Neil Gaiman’s views on the Amazon/Hachette spat seem to have evolved a little since Chris Meadows last reported on them in mid-June. According to an answer to a self-published author and fan recently posted on “the official Neil Gaiman Tumblr, but honestly no better than the unofficial Neil Gaiman Tumblrs out there,” Gaiman now says: “I don’t see an enemy. I see two huge multinational corporations having a fight over contracts and terms, and authors staring up at them from ground level. It’s like Godzilla battling Gamera, and we’re looking up from the sidewalks of New York rather worried that a skyscraper might topple on us.”
Gaiman also speaks positively of the commentary of Chuck Wendig, which I’ve not exactly been favorable to in the past. And he does add: “My wife’s a Hachette Author now, and she has a big book coming out in November, which you cannot pre-order through Amazon. Which sucks. I don’t regard Amazon as the enemy, any more than I regarded Barnes and Noble as the enemy when they had a dispute with DC Comics and stopped selling the hundred top DC Comics Graphic Novels in their stores (which included 17 books by me, including all Sandman). But this seems like a good time to remind people about other places to buy books.”
Arguably it’s never been a bad time for that. But also, if even an internationally famous author like Neil Gaiman feels like a tiny vulnerable onlooker in the struggle, perhaps it is time to look at taking power and options out of these contenders’ hands. Both of them.