Despite what Hachette believes, Amazon is not a monopoly. They might be a large market share holder for book and eBook sales, but Amazon has competition:
- Google Play Books
Anytime, I want, I can change my novel selling focus from Amazon to focus on any of these other companies. So where is the monopoly?
The problem is that Amazon is doing a better job overall than all their competitors. Each has a few features better than Amazon’s but for now, Amazon is winning. They are selling close to 90% of the eBooks. I am not sure about the print book percentages. They are also doing a great job for the small press and indie authors. Sure there is room for improvement, but overall, I am quite content with them.
Is Amazon using monopoly like tactics? No. They aren’t doing anything that any other company wouldn’t do. Other companies are using DRM for eBooks. If you buy eBooks through Amazon’s competitors, you are pretty much locked into using the competitors app to get that book. Though Fire Light is marked as DRM free because I am not a DRM fan, but that is another story.
Hachette claims it is being bullied. Not true. They are being negotiated hard, sure; but bullied, no. Amazon is making plenty of money off of many authors. Their dealings with Hachette is not bullying. It is simply business.
Besides, were the big publishers not using bullying tactics to keep many authors out? They often wouldn’t even talk to new authors unless they signed with an agent first. They created barriers to authors, stifling thousands of small authors and preventing them from thriving and growing. Amazon broke the mold and broke the big publishers’ exclusive model. Now anyone can publish. Sure there is now a near endless vat of writing out there, but don’t worry, just like in a deep vat of milk, the cream will rise to the top.
So let’s be honest here. Amazon is no more shrewd in their business than Hachette has been in theirs.
Hachette, are you and other publishers not signing exclusivity deals with Amazon to bully the small press and independent authors? Why is it that big publishers can put a book on Amazon months before it releases and allow for pre-ordering but small press and independent authors cannot? Are such negotiations and practices by you and other big publishers not acts that “fix” the market in your favor?
Just because Amazon is a big distributor, does not mean Amazon is required to sign a contact with Hachette. Why should Amazon add books that will make Amazon less money? Amazon is not a free open distribution channel. Amazon is a business and is in the business to make money. In what business does it make sense to sign a contact to make less money?
Let’s put this into perspective. Let’s say YOU are a company. YOU sell cars. If YOU sold Bob’s cars, you make $10k a car. If YOU sold John’s cars, you make $8K a car. Which cars are you going to promote and sell? John will go out of business if they can’t get find a way for YOU to make $10k a car. So, Hachette, the same applies to you. If you can’t find a way for Amazon to make the same money they are making on other books, then you are going to go out of business. End of story (at least your story).
This is not bullying, it is just life. Go out of business or adapt and deal with the new publishing world!