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Semagic is Back:) - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Semagic is Back:)

This work-saving LJ client is not entirely playing nicely with Tobor- I have to run it as an administrator, it seems, but hey- small price that beats losing entire entries like last night.

The much-shortened tl;dr version of the dead:  Ankle feels much better, but my soul, last night, felt dirtier. Because I once again gave in to the siren song of Amazon despite its owner, Bombastic Bezos, being a complete shit when it comes to publishers who don't go along with his business model.  I'd heard a band called Elbow on World Cafe on my way back from Rochester, and rather loved what I heard. They've been together, in the original lineup, since 1997, and the songs and stories behind them sounded compelling. Sadly, there were no record shops in any of my travels late in the day, and I did check first with CD Baby to see if they carried the band (they didn't), but there it was in Amazonland, 10 bucks with an instant auto-rip if I simply said yes- and free shipping on the actual CD if I added just 25 more of future purchases (that was easy- thunderemerald's second novel, due out in July, and the box of Orphan Black Series 2, also releasing then).

Why did this make me sad? Because of the way Amazon is treating a large tranche of authors because they are signed to imprints associated with Hachette:

“How is this not extortion? You know, the thing that is illegal when the Mafia does it,” asked Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House, echoing remarks being made across social media.

Amazon is, as usual, staying mum. “We talk when we have something to say,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive, said at the company’s annual meeting this week.

The battle is being waged largely over physical books. In the United States, Amazon has been discouraging customers from buying titles from Hachette, the fourth-largest publisher by market share. Late Thursday, it escalated the dispute by making it impossible to order Hachette titles being issued this summer and fall. It is using some of the same tactics against the Bonnier Media Group in Germany.

But the real prize is control of e-books, the future of publishing.

Publishers tried to rein in Amazon once, and got slapped with a federal antitrust suit for their efforts. Amazon was not directly a party to the case but has reaped the rewards in increased market power. Now it wants to increase its share of the digital proceeds. The publishers, weighing a slide into irrelevance if not nonexistence, are trying to hold the line.

Late Friday afternoon, Hachette made by far its strongest comment on the conflict.

“We are determined to protect the value of our authors’ books and our own work in editing, distributing and marketing them,” said Sophie Cottrell, a Hachette senior vice president. “We hope this difficult situation will not last a long time, but we are sparing no effort and exploring all options.”

Amazon is being selective. As of this writing, it's only affecting pre-orders of future Hachette-imprint titles, such as the new one by Robert Galbraith (better known by her real name of J.K. Rowling). Existing works by Hachette authors from Colbert to Joss seem unaffected. But still- it's suckage in 48 point Impact type.


Listened to Elbow's auto-rip all the way through this afternoon. Lovely stuff.


In other news of bad people making news, the word of the day was that Bigotron's basketball team, the L.A. Clippers, is on the verge of being sold to Microsoft co-poobah Steve Ballmer for Two Billion-with-a-B dollars.   You can't miss the reference, though, to Microsoft's previous investment in a similarly named entity:

Later in the day, Sterling's lawyers announced that he's contesting the sale, the ban, the declaration of his incompetence and, likely, the color of the sky being blue, and he's suing the NBA for a Billion-with-a-B dollars.

Maybe Clippy can help him write the note that will end this mess once and for all....


We started watching the DVD of Her tonight. Still as amazing as it was on the big screen.


That's all for a penultimate May Day; now to see if this thing will post:)

1 comment or Leave a comment
warriorsavant From: warriorsavant Date: June 4th, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just to play devil's advocate, or throw the fox into the hen house, ran across this other opinion that you might find interesting. In brief, he's saying that yeah, Amazon are corporate sleaze, but so are publishing houses, they just aren't as good at it as Amazon is. Publishing houses have long ago given up being temples (or at least bastions) of culture and literature. They too pander to the lowest tastes and contract out everything to someone else.

Wolff: How book biz dug its own Amazon grave http://usat.ly/1gV6Q5u
1 comment or Leave a comment