aware of because we check our Amazon numbers four hundred times a day, and a one-star Amazon review causes us to crush up six Zoloft and snort them into our nasal cavities, because waiting for the pills to digest would just take too long.
These are the people Amazon pissed off. Which was not a smart thing, because as we all know, the salient feature of writers is that they write. And they did, about this, all weekend long. And not just Macmillan’s authors, but other authors as well, who reasonably feared that their corporate parent might be the next victim of Amazon’s foot-stompery.