Periscope Depth

stuck in the middle with you

When Amazon Plays Dirty, You Lose [Gizmodo]

Earlier this month, Amazon started a shadow war with book publisher Hachette. After contract negotiations between the online warehouse and the New York literary house failed, Hachette books suddenly started becoming more expensive on Amazon’s site, and became surrounded by suggestions of other, non-Hachette books readers might prefer instead. Folks who purchased a book in spite of all that could expect delivery times from two weeks and up, with no explanation (and with no shortage to speak of). Looking to preoder a paperback copy of Brad Stone’s gutting Amazon exposé The Everything Store? You are inexplicably out of luck.

Amazon v. Hachette: Don’t Believe the Spin [David Gaughran]

But why Hachette and why now? The large publishers who were found to have illegally colluded with Apple to force the Agency model on Amazon and artificially increase the retail price of e-books are all currently subject to a court order to renegotiate their agreements with retailers. Hachette is one of those publishers. To prevent the parties illegally acting in concert once more, Judge Cote ordered that retailer-publisher negotiations be staggered. Hachette is first up. It’s that simple.

Abraham Lincoln, to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, September 30, 1859 (with slight liberties taken):

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “MAYBE THEY’RE BOTH ASSHOLES.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

(In all seriousness, Mark Coker’s blog post at Smashwords is a useful tonic, especially this sentence: “Publisher insistence on DRM is one of several factors that has locked them into Amazon and locked them out of new outlets.“. This Mike Shatzkin post is also informative)