Thursday, June 05, 2014

Konrath Vs. Colbert

Beloved television star Stephen Colbert, whose outrageous right-wing personality regularly pokes fun at the right-wing, made several grievous errors on his show, The Colbert Report, last night, when he flipped off Amazon.


His first error was being wrong. His video showed clips from other news reports claiming Amazon is the bad guy in the current Amazon/Hachette dispute.

Everyone who follows this blog knows that Amazon is not the bad guy. Amazon is in a contract negotiation with Hachette, and they are entitled to do whatever they'd like--including removing pre-order buttons--while bargaining.

This, Mr. Colbert, is called capitalism. It's what free people are allowed to do in a market economy.

Colbert, who should know better than to trust news reports since he's constantly skewering them on his brilliant show, proved that he's just another knee-jerk who jumps on the Amazon hate train without bothering to learn about the actual issue.

That's unforgivable for a show that satirically, yet accurately, makes fun of people and businesses that do the exact same thing the Colbert Report just did.

Don't condemn until you know the facts. And in this case, the fact is Hachette wants your book prices to be higher. They believe they can tell Amazon what prices to sell their books for.

If the Colbert Report had done even a tiny bit of research, it would know Hachette was ordered by the DoJ to pay millions in damages for colluding with other publishers to force the agency model of pricing on Amazon.

Here's the actual truth behind some of the nonsense the Colbert Report parroted:

Amazon isn't raising prices. Amazon is pricing books at the price YOUR PUBLISHER recommends, Mr. Colbert. Welcome to the world of midlist authors, where books are never discounted.

Amazon isn't delaying shipments. Amazon simply isn't stocking Hachette books in large numbers, and then passing the orders along to Hachette to fill. But Hachette can't fill them, because they are an archaic, antiquated company who is ill equipped to keep up with the massive orders Amazon generates. Didn't you read their press release?

Amazon isn't refusing orders. It removed PRE-ORDER buttons. Saying Amazon is refusing orders is like getting mad at a Chinese restaurant for not selling you a taco. They can't sell what they don't have.

So, big disappointment with the usually astute Colbert and his staff. If they'd done a little digging, the segment would have rightfully ended with Colbert giving Hachette the finger rather than Amazon.

But the second mistake Mr. Colbert made is just as icky as the first. This bullshit he's spreading isn't based on poking fun at establishment idiocy, like he usually does so well. This story exists because Colbert is a Hachette author, and his sales are suffering.

Holy enlightened self-interest! Let's get my millions of fans to trash Amazon because I'm not getting richer fast enough!

It's one thing to plug your book. That's expected. I'm sure it's a wonderful book, and I look forward to reading it in 4-6 weeks when your publisher enters the 21st century and learns how to ship promptly. But you're trying to goose sales by going after a company that not only has sold millions of your books, but is also fighting to keep the costs of those books down for your fans.

When you visit home for Thanksgiving, Mr. Colbert, do you greet your family by flipping them the bird? Nana and Papa who always tried to do what's best for you? Auntie Shirley, who has been making green bean casserole for you for forty years because she knows you have an unhealthy fascination with onion straws? Cousin Dave, who gave you that insider information so you could dump your Enron stock before it imploded?

I joke, of course. You'd never do something terrible like that, unless your family somehow hampered your book sales.

But the biggest mistake you made, Mr. Colbert, was a doozy.

You pissed me off.

You obviously have no idea how big and important my blog is. How I am the go-to source for all things publishing-related. How this blog can create bestsellers, or destroy careers.

You are now on my shit list, Stephen Colbert. And now I shall use everything within my power to destroy your book sales and ruin your life. Just as you are tying to destroy the book sales and lives of tens of thousands of authors Amazon has helped.

That's right. Your misguided screed masked as silliness has real-world implications. People listen to you, because you're usually right. But by telling your fans to boycott Amazon, you're hurting thousands and thousands of authors. Just like your publisher, Hachette, is hurting authors by trying to force its pricing structure on Amazon.

And you think Amazon is the bully? Not in this case. In this case, the bullies are your villainous publisher Hachette, and you, Mr. Stephen Colbert Bullypants.

So I am forced to use my considerable prestige, celebrity, and indie power to take you down. By the time I'm done with you, you'll be a broken, regretful, self-loathing shell of your former self, and you'll also have gained a few pounds, in the hips. Once I get my thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of loyal followers to boycott your show, your ratings will plummet and you'll wind up as a second-string character on a Fox sitcom. Probably the lead's goofy best friend, the one with the buck teeth and a stutter and a catch phrase like, "Golly blamo butt squeeze!" I predict much wacky slapstick will ensue.

But before that happens, you're going to put ME on your show so I can sell MY books. I also demand you sell my books on your website. Because if you get to dictate which books a retailer should carry, so do I.

Until then:


#IStoppedWatchingColbert

And try doing some research next time you broadcast. You can start by reading this blog. That's what everyone else in the publishing industry does.

105 comments:

David Darracott said...

Well, Joe, you've got to hand it to them. The New York publishers have managed to seize the bully pulpit and frame this whole thing in a way that makes them look like the victims they are not. For all their mistakes in the book industry over the past couple of decades they seem to have learned that you can botch a world of things, but if you seize control of the war of words you can at least make yourselves look like the abused party. In defiance of reality, their strategy seems to be to confuse the issues and obfuscate the facts well enough to look good to the public. The big houses appear to have marshaled all their New York muscle in a PR campaign of huge proportions: "Look what that bad guy is doing to us. We're so helpless and so in the right, you must side with us." Ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought the whole thing with Patterson and Hachette would blow over, now Colbert is in on this? And regular readers of books and traditionally published authors will side with these three. Everyone who doesn't know about self-publishing thinks 'real' authors will suffer because of evil Amazon.

That's just great. I thought I had a good opportunity as an indie author here. My sales aren't amazing, but with each new title I self-publish my author name becomes more known.

If this Hachette thing gets noticed by the public, Amazon KDP could be in trouble for the little guy: us indie authors.

Well, if I were still living in the US, rather than where I am now, in the UK, I'd boycott the Colbert show for sure. We don't get that program over here anyway, so I feel helpless to do anything about this crapola that's getting out of control.

David Darracott said...

What makes it really stink is the authors like Colbert, Patterson, etc. who've taken up the Hachette banner. These are, by and large, authors who get their books placed in nearly every retail outlet in America. It's not enough that you see their names in every airport, drugstore, bookstore, grocery store, and bookstand across the country. No, they have to attack the one retailer who gives the overwhelming majority of us a fighting chance. I don't think these are individual decisions by the writers to spout off in this dispute. It reeks of an orchestrated PR campaign at the behest of the big houses to maintain their cartel dominance of the industry.

Dotti said...

I was disappointed that he Fox News-edited Amazon's statement. They did not say "You can buy used copies from our competitors." What they did say was “we regret the inconvenience and encourage you to purchase a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers OR from one of our competitors.” Major difference.

Daniel Knight said...

I would love it if you showed up on the Colbert Report, Joe. What a great opportunity to get the indie side out there in the general public. How can we make this happen?

Rob @ 52 Novels said...

Another Stephen, the one named King, piles on in the June 13 edition of Entertainment Weekly, which is hitting mailboxes now. His brief piece is not yet on the EW Web site.

Anonymous said...

Boycotting Amazon. And their lackeys like Joe.

Stephen T. Harper said...

I love Colbert. I think he is a modern Mark Twain. I watched that show last night, and it really was a kick to the gut to see him so completely and aggressively wrong about something.

I felt like a small child catching Santa Claus killing off a bottle of Boon’s Farm.

Especially considering the harm it does to mid list authors everywhere, not to mention the highly questionable relationships that might be motivating the attack, it makes me wonder what else he’s been totally wrong about.

What if Fox News has been a sincere effort to inform the public all along? What if fracking is actually good for well-water? What if the jury really is out on climate change? Hmm...

Joe Konrath said...

Boycotting Amazon. And their lackeys like Joe.

Neat. How can I encourage you to boycott commenting on my blog?

Anonymous said...

But, but, but... Joe.... You don't understand....

Stephen is busy, caught up in the thrill of being a newly minted member of the 1%, a big media (CBS) asset and part of the big media oligopoly... He's got heroic poses to strike... Can't take time to be concerned about consequences of his actions. Gotta get those clicks and views. To heck with the facts. To heck with the victims.

Anonymous said...

Colbert is a partisan idiot, always has been - only now when his hackish 'reporting' hits close to home do you so called 'libertarians' pay notice.

Here's a newsflash for all of you leftist twits: all of the mainstream media from Colbert through that dishrag NYT are coloring the facts to promote their liberal narrative.

Have been for decades, but you sheep have been too busy calling out Fox News for the same (alleged) actions to notice. Only when they attack your industry do you wake up and smell what drivel they have been cooking.

Chihuahua Zero said...

@Anonymous: Baa.

@Joe Konrath: You might want to modify your plan. Colbert's moving to the Late Show soon, so you might as well think one step ahead. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hachette says amazon is the delay, amazon says Hachette is the delay. Neither one produces any evidence to back up the claim. You choose to believe amazon unquestioningly, Colbert believes Hachette unquestioningly.

Me? I figure they're neither one telling the truth on the issue.. A pox on both their houses.

Hugh said...

I don't want to give them any credit for being brilliant, but imagine this:

1) Publishers realize they have lost 30% of the amazingly lucrative digital market to self-publishing. As well as some further percentage lost to small publishers.

2) Realizing they can't compete on price, variety, or speed to market, they decide the only recourse is to get people to stop buying books from Amazon, this pernicious upstart that shelves self-pubbed e-books right beside their own!

3) They get together (stretching credulity here) and decide to cease negotiating distribution deals with Amazon. Offering insane terms and unwilling to budge, they laugh as the negotiations stall. They wait for Amazon's reprisals. They suffer in the short term because of what they are fighting for in the long term.

4) Once Amazon muscles up, they unleash the hounds of big media to paint them as the victims (it requires little or no prompting).

5) Repeat with the other 4 publishers. Until discounting at other outlets, where indies and small presses are shunned, become the de facto place to shop for literature. Amazon goes on making money selling TVs. But the threat of self-publishing and small presses is vanquished.

The only problem with this conspiracy theory is that it credits publishers with being geniuses. But the end result of this mess could be for misguided readers to shop at Amazon less, which is where the world of publishing has been democratized the most. Big guys win, little guys lose. :(

Joe Konrath said...

You choose to believe amazon unquestioningly

I choose to believe the circumstantial evidence. Read my previous blog posts. There's a high chance Hachette is trying to push the agency model on Amazon.

Hairhead said...

To all you anonymouses (anonymi?) -- why do you need to be anonymous, just for disagreeing with Konrath? Does Konrath actually have that much power?

Ah well, that's beside the point.

The point being that the bully is winning the public fight by holding his bloody nose and saying, "He hit me back!"

What I really cannot understand is how so many Americans (I'm not one) seem to have such a perversely socialistic view of business!

Amazon is a retailer. It can retail anything legal that it wants, under any terms which do not contravene the edicts of the DOJ and the Criminal Code. Hachette (and their authors) do not have the legal right to DEMAND that their product be sold in ANY particular store/retail operation under THEIR TERMS ONLY.

What they (Hachette supporters) are demanding is a "command economy" such as the USSR and other failed dictatorships had. How they can demand this while promoting "freedom" and "the American Way" without their heads exploding from cognitive dissonance is beyond me.

Joe Konrath said...

Does Konrath actually have that much power?

I do. Didn't you read about how powerful I am in this very blog post?

Right now I'm in your kitchen, drinking your beer. And you can't do anything to stop me. Bwhahahahaha!

Also, can pick up some beer? You're almost out.

Joe Konrath said...

only now when his hackish 'reporting' hits close to home do you so called 'libertarians' pay notice.

Good observation. Never before have I ever taken anyone else to task for being wrong about a publishing issue.

Only when they attack your industry do you wake up and smell what drivel they have been cooking.

I'm guessing you meant to say, "only when they're wrong do you say so on your blog."

I'm on my side. Always have been. In the past, my side meant allying with legacy publishers. In June 2014, it means allying with indie authors and Amazon. When Amazon is right. When Amazon is wrong, I take them to task, too.

My agenda is as clear as can be: self-interest. Along the way, a few people have agreed with me, and maybe I've helped one or two out.

Anonymous said...

As you said yourself, Colbert is usually right. But if he takes aim at your sacred cow, suddenly you're livid. The problem with too many self-publishers is that they've made self-pubbing into a religion. Someone mocks Amazon, or a traditional author says something that's perceived as disparaging self-pubbers and you whip everyone into a fanatical frenzy. You guys say "dinosaurs!" and "gatekeepers!" the way the far right blathers on about Benghazi. It makes it hard for me to take you seriously as an AUTHOR, rather than as part of a pyramid scheme in which you primarily sell your books to other self-published authors, who mainly feel they should "support" you because you make them feel better about being self-published.

Kilburn Hall said...

Colbert, is a pompous windbag who sells his opinion to the highest bidder. CBS has set a dangerous precedent by giving him the Letterman show thus legitimizing his often incorrect, far left Liberal biased political opinions as "fact". George Carlin and Richard Pryor knew more about politics than this moron.

Dana Stabenow said...


Amazon isn't delaying shipments. ..Amazon isn't refusing orders.


A couple of minutes ago, at the recommendation of a friend, I downloaded a copy of Mike Carey's The Devil You Know from Amazon. Says "Sold by the Hachette Book Group" right there on the page.

My only regret is that Mr. Carey got a mere 25 percent of that $6.99, instead of the 70 percent he could have.

Joseph said...

Gah! It's just a business negotiation. What an overreaction.

Colbert so rarely disappoints. :-(

Joseph said...

Wait...this is bullshit anyway. If Colbert wanted to really boycott Amazon he'd pull his books from the site.

Joe Konrath said...

As you said yourself, Colbert is usually right. But if he takes aim at your sacred cow, suddenly you're livid.

I'm literally shaking my head right now.

I blog about publishing. When someone important does something stupid, no matter who it is, I blog about it. Colbert's politics have nothing to do with this particular mistake on his part. But I happen to find it fascinating that he makes so few mistakes, and this one is a whopper.

too many self-publishers is that they've made self-pubbing into a religion

Self-pubbing is a business decision, not an ideology. I've said that many times.

But too many authors, including Stephen Colbert, have situational stupidity and/or Stockolm Syndrome when it comes to their legacy masters. I keep preaching so this behavior changes. And slowly, it is changing. I used to be called an outlier. Now I'm one of the crowd. But there are still many authors who believe the only way to legitimately publish is through the Big 5, when Amazon is not only a viable alternative, but a preferable one.

It makes it hard for me to take you seriously as an AUTHOR, rather than as part of a pyramid scheme in which you primarily sell your books to other self-published authors, who mainly feel they should "support" you because you make them feel better about being self-published.

You figured out my secret. This blog is a devious trick to use my Svengali-like powers to manipulate self-pubbed authors into buying my ebooks. I feel so exposed right now.

JKBrown said...

I wouldn't exactly call Colbert "Brilliant". He's kind of a snide, vile partisan whenever I've heard of him (I didn't find a single joke funny in that clip, either). This is the first time though that his finger points to us as indie writers.

I'm not completely sure what good a boycott will do against him (you'd have to give up TV to truly punish him and any other show you don't like), but a nice ratings plunge would be cool. Maybe if his late-night show bombs he'll be forced to do something else, like be productive.

Boycotting Amazon. And their lackeys like Joe.

Luls. That sounds like something Legacy John would say.

@Joe Konrath: You might want to modify your plan. Colbert's moving to the Late Show soon, so you might as well think one step ahead. ;)

Chihuahua is right. If you're really going nose-first against this guy, start with his late show. Beware though, he may just say "That was just me being a comedian" like Jon Stewart does whenever he's in hot water ;)

Dan Eldredge said...

Seeing Joe on The Colbert Report to set Stephen straight would be a sight to see. But Joe's said that he doesn't find media appearances worthwhile so he doesn't do them (although perhaps this would be an exception). I suggest we send Hugh Howey instead.

w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

Wasn't Colbert that right wing chick with the long blonde hair and a face only Marilyn Manson could love? He has a show on TV? Is it public access cable?

David L. Shutter said...

I can remember when the DoJ suit first blew up the Pub Biz world and how I became a big news lurker and clicker, to see how the mainstream news media responded.

Unless I missed something, other than a few very minor burbs about Apple (most popular company in the universe) being involved in a trial-thingy of some kind, over books or...something, there was NOTHING in the mainstream news (outside of newspaper and online business reporting anyway) about the DoJ case.

And I was disappointed because I was looking for either Stewart of Colbert to pick up on it, run with it, since the actions of the Big5 (complete with their stunning strings of bungling e-mail evidence) was far too much for satirists of their caliber to possible ignore. Right???

Oh Well. Silly me.

And BTW, if you didn't know, Stewart is published (and most likely, well paid) by Hatchette as well. Doing a satire piece on their corporate BigPub masters? Looks like I expected way too much.

Using satire to tirelessly crusade for truth, justice and the American way (well, just the liberal left anyway)???

Hypocrisy. And there's your word of the day.

Zig Sleipnir said...

The video does not work outside of the USA - doh! I have never seen the show - I don't think it is broadcast here - so I guess I will not be watching it in the future anyway.

Greetings from a surprisingly sunny evening in Ireland.

Why are we indie folk seen as such an apparent threat? Those who sell millions of traditionally published books surely have nothing to fear from those of us who are chipping away on our own trying to make a living. And yet there are those who want to try to deny us that chance. Crazy.

Hairhead said...

I know, I know, fisking is probably boring, but I'm a little bit OCD, so I can't help myself . . .

Anon/1:32 said: But if he takes aim at your sacred cow, suddenly you're livid.

Hairhead (HH): Um, Colbert is basically on the side of people who will steal money from Konrath (and others), depress their living standards, and limit their opportunities. OF COURSE HE (AND WE) ARE LIVID. When is the last time you yawned and picked your nose while some guy on a highly-rated show advocated for you to become poor? This is typical poor argumentation: "You're wrong 'cuz yer MAD!"

No. We're RIGHT and we're MAD!!

Anon/1:32: The problem with too many self-publishers is that they've made self-pubbing into a religion.

HH: It's our LIVLIHOOD. "Oh me," says Anon/1:32, "You won't be able to pay your mortgage or rent or food bills -- that's such a *religion* to you!"

Anon/1:32: Someone mocks Amazon, or a traditional author says something that's perceived as disparaging self-pubbers and you whip everyone into a fanatical frenzy.

HH: "Fanatical frenzy" -- you mean like when an indie author runs into Barnes and Noble who won't carry his books, grabs a bunch of tomes off the shelf, makes a Devil's Mountain pile, pours gasoline over it, sets it alight, and dances around shrieking, "Death to B&N!" Or do you mean when some newly-indie previously-trad-published author reads his Amazon income statement, grabs a rifle, and charges into the executive suite at Hachette, demanding his copyrights back?

Frenzy? "We think they're wrong, and here's the proof." That's frenzy. Once again, you're presenting neither facts nor proof, just deliberately mischaracterising people whose livliehood is being threatened.

You class act, you!

Anon/1:32 You guys say "dinosaurs!" and "gatekeepers!" the way the far right blathers on about Benghazi.

HH: The racists of the far right are trying to impeach a sitting President. We're trying not to get screwed by massive, multi-billion dollar corporations who have been screwing us for years. Once again, an inapt and insulting comparison.

Hmm. Might it get better?

No, it doesn't

Anon/1:32 It makes it hard for me to take you seriously as an AUTHOR,

HH: Duh, whut? You capitalize "author". Are authors or "authors" or AUTHORS, of AUUUTTHHHHOOORRSZZZZ!! some kind of intellectual, rarified elite who crap tendentious sentences and use ambiguous syntax to confuse readers into buying their faux-art printed exudates? Non-sequiter, and another insult -- but a weak one.

Anon/1:32 . . . rather than as part of a pyramid scheme in which you primarily sell your books to other self-published authors . . . .

HH: Hahahahaha! That's like, I don't know, like, . . . I've got it! Saying that every word that Konrath has ever posted on this blog, every anecdote, every graph, every one of his Amazon statements, everything, including the words "and" and "the" is a lie.

I can't take you seriously, but (Ooops! My ass just feel off from laughing at you!)

Anon/1:32 . . . .who mainly feel they should "support" you because you make them feel better about being self-published.

HH: You know what makes us feel better about being self-published? Our bank statements.

When Liberace was once asked, "Doesn't it hurt you when people call you names, doubt your sexuality, sneer at your playing, and so on?"

Liberace replied, "I cry all the way to the bank."

No Mr. Anon/1:32, I am not hurt by you, and neither is Joe, or the other self-pubbies.

Hollis Shiloh said...

Think of this as a bad & hateful review. Yes, it hurts, but it's not true and most people are going to ignore it.

People have said much worse things in the past about Amazon, and those who wanted to be scared away were. Yet they keep growing. Most customers know the company. Amazon sends us stuff in a timely manner, and we trust them. I feel safe at Amazon, and I'm not the only one. Boycotts against places with convenience and good customer service usually gang aft agley.

Also, any time people boycott something, they run the risk that they're just giving it free advertisement. I heard this happened with Livejournal a few years ago, for some reason or other, and their traffic increased by a huge amount during the boycott.

Trust readers, man. It's gonna be okay. He's only making himself look foolish.

Alexander Mori said...

- The problem with too many self-publishers is that they've made self-pubbing into a religion

I am a self-publisher and I feel like writing is my religion. It is what I practice daily. It is what I covet. Self-publishing has just made it possible for me to make a living at something I love and have always done regardless of my opportunities. So when someone tries to take that away from me, or control/manipulate the vehicle that allows me to do that, of course I am going to be upset.

I'm not sure if Colbert can be considered news, but there is a problem in USA with our news machine being controlled by ratings and financial backing. That's why I've stopped watching local news, because it is a waste of my time. I have no problem boycotting Colbert.

Unless he brings Joe on. Wouldn't miss that!

SM Barrett said...

If hundreds of self published authors contacted Stephen, would it matter?

He probably has no issue defending independent musicians and singers. Once people learned how the record companies treated both the talent and the consumer, it was a death sentence.

I doubt Colbert even considered the larger issue, that big publishing has for decades had a cartel based on unethical royalties and total copyright control, that they intend to keep ebook prices the same price as hard copies.

Would it be worthwhile to encourage indies to contact him?

Mark Edward Hall said...

Just checked my dashboard. Still selling books. Stephen Colbert hasn't totally ruined my religion yet.

Daniel Knight said...

@SM Barrett: If hundreds of self published authors contacted Stephen, would it matter?

I couldn't find an online way to send any sort of comments or links to this article to the Colbert Report. Only thing I've found is maybe you could send snail-mail to Comedy Central or Stephen's agent.

Craig Hansen said...

Love how bold naysayers to Joe are always anonymous. Cowards. ;-)

Craig Hansen said...

Colbert and Letterman are twin politically. What are you even talking about?

Joe Konrath said...

Love how bold naysayers to Joe are always anonymous. Cowards. ;-)

That's because I wield the power of a thousand suns.

But, really, it's probably because they don't want anyone to know how stupid they are in real life.

Joseph Ratliff said...

The really sad thing here, is the problem isn't Amazon, it IS Hatchette... but the problem has nothing to do with their little contract.

It has to do with control of the distribution system.

Amazon used a tool, the Internet, in a way that worked. They used the Internet to do what it's good for... distribution.

The traditional publishers, like Hachette didn't react in time, so they're acting like whining three-year olds...

"Mommy, Amazon won't play fair with me... they won't share!"

And no, Amazon isn't going to share, but NOT because they are a "bully" as claimed by a majority of the media attention...

Because Amazon is the high school nerd who thought ahead and used business skills to take the REAL bully's playground away from them.

John Ellsworth said...

Let's see. Amazon is the place I can visit on my laptop from home , place an order, and they miraculously bring shit to my house the very next day! Why the hell would I boycott that?

Point being, I may be a self-pub guy but I'm also a voracious consumer of Amazon's goods (this Macbook writing this was the best price out there--Amazon, of course, plus a zillion reviews about why this model is better than that model, etc.), and when I don't have to drive to a store and risk drive-bys and those times (common enough) when I can't find someone in a blue vest to help me finding something or understand something once I make it safely inside the store, and then fight traffic to take my same-day product back to my home and turn it on and find--it doesn't work, so back in the car, fight the traffic and drive-bys, back to the same store and this time haggle with Customer Service a/k/a/ Returns--why would I give up this model for Amazon's model? Are you smoking Stupid?

Now apply the same scenario of me purchasing a book. Again, from this laptop, downloading it in less than 15 seconds, and reading within the first minute--I would give that up in order to get to drive across town, avoid the drive-bys....

Boycott Amazon?

Burton said...

See, this is why I only get my comedy news from "South Park." Now when the hell are they gonna make a new episode already... Did this show get canceled and no one bothered to tell me? Confused... By the way, I used to watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Then I started paying taxes and realize everything they say are full of shit.

liebjabberings said...

Brilliant AND funny.

Just on your recommendation, Joe, I am boycotting The Colbert Report AND Late Night until he apologizes to your satisfaction.

Good enough for a loyal Joe Blog follower?

BTW, YOU I trust implicitly - long history of telling it like it is.

Alicia

Lara Martin said...

Stephen Harper said "I felt like a small child catching Santa Claus killing off a bottle of Boon’s Farm."

Same here. I couldn't even watch the clip, I just skimmed the transcripts.

Norma Beishir said...

I'm definitely boycotting Colbert...thanks for leading the charge, Joe!

Graeme Ing said...

Not related to Colbert but I think you'll appreciate the irony of this, Joe:

http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Store-Jeff-Bezos-Amazon-ebook/dp/B00BWQW73E

This excellent book about the growth of Amazon is published by Hachette.

Love the blog, Joe.

P. S. Power said...

This is a non-issue. Hatchet seems to have put out orders for their authors to back them up, and some are responding, since that is where their bread gets its gooey and melty coat of butter. Creamy, salty goodness (which in this case is made of money) that only the top authors for that major group really have access too.

Colbert is one of them. So he follows along, knowing that if he wants Hatchet to keep the creamery open for him, he needs to open his mouth and...

Well, you get the idea, I'm certain.

Now Joe is chiming in, hoping that Colbert will notice and invite him on his show. Which should happen. It would be both funny and enough of a fake controversy that it might make a good bit to fill a minute or two. (So, Mr. Colbert, something to think about?)

That would let both of them win, naturally, getting the attention that they both so desperately crave.

*I'm a bit jealous that I didn't think of it. I was too busy writing though. It's a good enough plan, actually. I'm not being tongue in cheek either. Konrath should go on Colbert's show and act like an angry monkey.
Which is how you'd look after editing anyway.

The point I'm making however is that this is really a non-issue.

Hatchet's authors don't get a pre-order button? Neither do I. That just seems fair, doesn't it?

If any of them go on about wrong amazon is to punish them that way, then they better darned well suggest that everyone that submits a book should have the same option. At least if they don't want to look like whining jacks and jills.

If Amazon really wanted to make things fair, they'd pull all the special perks that the big five get, and then see what happens.

That would be something for them to sit up and notice. This little thing however is just free advertising all the way around.

P.S. Buy my books.

Thank you.

:)


Ann Voss Peterson said...

I adore Colbert. Love him. But he's wrong about this. He needs to know. And Joe made a wonderful Papa Bear there for a moment.

Guess what? I adore Joe, too. But if he's wrong about something, I tell him.

If I'm ever wrong about something, I'm sure he'd tell me, too. ;)

Don't blindly trust. Learn the issues. Find out the facts.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Graeme-- Now THAT'S irony. :)

And I'll be looking for some erotica from P.S. Powers. I hear it can do pretty well on Amazon.

Joe Konrath said...

Now Joe is chiming in, hoping that Colbert will notice and invite him on his show.

The likelihood of that happening is zero. It would be nice for the opposing viewpoint to get a little media attention (instead of indie authors having to be the sole voice of reason), but I wrote this post for authors, not for Colbert.

There is no change without outrage.

But slowly, surely, this revolution is marching along, accruing more and more authors.

Joe Konrath said...

Don't blindly trust.

I wholeheartedly 100% believe you.

Wait... hold on a second...

David Macinnis Gill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Kirwan said...

Joe, THANK YOU!!! I saw that last night and it pissed me off so much I had to change the channel. I won't be returning any time soon. I'm really disappointed in him. Colbert is usually really good at shredding this sort of nonsense. He's the last person I'd expect to see shilling for a giant corporation like Hachette's parent company. Unless it affects his book sales, I guess. Amazon isn't a delicate little flower that needs to be protected either, but come on. At least criticize it based on the actual facts.

But I don't think it will hurt indie authors very much over the longer term. The paradigm will continue shifting. There isn't a PR campaign in the world that can change that. It doesn't hurt a company to be boycotted by people who wouldn't buy from them anyway, and those are the ones who always shout the loudest for boycotts because it makes them feel like they're doing something but doesn't inconvenience them in anyway. I just checked and Stephen Colbert and Sherman Alexie both still have their books on Amazon. Maybe they can't pull their books off Amazon, since Hachette makes that call, but if they're asking people to boycott shouldn't they at least pledge to donate their revenues from the Evil Empire to a fund to help failing bookstores or struggling Hachette authors or children's reading programs or something? Challenge them to do that, Joe. If they really believe what they're saying about Amazon, they should jump at the chance.

Joseph said...

Hey Konrath, you think people will ever catch on that you use tone as a tool? Seems like a lot of the comments aren't grasping the method. Maybe I'm wrong...

This time I think you could have gone much further. Can't believe Colbert is letting himself be used like such a goddamn tool.

Huge points though if he retracts in a fun way next episode or two...

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of ninnies. Yes, Amazon has the "free market" right to negotiate terms to its liking and benefit. And it can structure a sales model that profits its stockholders. But Hatchette has the right to try to get a deal that provides the best ROI for their stockholders too. What's good for the goose and all that.

Those of you consumers and self-publishers or self-appointed arbiters of the common good who are painting either of these corporations as helping the little guy are morons. They are both out to make a profit and that's all.

The ONLY sensible decision for any of us to make is to do what works best for ourselves because, to quote Jack Sparrow, "They done what's right by them. Can't expect more than that."

Margaret Rainforth said...

someone said they couldn't find a way to comment: go to www.colbertreport.cc.com. On the right of the page in the middle there's a tab that says "feedback". Go there to comment.

Joe Konrath said...

Hey Konrath, you think people will ever catch on that you use tone as a tool?

Some will. Some won't. The ones that don't are the ones that amuse me most.

Joe Konrath said...

Your bird finger is crooked.

That's my mouse finger, permanently crippled after almost a decade of responding to stupid blog comments.

Like yours.

Patrice Fitzgerald said...

To that brave Anonymous who said that Joe primarily sells his books to other self-published authors... I adore Joe's blog and think he's a great guy, but I've NEVER bought one of his books. I've gotten some for free, though. (Maybe I paid for that smutty one. Can't remember.) But if that's his scheme, it's not working very well. There must be some other folks out there who are bringing him those million dollar paychecks...

Cathy Keaton said...

This doesn't surprise me. I haven't watched The Colbert Report for 7 years, back when he wasn't even cool. I figured him out way back then. Everyone else is very slow to figure out what a git he really is.

Hating on Big Amazon is easy to do, until you realize you're hating a good chunk of your fanbase, right Steve? How many self-published authors are throwing veggies at their TVs right about now? Way. To. Go.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of all the Hachette stooges braying about how evil Amazon is and how 'great' Hachette (and publishers in general) are. They want to raise book prices to protect print books and their cartel.

Well f$%k them, and f$%k Hachette who's exploited authors for decades. Here's my advice to Amazon: stop selling Hachette books now.

See how long it takes them to come crawling on their bellies for forgiveness. Amazon has been far too lenient with them. It's time to bring out the big guns and take Hachette down. Send a message the other publishers can't ignore that will have them quaking in their loafers and reaching for clean underwear. The authors will endure some short term pain (actually most won't because they've been paid advances remember), then their eyes will pop out when they self publish and see how much they can make.

Do it. Just do it.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Colbert's sketch was amusing. And I'm not even a huge fan of his.

JAClement said...

Heheheheh. Joe, you do make me laugh. I haven't seen Colbert's show (UK-based) but can quite believe someone in mass media would be running the party line.

This is an interesting negotiation, and everyone is getting very excited but as an indie myself, I'm not over-worried.

Hachette are not going to pull all their books from Amazon. Amazon are not going to stop discounting. Amazon is bigger and because it's not discounting is probably making more per sale. Who can wait longer in this instance? Not Hachette, I'm thinking.

As for the morality of the situation, it's irrelevant. This is business. No-one is forcing Hachette to send books to Amazon. They can opt out any time they like. If they don't like the pricing, that's the cost of business. If they walked out, would Amazon renegotiate? Maybe. Probably not. They're not making much profit when they're discounting stuff anyhow and if the books are on the site via resellers, that'll do.

But here's the thing. This is a big deal in some circles, but not all. In publishing circles, there is outrage. In general circles, amongst Jo Public? Not so much.The general public don't know or care what the agency model is. Most of them haven't particularly thought about how much the author earns.

Jo Public likes books by an author, so they buy the books. If there's a choice, they'll go where it's cheapest and easiest.

And if you ask Jo Public to name the Big 5, can he? I reckon mostly, no. But has he heard of Amazon? I reckon mostly yes.

It seems to me, there's your answer in one.
JAC.

Here's one

Peter L. Winkler said...

"So when someone tries to take that away from me, or control/manipulate the vehicle that allows me to do that, of course I am going to be upset."

Get real, will you? Nobody's trying to take anything away from you. Colbert's boycott sketch won't have any impact on Amazon and Hachette can't hurt Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Every night I cry myself to sleep because I've never had the privilege of pre-order buttons. Then release day comes and miraculously my fans still manage to find my book and buy it.

All I do is announce the novel is out on my blog and Facebook (with Amazon links, of course) and they come! It's mind-boggling, but perhaps I'm some strange exception in that I'm capable of selling books on release day without pre-orders.

Liz said...

I would love it if Amazon just dropped Hachette altogether. They're a truly whiny bunch and I'm sure Amazon has other things to worry about rather than their constant whining about Amazon (while still taking money Amazon helped them make).

Just. drop. them.

Liz said...

Anonymous 8:15 p.m.

Your comment shows very clearly that you don't bother to read this blog or the other comments (like most of Joe's detractors here) if you seriously think people assume Amazon is just the good guy. I get so tired of ignorant comments like this.

Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

I still can't stop laughing. I love that photo. So didn't expect that. Howling here.

Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

I still can't stop laughing. I love that photo. So didn't expect that. Howling here.

Jovica Popovic said...

LOL! What a pathetic attempt at attention grabbing. So, you think if you shout enough and be obnoxious enough Colbert might invite you to come on his show? Hilarious. Or are you that deluded that you actually think that you somehow pose some kind of a threat to Colbert? You with your 'thousands of readers'? That would actually be sad.

Alan Spade said...

Colbert has invited an author on its show, but it's not Joe, it's Sherman Alexie: http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/t1nxwu/amazon-vs--hachette---sherman-alexie

"Amazon tries to become a monopoly", says Sherman, and "the book is dead" without a preorder button.

Shaking my head. Stickers of "I didn't buy it on Amazon." Amazon Derangement Syndrom at its highest.

Anonymous said...

@Jovica Popovic You apparently don't get the snark. He mentioned Colbert's millions of viewers, and his thousands of readers. Obvious dichotomy should be obvious for the lulz.

Suzanne Cowles said...

As always Joe, I totally agree with you. Stephen is a funny guy and he makes money from that. He also gets publicity for his book from the whole dispute. It makes sense for him to use his public media platform to hock his wares.

Alan Spade said...

Hachette, great defender of culture, just tripled the price of ebooks for libraries in France : http://aldus2006.typepad.fr/mon_weblog/2014/06/biblioth%C3%A8ques-hachette-change-les-prix.html.

James Patterson must be really, really proud with his publisher.

Joe Konrath said...

So, you think if you shout enough and be obnoxious enough Colbert might invite you to come on his show?

Colbert is afraid of me, because I'm the most powerful author in the world, and I could get his show cancelled with just a phone call. I wouldn't go on his show if he begged me, but if he apologizes on-air maybe I'll consider letting him do a guest post here, to give his book sales a boost.

And beware. I also destroy those who speak out against me. That's why no one ever fisks my blog posts, and they only post here anonymously. They fear me, and you should too. Because once I target you, your career ends.

(Everyone shhhh... let's see how long it takes for him to get it.)

Belinda Vasquez Garcia said...

Love the bird, Joe. Hear, hear! I am an indie author in total agreement and I am boycotting Colbert. He pretends to be a liberal until it comes to cheating the book buying public in the name of his own greed.

I applaud Amazon! The book giant is just looking after the interest of the buying public. The United States Justice Department fined the big publishers already a few years ago when they were fixing prices and trying to cheat the readers by overcharging for ebooks, which cost almost nothing to publish. The big publishers were supposed to pay back tens of millions of dollars to their readers for cheating them.

The Consumer Federation of America at the time of the Justice Department investigation estimated that the big book publishers and Apple overcharged readers around 200 million dollars for books. Part of that anti-trust investigation by the Justice Department caused 16 states, led by Connecticut and Texas, to file their own suits against Apple, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. The states later reported they reached tentative settlement agreements with HarperCollins and HACHETTE. Those two publishers agreed to provide more than $51 million in restitution to e-book buyers.

Now Hachette has gotten greedy again and wants to overcharge their readers. Maybe if they paid a bigger percentage to their authors, as Amazon does to the indies, then Stephen Colbert would not have to throw dirty fingers and cry that he is loosing some of the millions he expects to make from Amazon sales.

The Hatchett Group is claiming they are only trying to cover their upfront costs. From one indie to another, you know that once I have a paperback or a word document, to publish the ebook, which I do myself, takes less than a day to convert it to digital and proof it. So much for upfront costs Hatchett is trying to use to justify gouging the book-buying public, when in truth their CEO and Board have to make their salaries of hundreds of millions of dollar.

Now Hatchett is trying to gain sympathy by having layoffs. Perhaps the CEO and other high-level managers should take a cut in pay while they weather a storm of their own making.

A.G. Claymore said...

Colbert's tirade seems to be having the desired effect. Already, his fans are leaving one star reviews to punish Amazon for delaying the shipment of his books.
I swear you couldn't make this silliness up. Fiction has to be credible but real life can be bat$hit crazy...

Joe, you should throw a raccoon on his roof...

Chris Meadows said...

Yeah, it's sad to see Colbert on the other side of the issue, but let's get real here: he's a comedian. And what's more, the "Colbert" you see on the "Colbert Report" isn't even the real Stephen Colbert. It's an assumed persona, a character, in the vein of classic comedians like Jack Benny who presumably wasn't anywhere near as big a penny-pincher (nor was he as bad a violinist) in real life as he made himself out to be.

In that respect, Colbert doesn't really need to be "right," he just needs to be funny. He may not even necessarily believe what he said in his routine, but it makes sense for the snarky, far-too-self-important, completely-un-self-aware, parody-of-Tea-Partiers "Colbert" character to take it that way.

You should look at it more like being, say, insulted by Don Rickles. He's not saying very nice things about you, and you may not agree with his sense of humor, but at least he's trying to be funny.

Kristina Rienzi said...

Your blog should be front page news. Your honest and raw voice is just what the public needs to hear.

Going down both the publisher and the self-publishing routes, my goal has always been the same - write a fantastic story that is easily accessible to readers.

No organization is without its flaws, but Amazon has been a key player in changing the face of publishing for all of us. If the freedom and benefits of self-publishing with Amazon change, it will have an impact on publishers of all stripes.

Thank you for commenting on this important issue.

Dan McClure said...

I agree with Chris Meadows above.

I didn't expect that I would have to point this sort of thing out on a blog like this, but everyone should keep in mind that Colbert is a comedian and the character he portrays on his show, The Colbert Report, is not reflective of him or his views. It's a straw man who uses straw man arguments to get laughs and poke fun at society. I understand that this one hit close to home, but I'm honestly surprised at the backlash here. I would have thought more people would have been able to take the joke. Think about the character he portrays - would you honestly expect him to react any other way?

Anyway, I laughed at it and recommend you do, as well. I'm also pretty sure Joe is mostly laughing, even if he is obviously disappointed the satire wasn't pointed more at Hachette.

Joe Konrath said...

In that respect, Colbert doesn't really need to be "right," he just needs to be funny

Chris, Colbert is right most of the time. His shtick is to purposely spread misinformation in order to get satirical laughs, but also to promote the opposing viewpoint.

His "rally to keep fear alive" is a perfect example. That's what republicans are trying to do, and he's making fun of that by pretending to support it. Like I pretended I was going to destroy him with my 'thousands' of fans.

He's not pretending to boycott Amazon because he's actually pro-Amazon. He got on the wrong side of this issue because he wasn't properly informed (and it is probably compounded by his knee-jerk reaction from his sales suffering).

Think about the character he portrays - would you honestly expect him to react any other way?

Absolutely. He should have come out in support of Hachette by agreeing with all of the unconscionable things Hachette does.

He could have done a very funny skit explaining how the Hachette really didn't collude to fix prices, because a company that pays its authors 12.5% royalties and keeps rights for the author's life plus seventy years would never do something so low.

That's in character, and the kind of satire he could have done.

"How can big bad Amazon pick on poor little Lagadare, who only had minuscule sales of 10 billion dollars in 2013? Hachette simply wants to raise prices. That's what American companies should all do, especially the ones owned by a French conglomerate."

Etc.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I think (from reading the many comments above) you may have strayed into Poe's Law territory here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

Sean Mitchell said...

Joe said: “He could have done a very funny skit explaining how the Hachette really didn't collude to fix prices, because a company that pays its authors 12.5% royalties and keeps rights for the author's life plus seventy years would never do something so low. That's in character, and the kind of satire he could have done.”

As a semi-regular watcher of Colbert, this struck me as well. He came out of character to do this piece. Odd.

But there’s something else that happened after the clip Joe posted ends. Colbert interviews author Sherman Alexie.

Colbert: Is this a giant creating a monopoly, trying to crush the little guy?

Alexie: No, it’ two giants fighting each other. Hachette is a big corporation—

Colbert: Oh, okay. Who do I root for then?

Alexie: You root for the authors.

Then there’s an awkward pause. Here is where both authors, Colbert and Alexie, almost make the leap into asking some important questions: Whose side am I on? What’s better for authors— dealing with a legacy publisher like Hachette? Or self-publishing via Amazon, Apple, Smashwords, or somewhere else?

But they didn’t go there.

Joe Konrath said...

Poe's law involves it being hard to differentiate between a radical viewpoint and a joke.

How can anyone reading this:

"Once I get my thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of loyal followers to boycott your show, your ratings will plummet and you'll wind up as a second-string character on a Fox sitcom."

not realize I was joking?

I said I had so much power, I'd make Colbert gain weight. Who could possible read that and think I was being serious?

I have no power. That's the joke.

I'm not joking that Colbert got on the wrong side of the issue. But I presented it humorously, like he does on his show. Didn't talking about green bean casserole and flipping off his Nana and saying I'll read his book in 4-6 weeks telegraph that point?

According to countless pinheads on the Internet, no. People think I actually expect Colbert to put me on his show and sell my books on his website.

I don't know what else to say. I've been stunned by stupidity before, but this whole Hachette thing has brought out more collective stupid than I've seen in a long time...

Joe Konrath said...

What’s better for authors— dealing with a legacy publisher like Hachette? Or self-publishing via Amazon, Apple, Smashwords, or somewhere else?

But they didn’t go there.


Too bad. Instead Colbert has his silly anti-Amazon download sticker still on his homepage.

Double fail. Fail to get to the core of the issue (and even though his show is a comedy, he's constantly getting to the core of the issue) and fail to back the wrong horse.

McDoogle said...

Maybe Colbert could have redeemed himself by blaming this on the so obvious real villains of this entire Amazon/Hachette kerfuffle... George Bush and the Koch Brothers... Duh.

Anonymous said...

This is admittedly defensive of Colbert, but isn't this entire skit meant to be hyperbolic? Colbert (the character, that is) is known for his narcissism, and it seem a bit overblown to attack to his logic because, frankly, he oftentimes doesn't have sound logic. Similarly, it's strange to me that some pro-publisher sites are championing Colbert as "joining the fight against Amazon." Again, Colbert (the character) may well be joining fray because his personal sales are being hurt due to the dispute. To say that Colbert (the real person) does not do his research seems to me to be an overreaction. Remember, this is the exact same character that said: "Contraception leads to more babies being born out of wedlock, the exact same way that fire extinguishers cause fires." Among many other much more ridiculous things. Why is it that we're taking this Amazon stance at face value rather than ascribing an understanding of hyperbole and satire, which I personally think it's due.

Sean Mitchell said...

Hey guys, why not leave a comment on the Colbert Nation website asking for Joe to be a guest? I just did.

Here's the link (hope this works):
http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/ukf9gv/amazon-vs--hachette#comments

Drew Gideon said...

I watched Colbert's show exactly once, years ago.
At the time, I thought to myself "Wow. This guy is a classless, unfunny hack who is forced to rely on vulgarity to get a laugh," and I never watched him again.
I did see him pop up on The Tonight Show when Fallon took over, and again he took the opportunity to prove how classless and vulgar he is, yelling cusswords on one of the show's most monumental episodes.

My only shock and dismay about this whole Colbert ordeal is finding out that more than a dozen people still waste time watching him.

Chris Meadows said...

Joe: Going off on Hachette wouldn't fit Colbert's narrative. The character is a narcissist. Therefore, anything that keeps his works out of the hands of people is evil. Any other considerations are secondary to his ego.

Joe Konrath said...

The character is a narcissist. Therefore, anything that keeps his works out of the hands of people is evil.

That would be Hachette. Which he would have known, had he done a modicum of research.

But in character or out of character, who has the balls to criticize their own publisher?

I like to think I have balls. But even I didn't start really laying into the legacy industry until I got my rights back. You don't shit where you eat.

That said, you don't blame others for stuff your publisher does. It's weak.

Anonymous said...

If media coverage is anything to go by it looks like Colbert is winning:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/new-chapter-in-antiamazon-feelings-as-hachette-loses-the-plot-over-margins-9503906.html

Chris Meadows said...

Joe: You act as though it should be self-evident Hachette is pulling the strings, but the whole thing is kind of confusing if you haven't been following it. And also, it wasn't Hachette who decided to pull the pre-order buttons, which was one of Colbert's main complaints.

adan said...

This bottom-lines it for me pretty well :-)

"I like to think I have balls. But even I didn't start really laying into the legacy industry until I got my rights back. You don't shit where you eat.

That said, you don't blame others for stuff your publisher does."

Walter Knight said...

Colbert is a liberal, so of course he would favor government intervention to harm Amazon, an 'evil corporation.'

Many American, including you, vote liberal, but live conservative. You have no problem doing that until the liberals finally try to take a bite out of your ass. Even then, you will probably continue to vote liberal. It's a Chicago tradition.

Still love you, man.

miden6 said...

Since Hachette was just the first to negotiate with Amazon (because a federal judge forced it to), are we ready for four more media shit-storms from clueless celebrities who have books published with them?

Joe Konrath said...

Many American, including you, vote liberal, but live conservative.

I vote libertarian, not democrat.

Joe Konrath said...

You act as though it should be self-evident Hachette is pulling the strings

Follow my posts. It's very likely Hachette is pushing for the agency model.

Christopher Mercier said...

I don't think this is that surprising - for all of Colbert's anti-Bush stuff when he started (which was gratifying and hilarious), he is pretty pro-establishment in many respects.

I mean, you can tell that he lays off the persona when he brings in guests he agrees with (if I remember right, he had Paul Krugman on there and you don't get more "establishment" than Krugman).

Walter Knight: Yeah, he's a "liberal." Have you notice how illiberal the so-called "liberals" really are? In this regard, yeah Colbert is playing to type - have a huge business monopoly that shuts out competitors. Not to get too political on this blog, but that's been the whole O administration economic policy - and Colbert is on their side.

However, Colbert could just be defending his publisher. If he felt otherwise, he should've just vetoed the story and did something else. Because of this, I think Colbert really doesn't like Amazon or he's jumping on the establishment media bandwagon.

David L. Shutter said...

From a new PW piece (surprisingly) on Amazon not being entirely evil.

"Some industry observers view the much-vilified Amazon far more favorably than they do Hachette, emphasizing how Amazon has expanded reading and access to books, not to mention digital reading, while empowering untold numbers of self-published authors, many of whom were once rejected by traditional publishers. All the while, Amazon pays these self-published authors far better royalties than the Big Five houses offer."

http://publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/62785-is-amazon-really-the-devil.html

Hmm. Kinda funny how people outside of Legacy world, who are neither invested in or otherwise beholden to its survival, have drawn these wacky conclusions.

And one thing Joe, the new AG Prez is almost begging to be fisked in this article.

Walter Knight said...

I believe Hachette sent out talking points to create bargaining chips for negotiations. We will see more class envy political celebrity rants about big bad Amazon.

I wish Hachette and all the Big Five would keep their E-book and back list prices high. Let them learn the hard way about competition.

Dr. Jesu Estrada said...

I didn't watch Colbert before an am def. not watching him now.

Vincent C. Martinez said...

I love Colbert, but what I hate is how wealthy, established writers and large legacy publishers are trying to say they're doing what they're doing for "authors."

For years, I tried so hard to get noticed. For years, my work was rejected, and I was ignored by agents. I didn't see any of these entities reaching out to me. All I got were unanswered phone calls, sneers, and form rejection letters. Trying to get published was like trying to break into a bank vault with a pipe cleaner. So, for almost a decade, I gave up on writing--except for my dead-soul job as a copywriter.

It wasn't until I started self-publishing a couple of months ago that I finally started getting my work into the hand of others. I'll be honest, I've not sold much, and I'm having a hell of a time trying to move my stories on my limited marketing budget, but at least my work is OUT THERE. At least it's getting a shot at being read and noticed.

All I see from Hatchette and the wealthy authors is, "We're doing this to protect you, and protect writing, and protect America!" but where were these people when I humbly offered up my manuscripts, when they wouldn't even give me the time of day?

Yes, I love bookstores, and, yes, I love printed books, but now that authors now have the chance to bypass the traditional traps of publishing, maybe these publishers and bookstores should try figuring out how to reach out to those of us using the new methods of publication, instead of trying to demonize and tear it down.

--Vincent C. Martinez (author of "Electric Elizbeth" and "Christmas in Culm")

Alex said...

There was a name (which I can't recall) given to the phenomenon in which we hear/read media utterly botch something we know something about, and yet move on to the next story which we don't and still consider them authoritative.

JK, a wise man might consider if he's falling prey to that phenomenon if he buys what Colbert is selling in the future.

Walter Knight said...

Vincent Martinez (above) said it all. The Big Five won't give new authors the time of day.

Screw 'em. They don't care about new authors, never did, and should not be pretending to care with their phony lobbying efforts for government intervention to save American culture.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Amazon provided a way for storytellers to market their wares in direct competition with the old gateway to the publishing world: agents and mainstream publishers. The anachronistic rusty gateway sentinels find themselves competing against a growing independent author element, assaulting what they considered their own sacred marketplace. Those sentinels, forced to abide by the same rules governing everyone on the Amazon world marketplace, abhor a taste of their own medicine. Great post, Mr. Konrath.