I was going to write up a big post about Amazon-Hachette and how it was made, by some, into a self-publishing vs. traditional publishing brouhaha. But as usual, Chuck Wendig did it first, and did it better. I recommend his post wholeheartedly.
As for my opinions, I’ve stated my affinity for traditional publishing before, and I also believe that self-publishing is extraordinarily valid and awesome for those who really put the time and effort in. I also believe that Amazon vs. Hachette has very little to do with this. It’s a contract dispute between two large corporations that has inconvenienced readers and probably harmed authors in the short-term — and not just the big-name authors, but the mid-list and debut Hachette authors as well. Assign blame between the two companies as you will.
I happen to like Amazon as a company, and I think their hardball tactics here, while perfectly legal, really suck. Those are not conflicting opinions. You can really love Star Wars and still think Phantom Menace was horrible, after all. I also think Amazon provides great resources and a fantastic marketplace for self-published authors — and I’ll point out that The Gravity of the Affair is self-published through my literary agency.
I have no dog in the fight with regard to Hachette, as I don’t work with them. I have author-friends who do, and they’ve seen their books become pawns in all this, particularly Amazon’s tactics of slowing shipments and/or putting ads on book pages that divert consumers away from their books. Naturally, I tend to side with my friends on this one.
Anyway, read Chuck’s post. It’s worth the time, and it’s funny too. Because it’s Wendig. Duh. And although I realize this is the Internet, it’d be really cool if we could show each other just a touch more respect all around.