I wrote a while ago linking to a story in which Amazon had arbitrarily reset the price of an e-book published by a self-published author.
Today, I’m linking to another such story, this by established, traditionally-published author Jim Hines whose self-published book of short stories has been given the Amazon pricing treatment.
The punch-line? Amazon has added a term to their Terms of Agreement that specifically absolves them of any liability for their own mistakes.
As Jim Hines says:
I’m not telling people not to publish through Amazon; I am telling you to go in with your eyes open, and to understand that despite what the cheerleaders might suggest, Amazon is not pro-author. They’re pro-Amazon.
Let me second that sentiment. I’m a long way from being in a position to tell anyone how to publish anything – I’m a long way from being able to publish anything I’ve written. And I’ve consistently said that I’m glad that these new publishing options exist, insofar as they change the publishing paradigm sufficiently to tip the balance of power ever-so-slightly towards the favor of writers.
But were I in a position to self-publish something now, while I certainly wouldn’t discount the market position of Amazon, I’d make sure I put in the effort to make my book available in as many non-Amazon venues as possible, and to promote those venues, in order to try to insulate myself from getting the Amazon treatment myself. Because to keep the balance of power tipping back toward authors, a singular publishing hegemony must be prevented.
Jim Hines has updated his thoughts on his experience with Amazon here.
And as Jim points out in the link above, it looks like Amazon has been in the news in other ways lately. Here are some links of possible interest: