Dear Hachette,

I agree with most of this.
The big problem really is that there are two huge multi-nats facing up to each other. Both are trying to do what they know has worked in past negotiations: bullying. Amazon is used to getting its own way and forcing all prices down; Hachette is used to dictating prices. Neither wants to submit. But whereas Hachette effectively has no alternative retailer, Amazon knows that if they just sit quietly, Hachette will have to crumble. Amazon is very close to a monopoly. Which is fine, except the poor ruddy pawns who are being forced to suffer because of their income being trashed for getting on for a year: the authors.
Hachette authors affected have lost six months of income already. They are paid once every six months, and they will see this month how their royalty statements have shrunk. They’re only paid every six months, three months in arears, so it won’t be until next September that they see their income return to normal, even if the dispute ends tomorrow.
Readers: you’re going to see a lot of authors disappear, I’m afraid.

Blair MacGregor

Dear Hachette,

I’m a nobody. Let’s get that out of the way right now. I don’t have a contract with you or any of your peer companies. But I’ve known and listened to writers and editors for the last twenty years, and many of those conversations would never be placed in writing for fear of repercussions. I’ve learned a thing or three. And when I read through the latest round of open letters telling Amazon what they ought to do to support Hachette writers during your negotiations, I thought it exceedingly odd no one had written to you. Since I tend to be my own boss rather than await someone else’s action, and since no professional writers’ organization seems interested in stepping up, I’ve opted to write you myself.

You see, your writers are contracted directly with you, and not at all with Amazon, even though many target Amazon with their…

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