Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Amazon vs. Macmillan: What Can You Do?

Even though Amazon has said they eventually will capitulate and put the buy buttons back on all the Macmillan books, they have yet to actually do that. Not sure what they are waiting for, but in the meantime, there are two things we all can do to make an impact:

1. Buy a Macmillan book! You can order online from, or you can go to your local independent. Go to the Macmillan site to see which books are affected. (Macmillan has several imprints that publish children's and young adult literature including FSG, Feiwel & Friends, and Holt)

2. Contact Amazon to voice your complaint. To do this, go to Amazon and click on Help. A yellow Contact Us button will appear on the right side of your screen. You can now send them an e-mail. Say what you want, or copy this letter from fellow writer Cheryl Bardoe:

Dear Amazon,

I am a long-time, steady customer who is dismayed over your removal of the "Buy Now" buttons from the page of every Macmillan author. I do not support your position on this matter. Publishers own the products they produce, and as a result have the right to establish their own pricing.

Making it impossible for consumers to buy Macmillan books through Amazon undermines a key part of what makes Amazon appealing to customers--the ability to buy almost any book in print from a reliable distributor. Your actions are damaging not only to your own business, but also to readers and authors--without which Amazon would not be in business at all. Amazon's corporate bullying reveals that Amazon's real goal is to have a monopoly on the marketplace. Perhaps sitting inside your corporate offices, having a monopoly seems to be a good thing. But time and again, history and the social and political fabric of our society have shown that monopolies are not in the best interests of consumers, producers, or investors and do not represent what is best for our economy.

Please immediately reinstate the buttons to give consumers the opportunity to purchase Macmillan books. Also, respect that publishers (who even without the cost of paper, must pay their authors, artists, editors and staff to produce books) have the right to set price points for THEIR OWN PRODUCT. I'll be taking my business elsewhere until you do.

Thank you.

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