Pull Up Your Big Boy Underpants

**** WARNING – this post contains some strong language and stronger opinions.****

Those who follow the publishing industry news have been besieged by the growing divide between publishing leviathan Hachette Book Group and the retail behemoth Amazon.

The feud has gotten ugly. Prominent authors and newbies are demanding people take sides. Don’t shop at Amazon. Support only the independent booksellers. We, the publisher, are the only true path to publication. Do it our way, not their way. Blah-blah-blah.

In full disclosure, I’m indie published and I sell my books via Amazon and Smashwords. I want my books and stories to have a fighting chance. Since I have no way to duplicate a distribution channel on my own and I haven’t had much luck with the traditional route – Amazon distribution has proven to be a good fit for me. This is not to say that I won’t ever choose the traditional publishing route, I’m completely open to it.

{{foot tapping, as I wait for the spleens being vented to stop coloring the air blue}}

In Chuck Wendig’s (a fangirl swoon) blog post Publishing is not a Religious War he says:

Because two big companies (Hachette, Amazon) are having a slap-fight in public view. And various pundits and polemicists have ascribed almost cosmic significance to the battle — a battle whose exact permutations are veiled behind clouds of PR and propaganda. 


Sing it Mr. Wendig! SING IT!

It is embarrassing when multi-billion dollar companies air their dirty laundry in public. Kind of like the scene in RED 2, where John Malkovich’s character Marvin says ‘Wow, mommy just slapped daddy at the dinner table!’

I think Tee Morris summed everything up nicely in his Amazon v Hachette round 2 blog post:

So, after all this ranting, will I take a side?


I’m taking the side that looks out for my family, my well-being, and my writing career. I’m taking the side that makes a priority the decisions I’m making, the end result of those decisions, and what’s the best path for me to take as a writer.

I’m taking my side.


Everyone’s journey to publication is unique. What works for some will not work for others. Jon Sealy said:

The publishing industry is changing. Frankly, Amazon is better at change management than most publishers. As a writer, my job is to keep up on the news, keep my eye open to trends, triangulate my information so that I’m not biased one way or another, and have more than a passing understanding of the field I choose to be a part of.

Complete non-sequitur…

Here’s a thought, one that thousands of indie authors have figured out, why can’t Hachette Book Group sell non-DRM .mobi files on their website to not punish the Kindle users? Seriously, if they can format the rest of the varied e-reader formats, .mobi files would be a walk in the park. Wouldn’t that stick it to their ‘enemy’? 

And we are back to the rant in … 3…2..1

The only side that I will choose in this mess is my own. Here is my advice to Amazon and/or Hachette (not that they will ever listen to me):

Dear Amazon & Hachette Book Group,

I’m a little fish in a vast ocean. Neither one of you could identify me by name.  But somewhere, in each of your vast empires, you have my credit card information. I am a customer of both your businesses. Some of my favorite authors are published by Hachette Book Group or one of their imprints. Some of the best prices I can find on things that I need are on Amazon.

I will continue to purchase from both businesses.

It is time for you both to pull up your big-boy underpants and GROW THE FUCK UP!

Stop hurting your employees, your sub-contractors (the authors), and your customers. Get the contracts finalized and stop with the mudslinging. The fact that you want people to be Team Amazon or Team Hachette shows a remarkable lack of maturity and foresight on both your parts.

I won’t choose sides in this indecorous display of greed and malice.


Leila Gaskin – annoyed author and pissed off consumer



  • Loved the post. I don’t understand these folks. They sound like they need a timeout and to bed with no dinner

    • Thanks for stopping by, John. This whole thing has made me scratch my head. We’ll survive. They will too.

  • Point well made. Now if they hear. But something tells me they aren’t listening nor do they care. All they care about are dollars and cents.

    • I really have no problem with the business aspects. I am thoroughly irritated by the public brawling. 😛 It will pass and there will be another brouhaha.

      • As long as everyone has an opinion . . .well you know what they are like. 🙂

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