For those of you who may not know, Amazon and book publisher Hachette have been in a pretty public and major dispute over how much Amazon is allowed to price Hachette’s ebooks. From what I understand, Hachette wants higher ebook prices ($9.99+), while Amazon wants to price them lower (less than $9.99). This dispute has been going on for a while now and doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.
In the beginning I eagerly followed every update about the dispute I could find. I did this because I believe it is part of my job, as an indie writer/publisher, to keep as up to date on news about the publishing industry as I can. I don’t want to be taken by surprise by some sudden or unexpected change, after all, the way some publishers and writers have in the past.
But recently I’ve been avoiding almost every article written on the subject, even if it is written by someone I like. Why?
Because the dispute has nothing to do with me*. I could honestly care less about who ‘wins’ because neither side’s victory or loss is going to affect me in any way. I am certainly not going to raise or lower the prices of my books in response to whatever happens. If I were a Hachette author or Amazon worker I might care, but I am neither, so I have no reason to give a hoot about which way the conflict goes.
Basically I just think there’s more drama surrounding this conflict than it deserves. I was especially disappointed when Stephen Colbert weighed in on it a while ago, not helped in the least by his misunderstanding the whole situation. I think that was the point when I just got fed up with it.
If Amazon and Hachette do come to some sort of agreement soon, I’ll definitely read about it. But I’m honestly not holding my breath and definitely won’t be altering my own plans in reaction to whatever agreement they come up with.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to return to writing my next novel, which does concern me and therefore deserves my attention.
*Dean Wesley Smith wrote a good blog post about it back in July that reflects my own attitude toward the dispute quite well.