The latest skirmish? Self-publishing guru Joe Konrath has accepted a deal with Thomas & Mercer -- a mystery-and-thriller imprint just launched by Amazon -- to issue a print-book edition of his new novel, Stirred. This has some independent bookstores (which regard online retailer Amazon as a threat to their survival) up in arms. Konrath writes about it here:
It's come to my attention that on a Yahoo group for booksellers there has been a call to boycott Amazon's new Thomas & Mercer imprint. I signed with Thomas & Mercer for STIRRED, the eighth Jack Daniels novel, co-written with Blake Crouch (who will chime in on this topic after me).Konrath and co-author Crouch offer a lengthy response at the link, advising independent bookstores about some of the steps they must take if they hope to survive in the new digital age. It's worth reading, not only as a heads-up about emerging trends, but as a microcosmic example of what happens whenever an Establishment confronts innovations that threaten their once-comfortable status quo.
I've also heard that certain booksellers want to return any books of mine they have in stock as a punitive measure.
So signing a deal with Amazon makes me the enemy of bookstores?
Me, who has signed at over 1200 bookstores? Who has thanked over 1500 booksellers by name in the acknowledgements of my novels? Who has named five major characters in my series after booksellers?
Now I'm the bad guy, for wanting to continue my series and make a living?