Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday: Where I talk about the Department of Justice, Wal-Mart, and a Suicide Forest

I see people’s dislike of Amazon, because they can underprice books lower than anyone else, the same as people going after Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart has strong armed suppliers in a “We charge what we wish to charge or we’ll just not carry your product.”
That the Wal-Mart way.
But here’s the thing. Wal-Mart isn’t breaking the law doing that. It’s a shitty thing to do and hell knows Wal-Mart has broken enough laws when it comes to how they treat their employees but basically they’ve just built a better business from the ground up than a lot of others.
When it comes to the publishers/Department of Justice fight- if publishers are actually colluding, that’s illegal. You can’t say, “You’re hurting us by going after us for doing something illegal.”
Now all of this is if they did do anything illegal.
Here’s another thought. I’ve worked for several printing companies, big and small, and I have seen many publishers, big and small, pressure printers to not work with their competitors or lose their business.
I mentioned that to end this thought because it’s a Who Is The Enemy thing. Small bookstores hate chain stores, chain stores hate Amazon, small publishers are pushed around by big publishers, big publishers claim to be bullied by Amazon.
Publisher have laid a bad situation at the feet of modern publishers and creators. If they hadn’t been so resident to new technology one of them could have launched ebooks in CDRom age, they could have been Amazon.
But in the end when I talk about this with people who don’t care and just want to read they all say around the same thing in response to big publisher and ebooks. “The same price for a ebook that I don’t physically own?”
My finally line is always is that publishers, like record companies have drowned themselves in a mess of piracy and pricing because they have lagged so far behind the demand for digital media that now it’s a snow ball and people are going to get hurt in this snow fall because of a lack of creative business thinking.

Here’s some things by smarter people than me on the subject:

maureenjohnson  @maureenjohnson “In which I (foolishly) attempt to explain what it going on with ebooks and end up with more questions than answers”

Maureen Johnson always has good thoughts on subjects. Follow her on Twitter and her Tumblr. Always interesting things from her.

John Green  @realjohngreen “Publishing nerds only: It's important to note that the publishers who settled WON'T have to abandon agency pricing” more generally, if publishers were any good at colluding, how could we explain the insane advances they pay at auction?) But the DOJ's pursuit of this is very unfortunate, as it only strengthens Amazon's near-monopolistic grip on the ebook side of the business.”

On the subject of Advances paid. The same could be said about baseball teams over paying players. You hear ever couple years a ton of clubs saying no more over paying then  some small and large clubs dish out stupid levels of money for not so great players. But again, that’s what the courts are for to prove if something illegal did happen.
And to the unfortunate nature of this all it’s like I said earlier. If publishers are colluding they can’t say- we can’t compete with Amazon so don’t get angry if we are breaking the law. If they are breaking the law then, they are breaking law.

And some more links without comment because I’ve run my mouth enough:

16 States Join in on Publishers Antitrust Action — The Digital Shift

Macmillan Publishing John Sargent responds to Department of Justice lawsuit claiming "collusion" by ibook publishers.

Lets end this entry with this.
Ben Templesmith & Squid Friends The suicide forest of Japan: Mount Fuji beauty spot where up to 100 bodies are found every year:

And as always here are some of the places you can find me online:

CHAOS READ: Bimonthly Short Story Series
TIN UNIVERSE: Bimonthly Short Story Series
Smashwords Store:


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