In a departure from my usual blah-blah-blahing about book things, I’d like to take a minute and inject a little humor into the THEY DID WHAT? discussion on this topic today.
Okay, so I woke up to some serious pre-coffee b.s. this morning. If you guys haven’t heard about the Amazon-Hachette spat, you are also probably unaware of the email WTFery Amazon sent out to everyone with a KDP account.
Now, you can read all about this in the words of people more eloquent than myself here:
Chuck Wendig’s post (warning: contains potentially offensive words)
Matt Wallace’s post (warning: contains potentially offensive words)
John Scalzi’s post (warning: contains potentially boring words)
Lemme boil it down for you. In the letter today, Amazon asked every author with a KDP account (most of which are self-published and have ZERO to do with Hachette) to email the CEO of Hachette and flood him with all sorts of harassment. They included said CEO’s email address and also asked to be CC’d on said email.
My initial reaction to this:
Oh yes I did.
The further along in the email I read, the more I was like…
I actually wondered if it was some kind of joke.
And then I realized…
Nope. Not a joke. A quick check of the interwebs revealed that Amazon had, in fact, just asked a whole bunch of indie authors to troll a person for a purpose we have NO STAKE IN.
So. Much. WTF.
This, on the heels of self-publishers being forced to join KDP Select if they want to be part of the Kindle Unlimited program for which they’ll receive the payment of some elusive, random sum Amazon will determine after whatever amount of time it deems necessary, rather than the nice, absolute sum that trad publishers and a select few very popular self-publishers (think Hugh Howey et al) will get. Not to mention that, in Amazon’s letter, they claim that one of the perks of ebooks is that you can’t return them.
Ebook returns have been one of the biggest pains in the butt since ebooks came along. People read them, return them, and then brag about it. Seriously. There are SHELVES dedicated to bragging about this on Goodreads. SHELVES, people.
And yet, those prickly points aside, the fact remains that Amazon is asking uninvolved parties that won’t see a single benefit to getting involved to do exactly that. UNLEASH THE INDIES! THAT’LL SHOW ‘EM!
This pretty much sums up how I feel about this:
I hate other people’s drama. I have plenty of my own to want to be dragged into this mess too.
And so, in case Amazon might be unclear as to whether or not I’ll be participating in TrollFest ’14…
And I’m pretty sure a lot of my indie author friends feel the same way.
If you liked this post, you can read more of my words in book form. Totally unironically (I may not like the letter, but momma didn’t raise no fool), you can find one of them right here: