Amazon Reignites War of Words in Hachette Battle

shutterstock_125359070In a letter posted at website ReadersUnited.com late Friday night, Amazon spelled out its position in its negotiations with Hachette and implored the Kindle Direct Publishing authors it sent the letter to and anyone else reading it to send the publisher’s CEO Michael Pietsch a letter advocating on behalf of Amazon.

The move sparked a firestorm of debate across the Web between authors, publishers and observers, with more than usual calling Amazon’s latest salvo in its long-running and very public business dispute with Hachette an unwise move (more on this below). And Amazon’s usual and very vocal supporters like Hugh Howey, David Gaughran and J.A. Konrath have so far been silent on the issue – at least as of this writing.

It had been a quiet August. More.


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Hachette CEO to Amazon Advocate Emails: Why We Do What We Do (DBW)
Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch has “heard from a lot of people,” according to a Hachette spokesperson. Here is what he wrote back to them.

Amazon: “We Will Never Give up” (Forbes)
While Amazon’s spate of public communications regarding its battle with Hachette might be a bit out of character for the retailer, its forgotten phrase from the note is not.

Vocal Authors Not Loving Amazon Letter (The Digital Reader)
A quick, early survey of the reaction of some vocal authors reveals that some weren’t very impressed by the Amazon letter.

Author to Authors United: What About Amazon Publishing Authors? (LeeGoldberg.com)
One author asks, if Authors United is against any retailer preventing its customers from getting books, then why doesn’t it criticize Barnes & Noble and indie bookstores for refusing to stock Amazon Publishing titles for reasons other than normal merchandising factors.

Amazon’s ‘Orwellian’ Letter (NYT)
In its ReadersUnited.com note, Amazon claimed George Orwell hated paperbacks and suggested the publishing industry collude to halt their advance – and that it was similar with ebooks today. It turns out that the note took Orwell out of context and that his views were quite the opposite.

Amazon and Paperbacks (The Shatzkin Files)
Digital Book World conference chairman and publishing expert Mike Shatzkin gives a long and detailed account of paperbacks in the book publishing industry. His story doesn’t match Amazon’s.

A History of ReadersUnited.com (InfoDOCKET)
Can’t get enough of the latest chapter in the Amazon-Hachette war of words? You can dive deeper down the rabbit hole with this history of the ReadersUnited.com domain name.

Amazon Now Battling Disney (WSJ)
Amazon is reportedly now battling media powerhouse Disney, refusing to allow pre-orders on some of its DVD titles.

LeVar Burton to Kids: Tweeting Rainbow (DBW, video)
In a spoof of Reading Rainbow, back in the news after raising over $6 million dollars to take it to the next digital level, founder LeVar Burton explains how Twitter works to kids.

Related: LeVar Burton hosted the last Digital Book Awards gala in New York. You can be at the next one if you win a Digital Book Award, the only award that recognizes digital innovation in ebooks, apps and transmedia. Learn more.

Digital Library? Not Impressed (NextCity.org)
One librarian isn’t impressed with new-fangled digital-only libraries. Why? Books on shelves are essential.

Ebook Start-up Enthrill Raises $1.3 Million (Betakit.com)
The distribution start-up allows publishers to mass-distribute ebooks to business-to-business clients.

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