Hundreds of authors unite for petition against Amazon-publisher dispute

More than 900 authors pen their support in a full-page ad in the New York Times, calling out the company for affecting their livelihood.
By Aaron Sims | Aug 10, 2014
The latest move in a nasty ebook standoff is between Amazon and the country's fourth-largest publishing company actually doesn't involve either: Authors are getting involved.

Amazon claims that ebook prices are at the root of the problem: it wants to lower them, and Hachette does not. In response to that decision, Amazon has blocked the sales of books published by company.

Hachette-published author Douglass Preston penned a full-page petition in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. He calls out the company for holding their livelihood hostage, and customers are suffering in the process. In his piece, Preston says, "We feel betrayed because we helped Amazon become one of the largest corporations in the world. We supported it from the beginning, we contributed free blogs, reviews and all kinds of stuff that Amazon asked us to do for nothing

More than 900 authors have cosigned, putting together $104,000 to publish the ad. Some of the writers included Stephen King, and Hachette-published author J.K. Rowling. Preston says that more authors wholeheartedly supported the letter but were afraid to sign; others signed it and backed out.

On Friday night, Amazon launched ReadersUnited.com. The website is solely dedicated to the contract dispute. The online company gives their side, and urges customers to contact the publisher's CEO to help put an end to it. A number of reports have shown that the dispute has had little effect on readers and whether they choose to buy their books from Amazon.

Neither Amazon nor the publisher have given any sign of giving up their stance. In its latest response to the dispute, Amazon said that, "we will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices."

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