John Scalzi brings the sarcasm and the smarts in this cogent analysis of why it was strategically foolish for Amazon to delist Macmillan’s titles over the weekend, without any announcement, and for reasons that the authors and readers of those books had no control over.
3. Amazon Lost the Author’s Fans. The interesting thing about the fans of authors: They feel somewhat connected to their favorite authors. So when their favorite authors kvetched on their blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter feeds about the screwing Amazon was giving them, what did many of these fans do? They also kvetched on their blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. So in pissing off a myriad of authors, Amazon also pissed off an exponential number of book readers, many of whom followed their favorite authors’ leads in complaining about Amazon, and who themselves were read and followed by an exponential number of others. Even on a weekend, the traditional slow time for the Internets, that’s a lot of pissed-off people.So, two and a half days of the Internet being angry at Amazon. To be sure, there were people taking the side of Amazon, too. But those people lacked the social cohesion of an aggrieved class (writers) backed up by a mass of supporters — not to mention the relatively high profile of these writers online, which, if you were a journalist looking for reaction quotes while on deadline, made them the go-to sources.
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