Amazon Is 1-2; Exclusive Deal With Another Author, But Rebuffed By A Publisher

(underlying image courtesy Pittsburgh Peas)

Amazon is still pounding out exclusive deals with various authors (the better to thumb their nose at Apple, presumably). This time it is with science fiction author F. Paul Wilson, who is apparently well known for The LaNague Federation Series. If you aren’t familiar with the series (I wasn’t), the author describes it as:

“Galactic Empires are a joke. At least I’ve always thought so. So when I started writing science fiction I looked for something different. I wanted to set my stories against a single consistent coherent background–my own Future History.

I based the socioeconomic tenets of my LaNague future history on a laissez-faire model. It makes more sense than an empire. An empire needs absolute control if it’s to function in an empiric way. That’s all but impossible over interstellar distances. What’s needed is a freer, looser form of government, one dedicated to preserving the diversity of humanity, allowing it to develop along the myriad possible paths open to it, yet carrying a big club to break up the fight when one segment takes a swing at another.

This then shall be the whole of the law: Go where thou wilt, do what thou wilt, but initiate no force.”

It actually sounds really interesting! If you are familiar with it, is it worth a try? Looks like all 5 books in the series are selling for $2.99, so at least there is a low barrier to entry if it intrigues you too!

Meanwhile, Teleread is reporting that small publisher OR Books wants nothing to do with Amazon. Never heard of OR Books? They publish a small handful of titles, including one called “Going Rouge”; while it is about Sarah Palin, it is a response to her book and should not be confused with the book authored by her. In any case, OR Books feels that Amazon wants too high of a cut on the ebook. They also feel that Amazon does not know their audience and that as the publishers, OR can do a better job marketing the book.

What they don’t mention is that the PAPERBACK is sold by…meaning that OR is mad about the ebook pricing, but feels the hard copy pricing is perfectly fair. Or, more likely, they realized they need the “Bezos behemoth” (their words), and they just don’t want to be that intertwined.

While I don’t presume to judge their business strategy, they might want to clean up their direct sales website a bit. I went to see if they offered the book in unprotected MOBI format, a Kindle-compatible file, and their site simply says “ebook-all formats”. That’s awfully broad. And they don’t explain if there’s any digital rights management involved. All clicking on the “buy now” link does is drop you into Paypal. I finally found out the answer deep inside their FAQ. As it turns out, they do sell it in Kindle format, DRM free, but finding the answer was not exactly obvious.   A note to OR Books: If you’re going to take it upon yourself to be a digital bookseller, make it clearer exactly what it is you are selling!

Somehow, I don’t think Amazon’s biggest concern is a small publishing house protesting their pricing structure. And it seems to me that both sides will end up “cutting off their nose to spite their face”, as Amazon loses out on a digital item, and OR Books loses out on the world’s biggest bookstore.

So Amazon is 1 for 1 this week…but with the iPad just about a week away, it seems likely their focus is on what happens next!

Categories: eBooks, News

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1 reply

  1. It’s been maybe 20-25 years since I’ve read the LaNague Chronicles, as this kind of indicates, these were written early in his writing career; also, almost all details have left my memory. If I recall correctly, these were political-economic thrillers with a libertarian bent as space opera.

    Here’s what remains of my memory (could easily be wrong, confused, etc).

    [i]An Enemy of the State[/i]: I seem to recall this is the story of a revolutionary from a libertarian planet who went and overthrew an multi-star empire by crashing its economy through hyperinflation. I think it involved some thefts from the government’s central bank and subsequent redistribution of the money to the population, as well as counterfeiting on a massive scale.

    [i]Wheels within Wheels[/i]: Vague recollection this was a planet hopping journey.

    I don’t remember anything about the other three.