So what’s all that noise about?

So I’d started a long post about the whole Macmillan vs. Amazon business, now that I have Real Friends who are Famous Authors I sometimes find myself in the position of explaining to Other People how this whole publishing business works. Which is amusing in itself, because I really Know Absolutely Nothing. And I’m apparently in the mood to Capitalize Words Indiscriminately.

Anyhow, thankfully by the time I’ve gotten around to writing Something, the Major Drama appears to have settled down with Amazon ending up with some serious egg on their faces and a whole lot of Noisy Articulate people being Very Annoyed.

So if you’ve been wondering, here’s some information about What’s Been Going On from two people whose books I’ve read and enjoyed, one of whom I have Eaten Raw Fish With! (But who I seriously doubt could pick me out of a police line-up… handy!)

John Scalzi and “All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend“.
Leaving aside the moral, philosophical, cultural and financial implications of this weekend’s Amazon/Macmillan slapfight and What It All Means for book readers and the future of the publishing industry, in one very real sense the whole thing was an exercise in public communications, a process by which two very large companies made a case for themselves in the public arena. And in this respect, we can say this much without qualification: oh, sweet Jesus, did Amazon ever hump the bunk.

Scott Westerfeld and “Zinc Blinked“.
This weekend, Amazon more or less “de-friended” one of the six big US publishers, Macmillan. They removed the buy buttons from all Macmillan books as part of an ongoing conflict about electronic book pricing. Many people are quite annoyed with Amazon, and a few are also blaming Macmillan, in a “pox on both your houses” kind of way. But I think a lot of people are uttering total yackum on the subject.