|By Jason Bloomberg||
|August 9, 2014 09:07 AM EDT||
At 2:00 AM Eastern Time on this Saturday morning August 9th, all Amazon Kindle Direct authors received an email from the Amazon mother ship, making the case for why lowering e-book prices was the right thing to do, and furthermore, accusing publisher Hachette Book Group of collusion. The email then calls upon Amazon’s loyal throng of Kindle Direct authors to email Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch. Conveniently, Amazon even provides Pietsch’s email address and several talking points authors should include in their emails to him. Amazon also posted the email to their Web site http://www.readersunited.com, where the Amazon Books Team addressed it to readers at large rather than Kindle Direct authors.
In the email, Amazon compares the rise of e-books to the “radical invention” of paperback books before World War II. Amazon notes key points of comparison: paperbacks were substantially cheaper than hardcover books, and furthermore, “readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.”
Amazon then paints the publishers of the day as the evil “literary establishment,” who instead of celebrating the invention of the paperback, “dug in and circled the wagons” much as Hachette and other publishers are doing today. The Amazon letter even goes so far as to quote 1984 author George Orwell, who publicly lambasted the new paperback format: if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” In other words, as Amazon helpfully points out, “George Orwell was suggesting collusion” on the part of the publishers of the time.
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