Author Katie Mettner

Has Amazon Gone Too Far?

Yesterday I got an email from Amazon KDP titled "Important Kindle Request". Oh boy, I better read this, right? I quickly click the email open and am greeted by this long winded scenario about World War II and paperback books. I force myself to keep reading, certain this must be important and waiting for the shoe to drop (kinda like when they "forgot" to tell us about Kindle Unlimited releasing). It was 10 paragraphs later before the shoe (or maybe more appropriately the hatchet) dropped. 

What was the 'important kindle request"? Amazon was requesting this from all it's indie authors: We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com

Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com

Please consider including these points:

- We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
- Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did.
- Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle.
- Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.

Soooooooooooooooooooo, they want me as an author to fight against Hachette's refusal to lower their ebook prices from $14.99 to $9.99. 

Look up there in that paragraph I copied over from their email and see if you see what I see. I'll wait....... do you see what I'm talking about? I see this: Copy us at: readers-united@amazon.com That says "readers-united".


So this begs the question why are they emailing authors? One could say because writers are also readers, and that would be correct, but why not make it "authors-united" then, or why not email every person who has ever bought a kindle book from Amazon and make this request? If you email every reader you are also going to reach every author because they are readers too. Well, I hit delete on this email and I'm not going to play with Amazon on this. I'll give you my top reasons why:

3. This is America and if a company wants to charge $14.99 for an Ebook they should have the right, just like McDonalds can charge $4.49 for a hamburger if they so choose. Believe it or not, Amazon is NOT the ruler of the free world and giving them this kind of power again convinces me they plan to take over the world.

2. If readers don't want to pay $14.99 for an Ebook they don't have to. Personally I won't even pay $9.99 for an ebook, and I'm a reader. Why? Because for $14.99 I can add two bucks and go buy the hardcover from Walmart. At least then I can give the book to other people when I finish it. Does this "Devalue books or make an unhealthy reading culture"? Nope, it's building a reading culture, by sharing one book by an author the chances are if the new reader likes the book they will then go purchase more of the same authors work. This is a proven fact. I "might" considering paying $9.99 for an ebook if it was a long awaited book I really wanted, but chances are I wouldn't. If I wanted a book that bad I'm going to run out and get the hardcover so I have a physical copy. OR I'm going to wait for it to come out on paperback in a few months and pay 7 bucks for it and have a physical copy. A $9.99 ebook is not going to win out over either of those options for me. 

While that is all well and good the NUMBER 1 reason as an author I won't participate in Amazon's attempt to rule the world?



I'M AN AUTHOR! If Hachette wants to sell their books for $14.99 more power to them, that doesn't create an "unhealthy reading culture" as Amazon tries to brainwash us with, rather it creates industry and competition. As an author selling my books at $2.99 or $3.99 why on earth would I give two hoo's about Hachette lowering the price of their books 5 bucks? I don't! A READER IS A READER REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE OF THE BOOK! Why did I yell that? Because it's common sense. If readers like to read they will read and if the book they want to read is $14.99 they will find something else to read that's cheaper. Before the dawn of Ebooks it was called "going to the library" or "hitting the thrift store". In the age of Ebooks it's called, "Buying an indie book for twelve dollars less". 

This isn't rocket science here. Amazon wants to control the entire book world as it stands. They will do anything and everything they can think of to convince indie authors to get on board with their maniacal ideas to give them more power. 

The great part about America is that we have choices, but if we continue to play with Amazon our choices will be few. Take a stand and say NO to Amazon!










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