More than 900 authors have signed a petition against Amazon’s relationship habits with writers, and they’re running the letter as a full-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday.
Douglas Preston, the best-selling author who penned the letter, accuses Amazon of “boycotting Hachette authors by refusing to accept pre-orders on Hachette authors’ books and eBooks, claiming they are ‘unavailable,’ refusing to discount the prices of many of Hachette authors’ books, slowing the delivery of thousands of Hachette authors’ books to Amazon customers, indicating that delivery will take as long as several weeks on most titles, and suggesting on some Hachette authors’ pages that readers might prefer a book from a non-Hachette author instead.”
Hatchette, Preston’s publisher, has been squabbling with Amazon for months, but Preston felt it was time to take drastic action. What could be better than writing a petition with almost a thousand writers at your back?
The letter calls on readers and Amazon users everywhere to email Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and ask him to stop “hurting authors.”
“He says he genuinely welcomes hearing from his customers and claims to read all emails at that account,” the letter says. “We hope that, writers and readers together, we will be able to change his mind.”
Even though most of the authors who signed the letter are not published through Hatchette, the issue is about principle.
“Jeff Bezos used books as the cutting edge to help sell everything from computer cables to lawn mowers, and what a good idea that was,” Preston told The New York Times. “Now Amazon has turned its back on us. Don’t they value us more than that? Don’t they feel any loyalty? That’s why authors are mad.”
As the letter reads, “Our books launched Amazon on the road to selling everything and becomi0ng one of the world’s largest corporations. This is no way to treat a business partner.”
Will sympathetic readers and Amazon shoppers respond? Will Bezos listen? Stay tuned, the ad runs in this Sunday’s edition of The New York Times.