The Amazon-MacMillan controversy

There’s been a bit of a shit fight (to say the least) lately between Amazon and MacMillan. It basically centres around an argument about ebook pricing and who controls what. Rather than me just repeat all that’s been said already, go and read:

NY Times article on why Amazon pulled MacMillan titles.

Cory Doctorow’s thoughts via Boing Boing.

This post by L E Modesitt Jr which looks at the situation from an author’s point of view, and has some interesting discussion in the comments.

And here, John Scalzi’s call for author support.

The fight will continue. The face of publishing is changing and there’s going to be a lot of wrangling. I’m going to watch, but I can’t be bothered to comment. I’m nobody, so my opinion will be ignored anyway. I’ll wait and see how it all plays out and then make the best of it. This is one of those situations where the big boys are playing. The rest of us can weigh in when the dust settles a bit.

But in the meantime, it’s authors that are hurting. Especially new and midlist authors, whose sales and income are being drastically hit by all this. It’s from this angle that I’m posting now. My good friend and great author, David B Coe, has a new edition out today, via Tor. So he’s a direct victim of all this right now.

The Horsemen’s Gambit, Book II of Blood of the Southlands, is being re-issued in paperback today. If you’re a fan of David’s work and you want to get hold of this but usually shop at Amazon, there are other options. Pick up the book from any of the places listed below and show Amazon that you won’t stand for them fucking with authors.

Buy The Horsemen’s Gambit:

Direct from MacMillan.

Barnes & Noble.



I’m a massive fan of Amazon, but I don’t like the way they’re dealing with this at all. It’s always worth remembering that there are many more stores out there than Amazon if you want to get your books online.


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4 thoughts on “The Amazon-MacMillan controversy

  1. A smaller shot in the same war…

    I had an update come through for Stanza (a great book reader app for the iPhone as recommended by your good self). The update simply said ‘Update to prevent USB sharing of books as required by Apple.’

    They’re already protecting their ebook investment.

  2. True, but that’s actually a slightly different scenario. Lexcycle, the makers of Stanza, did violate the App terms by using a USB sharing option.

    Apple are keen (for whatever annoying reason) to prevent use of the iPhone or iTouch as a flash drive, so no direct sharing is allowed. The only directory a comp. can recognise via USB is the DCIM folder for photos. App makers have been setting up a subfolder in DCIM to allow USB sharing, which is against the App original terms, rather than an extension or sub-war of the MacMillan thing.

    Of course, it’s no less annoying for that reason.

    The way around it, of course, is to continue with WiFi sharing using or something similar.

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