Category Archives: DeBunking

Think Amazon is Your Friend? You Might Have Amazon Infatuation Syndrome

6391972911_e3b3a4f8ab_z[1]Last night Amazon posted their third official statement in the ongoing contract dispute with Hachette, and like their first statement the open letter posted last night is proving to be an effective tactical PR maneuver.

The letter, which you can read over here, said that Amazon only wanted a 30% commission from sales of Hachette ebooks, and that Amazon was fighting with Hachette over whether the ebooks would be expensive or cheap. The statement goes on to lay out the math to justify lower ebook prices, and then it concludes with the idea that authors should get 35% of the sale price of an ebook. Continue reading

I Don’t Expect to See an iWatch or a 12.9″ iPad Maxi This Year

12_9_ipad_ipad_4_mini_light-800x450[1]A new round of rumors are circulating today concerning Apple’s long-rumored iWatch and 12.9″ iPad. While I usually don’t comment on implausible and unsubstantiated hardware rumors, I’m going to break with my rule against reporting on rumors and point out just how implausible the latest rumors really are. Continue reading

Mike Shatzkin is Wrong About Amazon’s 100% Revenue Offer to Hachette Authors

4243188382_e5176cb75c_b[1]Earlier this week Amazon stunned the publishing world when they sent a letter to agents and authors affected by the contract dispute with Hachette. That letter, which was soon leaked to the press, included details which suggested Hachette was not negotiating in good faith, and it offered to remove authors from the conflict by giving them 100% of their respective Kindle ebook sales. Continue reading

Are Writers Really Earning less than They did 9 Years Ago?

320300354_a8e1ce5eef_b[1]A new survey report was released in the UK this week which appears to show that writers are eaning an average of 29% less in 2013 than they did in 2005. The report comes from the ALCS, an authors’ rights group in the UK, and includes details like: Continue reading

WSJ: Amazon Exec Defends Its Stance Against Hachette – Except He Doesn’t, Really

9409921931_1e3c8e6c7d_b[1] The Wall Street Journal scored a scoop last night in the ongoing Amazon-Hachette contract dispute – or so they would have you believe.

In what the WSJ describes as an Amazon exec defending its actions against Amazon, Kindle VP Russ Grandinetti largely reiterated the statement Amazon had already released over a month ago: Continue reading

Reports of the Failure of Digital Publishing Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

0620OPEDparini-superJumbo[1]“I Was a Digital Best Seller!” claimed Tony Horowitz in the NY Times on Thursday, only if you ask him the boast doesn’t amount to much.

Horowitz writes about his experience in trying to publish a Kindle Single first with a digital startup called The Global Mail, and then after that firm folded by dealing directly with Byliner. Between one issue and another (mainly signing with Byliner after it had already started to decline due to insolvency), Horowitz has a bad experience, sees few sales, and receives little promotional/marketing support from Byliner.

As a result Horowitz concludes that digital publishing idn’t a viable future: Continue reading

Laura Miller’s Salon Piece on Indie Authors, Amazon, and Hachette Shows Much of What’s Gone Wrong in the Trad Pub / Indie Pub Debate

A couple days ago Salon.com weighed in on the Amazon-Hachette dispute with a new angle. In a piece ostensibly written to self-published authors, Laura Miller makes a case that indie authors should side with Hachette against Amazon.

If you  follow publishing news I am sure that you have already read the article, but it’s okay if you have not. I don’t plan to debate whether she is right or wrong; instead I plan to discuss the type, tone, and context of Miller’s arguments. Continue reading

Missing in Action: the Kindle Paperwhite 3 “Ice Wine”

kindle paperwhite 2013As Amazon’s 18 June smartphone press event draws closer, I am reminded of another device which was rumored to be launching this Spring that has yet to see the light of day.

In late November 2013 TechCrunch broke the story on a rumor about the next Kindle Paperwhite. That device, which was supposed to have launched early in the second quarter, was going to sport a new super high resolution E-ink screen with a resolution of 300 ppi. Continue reading

Getting Things Straight: eBooks May Indeed be an Influence in the Amazon-Hachette Dispute

2844902161_f66b8f9bdf_b[1]Here’s an interesting complication in the 8 month old Hachette-Amazon contract dispute that seems to have tripped up some in the press.

A few days ago Michael Cader, writing over at Publishers Lunch, set the record straight on some background details concerning Amazon, Hachette, and the latter’s antitrust settlement from 2012. Unfortunately, in trying to set the record straight Cader may have also introduced an error of his own. Continue reading