In the wake of the Amazon-Macmillan war, I came to one inescapable conclusion: trust no one.
I heard so many varying reports on how royalties are paid, who did what to whom and the legal variables I ended up with a headache. As a result, I clearly stated some things (I think mainly in comments here on Crimespace) that are probably incorrect.
I say probably, because everyone seems more invested in playing PR games than in the truth.
Scalzi has the post
that wraps it up that's probably the only must-read. Unless, of course, you're on Amazon's side. Then you won't like it.
I do think this was a very dangerous game of chicken that Amazon and Macmillan played. I also think anyone who says this is about protecting consumers or about protecting authors is probably smoking something that's probably illegal. This is about control, and I don't think it panned out well for anyone in the end.
The one thing I'm completely willing to stand behind is my belief that if the iPad hadn't launched last week, this probably wouldn't have happened, and if it had Macmillan would have lost.
As an author, I have to take a dispassionate view of the selling side of the business. My books are carried at WalMart stores in Canada, at the very least, and major chains on both sides of the border. I will not fault consumers for where they decide to purchase their reading material, and I do understand the convenience of Amazon. When I lived in rural Alberta it was incredibly convenient, and less expensive, which enabled me to buy more books.
However, I fear for the mega-sellers and what they're doing to Independents, and what they could do to domestic publishing. As an author, I'm glad my books are carried by multiple venues and wherever readers purchase them, I'm just glad they did.
As a reader, I'll be keeping my primary purchasing in brick and mortar stores, and I won't be getting an e-reader any time soon. Unless it's an iPad. Which looks cool.