Amazon v. Authors: Let the Punishment fit the Crime

 The “buy” buttons on for Macmillan authors have still not been restored. It has been 7 days. In 1989, Barnes and Noble pulled all the books by Salman Rushdie from their shelves nationwide. People were not happy. Authors set up picket lines at BN stores. At least then Barnes & Noble was motivated by a concern for the safety of their employees. This week Amazon has effectively taken the same action. Their motivation is somewhat less humane . They are using authors as pawns in a strategy to maintain a monopoly.

I offer a modest proposal. With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, I ask authors to consider doing for Amazon what Amazon has done for them. Remove the Amazon link from your author website. Don’t restore their “button” until they restore your “button”. There are lots of other on-line booksellers who will be happy to sell your books on-line. Let me know what you think of this idea.


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6 Responses to “Amazon v. Authors: Let the Punishment fit the Crime”

  1. Frances Dinkelspiel Says:

    Andy, your thoughts this week about the Amazon-Macmillan flap have been great, and much needed. I am one of those authors whose buy buttons have been disabled at Amazon. It’s painful because the paperback version of Towers of Gold just came out and Larry King of CNN has my book as his book pick of the week this week. But without Amazon, it’s hard to get my book.

    I do a lot of blogging (Ghost Word and and write a lot about books and I do not think I ever again will link to Amazon. I for one, am advocating a boycott of the site. That said, I have a widgett on my book website directing visitors to Amazon. If only I could figure how to take it off ….

  2. Alan Brennert Says:

    Very appropriate, Andy. And to Frances I say: Join the club! The paperback edition of my novel HONOLULU came out on Tuesday, just in time not to be available on Amazon. I’m fortunate that the brick and mortar stores seem to have plenty of copies on hand, but Amazon’s behavior is still galling. Previously I had no Buy buttons at all on my website, but I immediately put up links to on my website as well as on my Facebook page, and they will remain there even after this Amazon business is resolved.

  3. Timothy Fish Says:

    I agree. That’s why I have a link to, but I don’t have a link to Barnes and Noble. While Barnes and Noble has been happy to list my books, they refuse to sell my books. All I really want is to make it easy for people who visit my website to find a place where they can purchase my books without a lot of trouble. provides that and Barnes and Noble does not. If stopped selling my books, I would pull their link also.

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    this, like you wrote the e book in it or something.
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