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The article everyone in traditional publishing is reading today


I do find it remarkable that the only people willing to talk about Amazon are former employees. (I'm aware that some companies have "gag" rules when talking to media, but surely if it's as bad as the claims made by the author of the article, someone would have come forward under anonymity and talked.)

I think the writer tried to present both sides of the story, but I kept seeing bias creep in, especially in how he framed the "he saids, she saids" portions of the piece. There are ways of conveying a he said-she said, while not making it seem like the person who said it didn't happen that way is lying, in my opinion. There is something so telling about claims that only have he said-she said evidence to back them up. And as always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I did love how he threw out the fact that Bezos' wife published through Knopf, like that said everything that needed to be said about where "real" publishing happened. Maybe she had a dream to be published by Knopf, and that was the only publisher she wanted? (I seriously want to see one of my stories under the TOR imprint. I'll accept being published under a different imprint/by a different house (because whoohoo publication!), but that's what I dream of when I think of writing "success".)

I'm not drinking the kool-aid in either direction, but I did hope to see something more substantial than rumor, ex-employees grievances, etc.

If any of it is true, and at this point I have serious doubts as to the validity of any of the claims in the article because of how poorly (and biased) it was presented, it seems like par for the course for any of the big companies in the world today. Which would be disappointing, because...darnit surely the publishing industry (Amazon and the Big 5) can make profits without screwing people over like it's 1892, right?
It's pretty spot on, especially when it comes to negotiations over terms and the lack of any data they give to publishers. The elimination of buy buttons is a by now standard tactic on their part. I was glad to see the focus on co-op, that is, payola for books. B&N's no different in this respect. I think (and I wish I could recall my source) that half their profits are from co-op.