[LMB] books for sale on Amazon

Gordon Jackson listmail at gordonj.net
Sat Jun 19 16:55:01 BST 2021


Publishers, it seems to me, are rapacious businesses who screw over both authors and readers at every opportunity. Which makes me wonder why when there is a dispute between Publishers and Amazon both Authors and readers tend to support the publishers. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> On Behalf Of Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold
Sent: 19 June 2021 08:40
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
Cc: Matija Grabnar <lmb at matija.com>
Subject: Re: [LMB] books for sale on Amazon

On 19/06/2021 06:50, Gwynne Powell wrote:
> Gwynne: The most frustrating thing is that there's no reason for all 
> the barriers.
Sure there is: money.
>   It's an online company, it's international; why can't it function 
> properly?
Because the contract clauses the publishers insisted on specify where each book can be sold, and in some cases, that they can't be sold for less than the price the publisher set. Sell for a high price in countries where people will pay high prices, and sell for low prices in countries where people can't afford high prices, in order to extract at least something from them. And make very very sure to make it hard for goods sold in low-price countries to be re-exported to the high-price countries.
>   Why can't I buy an ebook from anywhere, instead of being limited for 
> no real reason but businesses extorting money without providing any 
> extra service?
Because the publishers figure that breaking up markets makes it possible for them to maximize profit. So they lobbied their governments to make sure that would be legally enforced. And if you look at the time when those laws were being made, you will find many popular authors lending their voice to their publishers  in support of such efforts.
>   Why does some company have a right to grab an extra cut of money 
> simply because of where I live, without doing anything to earn it?
Because they lobbied for the laws that made it possible? You can lobby to change that, but be warned, you will be opposed by the authors who publish with those publishers. And that means that the people you admire for their eloquence, will use their eloquence to fight against you.
> And why, in Elizabeth's example, can't we send a simple gift card to 
> another country?
You can, they just have to be used on the market they are intended for. 
I knew a guy who was into kpop, and his best source for that was amazon.jp. I don't know if he used gift cards or if amazon.jp just accepted his credit card, but it worked for him. If you want the books only available from the US amazon, there are ways to get them, but they are not as cheap as they would be if you lived in the US.
>   It's all done online, there's no reason for the limitations.
There is a reason: publisher's profits. And some of those profits get passed along to the authors.
Just don't get me started on the lifetime + 70 years of copyright.
--
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