The Association of Author’s Representatives, the organization that many top agents are members of to prove their professionalism and ethical approach, has sent a shot across Amazon’s bow.
Currently Amazon is delaying deliver of books by Hachette authors by as much as three weeks. The move is intended to force the publisher to accept terms Amazon wants for book prices. Amazon has used this tactic in the past.
Every time this happens, my first thought has been, What about the authors? They are the ones suffering as their books are withdrawn or delayed. Readers, too, suffer when they can’t receive the books they want easily or quickly. Here’s a comment I made on Publisher’s Weekly’s site about the issue:
When this battle first broke out, my immediate thought was, What about the authors? Amazon has used these tactics in the past against publishers but never has anyone in a place of authority inside publishing stood up for the authors and the readers who suffer. Finally, this time, authors, readers and publishers and their associates are standing up to say, Enough! They are engaging in unfair trade practices, and are acting like a monopoly. Shame on them, especially since a recent court case found other publishers guilty of price-fixing…because of their negotiations with Amazon. Amazon is important to authors and readers…which is why it should be ethical in its approach to business. This is just a wolf eating its own cubs.