The New York Times quotes one of our favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin, on how Amazon is manipulating its search results and fulfillment practices* as part of its campaign to force the publisher Hachette to offer it more profitable terms on ebooks. Says Le Guin, “We’re talking about censorship: deliberately making a book hard or impossible to get, ‘disappearing’ an author.”
Amazon’s minions have responded with a torrent of abuse. The Times report notes several instances where Amazon has made it difficult to impossible to find books (including one by the Republicans’ last vice presidential nominee) on its site as part of its effort to force publishers to submit to its terms, and others where it is offering up its authors’ ebooks as free alternatives to books by authors Amazon would rather not promote without getting a little extra on the side.
*Amazon continues to choke back deliveries of Hachette-published books by as much as three weeks. We can’t claim to have every Hachette book in stock, but we will special order any in-print book you’re looking for and can usually get it in within a week.