Smooth move, Amazon [not!]

Last night I decided I wanted to buy Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, hubby said he’d like to read it too, so I logged onto Amazon to buy it. Hey, I’m an Amazon Prime member, which means I get two day shipping for a flat, yearly fee. My family and I use the hell out of that service.

Imagine my surprise to find out that Amazon wasn’t selling Boneshaker directly, only through third-party sellers. Who, by the way, charge me shipping, unlike my direct from Amazon purchases. Huh.

A quick review of my Twitter and Facebook friends pages revealed why: Amazon Pulls Macmillan Books Over E-Book Price Disagreement.

Huh again.

As a writer, I find this more than alarming. Writers are being caught in the middle of a price war between publisher and distributor. Writers far more thinky and eloquent than I am have stuff to say about it. Go read Jay Lake and John Scalzi for a start.

As a reader, my response to Amazon pulling a book I want to read? I went to Borders this afternoon and bought it. I enjoyed blowing a mental razzberry at Amazon while I handed the Border’s cashier my debit card.

In the long run, the $16 I spent today at Borders instead of Amazon will probably be no great loss to Amazon. The sale will still show up on Cherie Priest’s royalty statements. Come Monday morning, Amazon might claim the whole thing was some unfortunate data entry error (similar to the great removal of GLBT books from Amazon’s sales rankings last year), which I’m inclined to buy about as much as I would buy swampland off the coast of Florida. Whatever the outcome, Amazon’s lost a great deal of goodwill with this reader, writer, and buyer.

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