Joe Konrath writes to DoJ in support of antitrust action

I previously discussed publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin’s letter to the DoJ concerning the antitrust investigation against Google. Here’s one from about as far to the other side as you can go: self-publishing booster and blogger Joe Konrath.

In his letter, Konrath accuses the publishers of keeping e-book prices high to protect sales of their high-margin hardcover books, and opines that Amazon is the only one really fostering competition. He also accuses the Authors Guild and Association of Authors’ Representatives of working not for authors as their names imply, but for publishers.

Konrath links to several of his and co-writer Barry Eisler’s blog posts on related subjects (he included the complete texts in the versions he sent to the DoJ).

Also, I should mention a point that was brought up in the comments to one of these posts (the comments are a great place to read what writers and readers really feel about this issue). I’ll paraphrase: "Why is it the Big 6 had no problems with Amazon when they were drastically discounting hardcover book prices, but when Amazon does the same thing with ebooks it is suddenly the end of competition?"

Good question.

(Found via Techdirt.)

3 Comments on Joe Konrath writes to DoJ in support of antitrust action

  1. Konrath has licensed books to Amazon’s printing program so he’s hardly unbiased on the issue.

  2. Well, yeah. And Mike Shatzkin was part of the publishing industry for 50 years, so he’s not exactly unbiased either. Indeed, I rather think anyone moved to write to the DoJ about the issue will have strong feelings one way or the other. So?

  3. So, someone who is pimping for Amazon or the publishing industry is biased on the subject, and I’d take what they say with a grain of salt.

    If you want to read an author who thinks what the DoJ is doing is right, I’d suggest Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Here’s a link to her article.

    As a writer who keeps up with publishing issues, I lean more toward being against the DoJ on this issue because I don’t trust Amazon and anything that gives them even more of an advantage.

    Right now, my small publishers and its authors are being screwed by Amazon who not only can change the price of their books at a whim, the cut the publisher receives is from that price Amazon chooses, not a set price. When they give my books away for next to nothing, I receive next to nothing, and they do that all the time to show how low their sale prices are.

    As Amazon has done over and over again, they first use Draconian practices like this on the small publishers and the self-published then will go after the major publishers who tend to knuckle under to their terms.

    Once all these sale prices drive the competition out of business, don’t expect Amazon to keep taking a financial hit like this. They’ll raise prices and consumers will be the ones screaming, not the few publishers and authors who remain after this financial bloodletting.

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