My New Button

Here’s my new button for anyone who wants to buy my latest novel, Leviathan. Just select whatever retailer you want: Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Books a Million, Borders,,, Powell’s, or Walmart.

Yep, that’s all of them.

Order Leviathan!  

Well, almost all of them. For reasons discussed here, there’s no Amazon link anymore. Sorry for any inconvenience, but trust me, it’s not as annoying for you as it is for the hundreds of authors who’ve had their income decimated by Amazon. (NOTE: The meaning of decimate is to reduce a tenth, which is about the percentage of sales that Amazon represents.)

So, yes, I’ll steadily be deleting links to Amazon wherever they occur on this site. Making changes to code is my least favorite kind of internet fiddling to do, and I’ll getting more and more annoyed as I go.

I’m sure Amazon intends to re-friend Macmillan at some point, but I assure you, it will take me even longer to put these buttons back than it did to remove them all. This won’t starve either me or Jeff Bezos, but it’s the little things that count.

Update: On the afternoon of Friday, Feb 5, US time, Amazon at least re-listed the print versions of Macmillan titles. (Not the Kindle versions, apparently. But hey, that’s what being negotiated, so it makes at least some sense to have them down.) So Amazon’s entire snit fit was one week long.

As for those who question my use of the word “decimated,” it literally means to reduce by 10%, which is roughly the percentage of books that sell through Amazon. (Well okay, it literally means to reduce by 10% by execution, but still . . . )

In consideration for this re-listing by Amazon, my links to them will be restored in, let’s say, a week times the number of friends I have who publish with Macmillan. About half a year from now.

Update 2:
It’s August 10, 2010, and I’ve put the Amazon buttons back. Let us never fight again.

24 thoughts on “My New Button

  1. I will buy mine at my local independent bookstore–110 years old this year.

    And, of course, I already checked it out at the library, read it and loved it. Thanks for writing such great works.

  2. i agree, local always beats shipping something in from some far away state or country. it just makes everything a whole lot easier!

  3. Our local independent bookseller doesn’t stock anything but “serious” books. I don’t know how they stay in business–I assume they are independently wealthy or something. So I won’t be buying any fun books from them, because I can’t.

    Amazon sells books on the Kindle, which means that my mother, who has hemiplegia and is undergoing chemo right now, and is therefore quite weak, is still able to hold up a book and read it comfortably. Those jerks!

    And the Amazon Boycott of 2010 lasted all of what, three days? So how was anybody’s income decimated? I don’t get it. Sorry, but as you said in your previous post on this topic, I call SHENANIGANS! Of course, I realize you’re just doing this to make a point, and you’re entitled to, but I don’t find your point at all cohesive.

    I suspect it’s probably true that Amazon’s plans, if they came to fruition exactly as written, would not be good for authors. But Amazon is incredibly good for readers. No longer do I have to accept the limited selection that my local independent bookseller thinks I should read–I can get nearly any book in print, tomorrow. And lots of books that aren’t in print. I can see what other people think about them. I can say what I think about them. It’s really pretty amazing.

    Yes, this is sucking for independent booksellers. Because nice though independent booksellers sometimes are, if you are lucky, there is no way they can compete with Amazon on selection or price. If they are going to stay alive, they have to compete on some other basis.

    And crappy though bulk deals with booksellers are for authors (my book contract discounted sales to Barnes and Noble by 50% under what independent booksellers paid, fifteen years ago, so this isn’t new), the fact is that there are a lot of authors who simply wouldn’t ever wind up on the shelves at your local independent bookseller, and even more authors who make a brief appearance there and then disappear, because they don’t sell enough to stay in stock. You can get their books at Amazon. This is a good thing.

    As for Amazon sucking for authors, one of my great frustrations in this whole debate is that authors, who are the source of all this goodness that’s being fought over, have essentially no power in the conversation. Macmillan’s interests coincide with yours at the moment, which is great. And your editor at Macmillan is probably really cool – mine certainly was. But their interests are not yours, and a lot of what they do as a business is really not in your interest, in much the same way and for much the same reasons that Amazon does things that are not in your interest.

    So I don’t think it’s really cast in concrete that Amazon winning is bad for authors, and Macmillan winning is good for authors. If you want what’s good for you, you should be working to that end, not cheering one or the other leviathan who happen to be battling over what you have created at the moment.

  4. I’m really proud of you to sticking to your game and keeping Amazon off your website. I already got my Leviathan!! Woo!

    At any rate, hope Amazon re-friends Macmillan. ‘Til then, keep up the good work sellin’!

  5. Ted, I’m sorry about your mother. And I’m very glad she has a Kindle so that she can read comfortably. My mom has one cos her arthritis is getting bad enough that it’s very hard for her to read heavy books for very long. And even paperbacks can be tough to hold open – sometimes the print is just too close to the spine.

    But Amazon has only SAID that they will give in. Eventually. They have not yet put back all Buy buttons on Macmillan books. This is still in discussion.

    In 2008, Amazon UK pulled Buy buttons from Hachette, the UK’s largest publisher. I am having a hard time finding how it was resolved, if it was resolved — but I’m pretty sure I remember reading this went on for about a year (and don’t quote me there; perhaps you’ll have better luck finding out more).

    This article about Hachette also mentions Amazon UK pulling many titles in a dispute with Bloombury in January 2008.

    So while I agree it’s unlikely that anyone’s income is decimated just yet, I see where Amazon is all too capable of doing so.

    As you noted, Amazon does a lot of good for readers. I don’t know much about self-publishing, but Amazon can do a lot of good in giving those authors a place to sell. And it creates a great place for budget-minded customers to find very low-priced books, especially for readers who don’t mind “less than polished” work.

    And as you also noted, Amazon and Macmillan are companies, not people. No feelings involved here – companies look out for #1. I completely agree.

    And if Amazon had just made public what it was doing – that it couldn’t see eye to eye with Macmillan and in the interest of protecting low prices for its customers, it was going to cease doing business with Macmillan unless the two companies could come to an agreement. I think I could get behind that as looking out for the consumer.

    But I can’t get behind what it chose to do instead.

  6. No offense, but the prices are too high on all of these sites for paperback books so I will continue to buy used. I can’t justify $10 for a paperback when I know I have to buy no less than 3 books to get the whole story. (Yes this means I won’t buy Leviathan until you have finished the series.) These are wants, not needs, so my money is better spent on necessities rather than entertainment.

  7. Ted – A lot of authors I want to buy books from are STILL not available on Amazon. Amazon has not enabled the buying feature for those books again. So it is certainly lasting longer than the “three days” you mentioned.

  8. Liz, I checked on Amazon before I posted that, and indeed you can currently buy Leviathan there. I already had my copy, so Amazon’s brief bout of insanity didn’t affect me directly.

    The main reason to buy your books at an independent bookstore is that your author probably gets a higher royalty payment there. Personally I think it’s a shame that that would be a valid motivation–I’d rather buy my books on the basis of what works best for me, with the knowledge that my decision won’t be affecting the royalties the author gets.

  9. Will you do this for Behemoth when it comes out?
    (I already have Leviathan and I LOVED it!)

  10. hey is anyone there??????has anyone read uglies?????i luv uglies someone talk to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. A quick note: Most of my books (and all of my YA) are with Simon & Schuster, and so are unaffected.

    Ted Lemon: The Amazon shut-off of Macmillan titles is a week old now, and counting. All that happened after three days was that they admitted they would eventually have to re-list them. But they haven’t. Amazon counts for about 10% of sales for most books, so the word “decimated” is literally correct.

    This isn’t really a question of who wins in this fight, it’s a question of the tactic Amazon is using, which is to piss all over everybody to show how powerful they are. This rubs me the wrong way. What most people don’t seem to get is that Macmillan is happy to sell their books on Amazon right now and under Amazon’s terms, at least until March. This is a pure spite play.

    I agree that online bookselling has been an okay thing overall. It gets more books out into the marketplace, and gets them even to people who live in the back of beyond. And I didn’t even mind Amazon’s dominance in the market, until they became petulant and irrational. (Seriously, they haven’t even said what they’re doing or why, outside of that one anonymous post on the Kindle Readers Group. What kind of customer communication strategy is that?) You’re defending a corporation that won’t even deign to speak to you.

    As far as the Kindle goes, I have an e-reader myself, though I mostly use it for manuscripts; I’ve yet to read a published novel on it. It’s a Sony, because of the open platform.

  12. Capitalism and books! Art should just exist in it’s own utopian realm. Until then I had to buy all of my novels for my college classes on Amazon. Saved me a couple hundred dollars… If we wanna talk about evil business, lets look at College bookstores! Those bastards! When you sell back a book, you get about 20%, then they resell it used for about 85%! Poor poor pockets.

    I pouted and my mom bought me Leviathan at Borders. Hard-back and all. Oh the power of my pout!

  13. Ted Lemon – sorry, I am a reader, and I don’t think Amazon is good for me or good for all reads. I can get a book for the same price from B&N or Borders. I don’t like e-books. I read printed books exclusively, and imagine that I always will – I simply *hate* reading e-books. So when I read only printed books, why should I support with my purchasing dollars a retailer who is willing to limit the availability of the product I want to buy – print books – over a dispute related to a product, e-books, that I have *zero* interest in. So yeah, no thanks. I’ve also decided to stop cross-posting my reviews on Amazon, since I don’t want to be part of a system in which people are pledging to give 1-star ratings to any e-book they dislike the price and/or publisher of. I don’t have a local independent bookstore, but I have a Borders and a B&N, plus B&, and I feel they serve my needs and interests better and thus deserve my $$ over Amazon.

  14. Rebecca, if you don’t like e-books, don’t buy them. As for Barnes and Noble and Borders, when you buy books there, the author gets a lower royalty than if you buy at an independent bookstore (this depends on the contract they negotiated with the publisher, so I’m speaking from a personal sample of one, but it’s my understanding that this is quite common). So from the author’s perspective, B&N and Borders are Just like Amazon.

    Personally, I buy my books where it’s convenient. Often, like you, that’s at B&N or at Borders. But a lot of times, Borders and B&N simply don’t have the book I want, because it’s too obscure. So the ability to go to Amazon is important to me, because I really can get pretty much anything there. If that’s not important to you, or if you really think that these games of chicken that retailers play with suppliers are a political issue you need to be involved in, then by all means don’t shop there. But to me it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  15. The second you can find a book that has, that I want, that I can’t find anywhere else, then it’s cutting off my nose to spite my face. But as of right now, there hasn’t been even one book I wanted to purchase that wasn’t available through B& or Borders. However last week there was a book I wanted that WASN’T available on Amazon because they decided to throw a tantrum and yank the print edition over an e-book dispute. B& had the book, and it was actually slightly cheaper since I had a member discount & coupon. It’s quite simple. I won’t give money to a business that will refuse to let me purchase the products I want because they decided to act like 2-year-olds over the pricing of different products. Period. And I’d be truly shocked to find anything on Amazon that wasn’t available at some other online bookstore for a comparable price.

  16. scott-la why isnt chapters on your list of people who will sell the book? i absolutely LOVE chapters i have all of your book from there and everyone i know goes there for books. i think you should add it. 😀

  17. Zack-Chapters is a Canadian company, and that button was actually made by my US publisher. Hmm, but I probably should have all the countries I’m published in there . . .

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