11 August 2014 by Published in: Uncategorized 33 comments

A slew of posts have hit the blogsphere following more of the anti-Amazon campaign coming out of the NY traditional media (which reached orgiastic levels this weekend with a Patterson ad and a NYT hatchet job), and volleyed by Amazon calling on indie authors to email Hachette’s CEO in an emailed missive I first suspected might be a practical joke.

Passions are running high, and you can’t turn around without hearing one group or the other’s talking points being repeated, as though via repetition they will become more compelling.

Why, you ask, do I have such complete disinterest in all this?

Because I know what I don’t know.

And it seems as though I’m one of the very few who realizes I don’t know squat about what’s really going on. How could I? I’m not privy to the negotiations between the two behemoth corporations tussling in public like a pair of drunk crack whores outside a bar. Because I’m not in the room with them, I don’t really know what all the terms and conditions are that they’re wrangling over. I can speculate. I can guess. I can infer, divine, prognosticate, opine. But I can’t actually know. And frankly, if I don’t know something, I tend to try to realize I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about before I spout off.

That hasn’t stopped literary luminaries and self-pubbing icons from doing so, though. They proclaim with certitude that’s impossible to have unless they’re involved in every aspect of the negotiations that the dispute is about X or Y or Z. Amazon’s own communique says one thing, Hachette’s most recent says another.

Here’s what I know about big corporations: They don’t always tell complete truths. Shocking, I know. And on occasion, their selective veracity can approach good old fashioned lying. In the best tradition of good spin, they’ll omit inconvenient facts, distort those that might color them ugly, and pitch deceptive agendas.

So what do we have? Two Goliaths offering differing accounts, which may or may not be anywhere close to the whole truth.

I’ll leave the declarations of why Amazon or Hachette are wrong to those with better ESP than mine. Call me crazy, but a wise man tends to know what he doesn’t know, and it’s the rash and impulsive that think they know what they can’t possibly.

If Amazon’s telling the whole truth, I don’t see why they don’t just pull all Hachette’s books and tell them to pound sand. That if you want to play in our sandbox, you either conform to our rules or you don’t play. No shoes, no shirt, no service. No tickee, no laundry. And so on.

If Hachette’s telling the whole truth, I don’t see why they don’t figure out that no retailer HAS to carry their products, and if they don’t like the Ts and Cs, they should go elsewhere.

Methinks by the screeching stridency of the rhetoric that there’s more here than meets the eye, reinforcing my stance that I have no frigging idea what’s actually going on. As one of my hobbies, I’m used to analyzing data from financial markets and the Government, where every data point is likely to be at best an omission or distortion, and at worst a bald faced lie – and these corporations employ all the same lawyers as that lot, so I see no reason to believe either would offer up the whole truth, especially if it doesn’t suit their agenda.

If you believe you know what’s actually going on, and have a COMPLETE understanding of all the elements that are being discussed, great, super duper. Explain how you know, not guess, but know what it is you claim to know. Because the only way you could is to be part of the negotiations. Which you aren’t. So you’re just buying one party’s spin over the other’s, and assuming (which is like guessing, only more gullible) they’re telling the whole truth.

See where I’m going with this?

I’ll be sitting this one out, concentrating on writing, and enjoying margaritas on the beach. I’ll leave the negotiating over centi-million dollar markets to those with more experience at it than I. So sweeties, kindly leave me the frak out of it, and stop bitch slapping each other around in public like reality show trailer trash. It’s unseemly and is getting old fast.

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Comments

  1. Terry P
    Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:08 pm

    LOL! Tell it like it is Russell. Frankly, that’s the best thing I’ve read since all this started. Thanks for giving me a big laugh today.

    Reply
  2. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Exactly. It’s like voting for the candidate that is the most honest. Better just write in Mickey Mouse and leave no doubt. Choosing sides in this squabble is not in our best interest. We write good books and get the best price we can. That’s it. It’s a very easy job when you think about it. If you’re trying to figure out who cares about you the most, Hatchette or Amazon, allow me to introduce you to my mouse friend…

    Reply
  3. Lawrie Lock
    Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I’m guessing it’s all about money, but I don’t care! As an avid reader (a book a day) I think Amazon is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Being an expat living in Mexico the invention of E books has been game changing. I now can read books and be experimental with what I read as the cost makes it possible, this is how I found Russell Blake and many others.

    Reply
  4. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Agreed for the most part…I agree that many are claiming to have the answers when they don’t even begin to understand the situation. I haven’t said much about it except to try to give a general idea of what is going on to those who have no clue and ask me about it.

    Still, I don’t think authors should sit this one out and focus on “writing and enjoying margaritas.” I mean that mentality is similar to saying “There’s a big problem going on in the Middle East, but since I don’t understand every facet of it, I’m going to ignore it.”

    At the end of the day, this does affect you. It affects me. It effects everyone in the business, so it’s important to be aware and to try to be as educated as possible. Just my two cents…

    but yes…the know-it-alls are tiring.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Right, but the problem is that neither you nor I nor anyone knows definitively what is actually going on, so while the instinct is that we need to “do something” it’s unclear what, if anything, is to be done. We can’t be educated by hypothesizing at ever more granular levels as to what the shadows on the cave wall mean. We’re just extrapolating and guessing. How it affects me is uncertain. You say it does. Okay, sure, fine. How? You can’t answer that question unless you have 100% knowledge of an opaque process. My point is that nobody but the people in the negotiating room are sure of what it’s all about, and all the conjecture and hand wringing and alarmist rhetoric are not a substitute for hard facts, of which we have few.

      Reply
      • Andy Cleary  –  Sat 16th Aug 2014 at 11:54 pm

        You lost me at “100% knowledge”: no such thing could ever possibly exist, on any subject. It’s tautological to say that one does not have 100% knowledge about something.

        Knowledge isn’t blacks and whites; it’s greys. As such, it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss what you do and don’t know about a situation. Throwing up your hands and saying “I don’t know *everything* about this, so that’s exactly the same as knowing nothing about it” seems like mental laziness to me.

        Reply
        • Russell Blake  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 1:36 am

          And because you don’t have 100%, or even anything approaching that, knowledge of the amount of thought I’ve devoted to this (and your conclusion), much less the facts of the dispute, reinforces my point that it’s those that know the least that are the most vocal about their opinions.

          Reply
          • Andy Cleary  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 1:17 pm

            Did you just accuse me of “knowing the least” about this? And of “being the most vocal”?

            Interesting way to win over new readers…

          • Russell Blake  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 2:14 pm

            Well, Andy, I don’t blog to win over new readers. It appears you have a strong opinion, which you came to my blog to express, which assumes I haven’t devoted considerable thought to whether I know enough to be dangerous. If I got that wrong I apologize.

            Given that you have zero knowledge of how much thought I’ve given this, at least on that portion of the equation I can say you know, if not the least, as close to the least as is possible. As to being the most vocal, when you come to my blog to espouse how mentally lazy my position is, while having no actual knowledge of how much thought I’ve given it, well, yes, that seems vocal as well as badly misinformed.

            Again, if there was some nuance I missed in the “mental laziness” I apologize in advance.

          • Andy Cleary  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 3:04 pm

            Russell, I don’t want to get dragged down into a mire of you-said/I-said. Perhaps I can express my original point – which was a reaction to your statement in the comment “How it affects me is uncertain. You say it does. Okay, sure, fine. How? You can’t answer that question unless you have 100% knowledge” – as a question:

            Is “lack of 100% knowledge” the same as “no knowledge”?

            You seem very amped all the sudden on “knowledge of the amount of thought I’ve devoted to this”, but that was not my point at all. I’m making a point about the nature of knowledge and decision making in general: knowledge is never 100%, and *all* decisions are made with some level of incomplete knowledge. It’s a matter of greys, not blacks/whites: better decisions are made with better information, yes, but you cannot wait until you have 100% information, because that’s logically impossible.

            I cannot speak directly to *you*, but I can say that in general, I have seen a tendency for people to throw up their hands and not take a stand on an issue or to choose to not delve deeper for more knowledge using “well, I can’t know *everything*” as an excuse, and yes, I call that mentally lazy.

            FWIW, I’m far more compelled with an argument that as a writer, your number one focus needs to be on your craft. While the outcome of the Amazon vs Hatchette debate very well may affect some of the economics of your profession in the short term, the long term viability of books as a medium of entertainment and your profession as an author are going to be a function of much broader trends, and the best you can do is to keep producing better and better content.

            But I think it’s a distraction from that point to keep saying that we don’t know 100% about this dispute and so we should just ignore it. There are other reasons to ignore it, but that’s not it. It’s true that some details remain hidden to almost everyone, but to the extent that one cares, there’s actually a fair amount of information that can be gleaned here, comparisons can be made to other industries, data can be analyzed, etc.

          • Russell Blake  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 5:05 pm

            Ah, well, that’s clearer.

            From my standpoint, when two mega-billion dollar companies embark on PR campaigns to sway public opinion in their favor in what is apparently a financial negotiation over terms, I don’t feel qualified to form an opinion, other than that both are for-profit entities, that both are jockeying for their own self-interests, and that since I’m not in the room, I have no idea what the details are – and in most negotiations I’ve done, the devil’s always in the details.

            Perhaps I can frame it thus: If Hachette were to explode in a fireball and forever disappear from this earth five minutes from now, I wouldn’t even roll over during my nap. My life would be changed not one iota, other than perhaps missing Mr. Patterson’s next offering while he quickly transitioned to another publisher, or did it himself. If Amazon exploded into a fireball my income would be negatively impacted, but I’d still manage to find margaritas on the beach every day.

            One or the other prevailing in what is their little hair pulling tussle means squat to me. And since nobody but those in the room know all the details, the high moral tone of so many blogs opining one way or another to me is silliness it its lowest form – might as well argue over the number of turtles from here on down.

            That said, if you can take a stance based on incomplete information, and you further feel that stance will change anything at all anywhere, by all means do it. I find the whole thing about as stimulating and life-altering as arguing with those who still believe anything the U.S. Government says. At the end of the day we only get so many breaths, and I’m not sure mine are well spent in this pursuit.

  5. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Can’t believe how this battle between Amazon and Hachette Books has been playing out in public. It is tawdry, to say the least, and I also don’t have time for it. Too busy writing. That’s the only thing writers should be concerned with. There are agendas “we” are unaware of, and I’ve never been on the corporate side of the aisle. ~pours another margarita~

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Yup. Life’s too filled with genuine problems to take on the effete concerns of billion dollar monoliths. Note I’m neither pro Amazon or pro Hachette. I simply don’t understand how anyone can be either when they’re only getting a part of the story.

      Reply
  6. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Better to stay neutral – like Switzerland.

    And analyzing 2014 swimwear trends is serious business too. Someone’s gotta do it.

    Reply
  7. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 4:28 pm

    When I got that email from Amazon asking me to contact Hachette my jaw dropped. To me it was the first “bad form” thing I’ve seen from them. And frankly, I’ve been with you Russell, when you wrote your first blog about how keeping trad pub prices high was a good thing for you…and it is for me too. I’m sorry for all the authors in bondage to Hachette right now, but it doesn’t make sense that a middleman (the authors are the actual content producers) can dictate to a retail store what has to be charged for any given product. As long as the wholesale’s covered, who are they to dictate? Would that work for Macys or any other regular outlet? and wasn’t this settled by a court? I couldn’t agree more with your comments.
    I am an unabashed Amazon fan. My money (literally) has been on them for awhile by staying in KDP select, which has treated me amazing. This was the first time I felt a quiver of doubt… maybe they won’t be so smart in the future. Maybe they’re caving or losing their edge. Asking me to get involved was a mistake. I have no monkeys in the 9.99 circus.
    So as for me, I’m working on how to sell direct off my website so I don’t need a middleman at all and my “true fans” can pay my rent and keep me writing no matter what happens in the big marketplace.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Well, I’m pretty sure that all the hyperbole from both camps is, at best, an incomplete summation of a complex negotiation. I don’t know enough to take a side. I get that many think they know enough to take a side, but they’re kidding themselves. We have no idea what the nuance of this really is. We just don’t. History is filled with duplicity – from governments, from corporations, from crooks of all stripes. Just assume that every word out of any of their mouths is a lie and you’ll probably be safest.

      Reply
      • Toby Neal  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 5:40 pm

        Spoken like the escapee to Mexico conspiracy theorist you are, and we love you for it!

        Reply
  8. Jack Rourk
    Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Each of these huge corporations is trying to get authors and readers to march to the beat of their drums in this money-fight. So many opinions based on what corporate PR-spin machines spew and people eat it up and rally to one of them. And nobody knows shlit. Nada. Nothing. Neither of these corporations is being transparent about anything and they’ll never say what is really going on. Whole thing is a waste of time.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Succinctly stated. I do tend to overwrite…

      Reply
  9. Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Bored out of my mind when I hear about Hachette vs Amazon. If we writers would spend as much time writing our books and becoming better storytellers as we talking about something that really, at this time, has no affect on us, then well … we’d have a lot more books out there.

    Reply
  10. robert
    Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Uh-oh. This post isn’t 100% pro-Amazon. The folks at the Passive Voice are gonna be real upset 😉

    Seriously, though, well said!

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 11th Aug 2014 at 8:45 pm

      The point being that I can’t be pro or anti either Hachette or Amazon because I have no thorough understanding of all the issues. So far Amazon’s been very very good to me, so I love them and want to have their babies. But that doesn’t mean I can blindly assume I know enough to be dangerous about their negotiations with Hachette and can take a meaningful stance. Then again, Hachette hasn’t done squat for me, so it’s all too easy to take an anti-Hachette stance, simply because my bread’s buttered by Amazon. But that stance is an uninformed one from my perspective, because I don’t really know what I’m taking a stance about. I think it’s about higher ebook prices, but I don’t actually know. I know what Amazon’s email said, but I have no way of knowing if that’s the whole story or not. I know that Hachette’s communications are misleading/incomplete, but that doesn’t mean that Amazon’s aren’t as well. What I know is this: I don’t take sides in fights I have no dog in, and about which I really know very little or nothing. I envy my colleagues their certitude that Hachette builds strong bones and teeth and Amazon is the voice of the devil. I equally envy my self-pub colleagues who are sure that Hachette is trying to maintain archaic pricing and forcing Amazon to do things that aren’t in their, or my, best interests. Because given all the data I’ve seen, which ain’t much, all I can say for sure is that I don’t know the entire story, so can’t comment intelligently to contribute anything to the discussion. Until we have all the information, not drips and drabs and suppositions and carefully massaged releases, nobody should be spouting off, in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion. So far Amazon’s treated me more than fairly, for which I’m grateful. But that has zero to do with this dispute. And I know it. This is two titans fighting over money. When either of them are willing to come over and pay my bills for me, I’ll show more interest in their spin. Until then, I’ll write the next book. That’s all I can do.

      Reply
  11. Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 10:35 am

    Russell, I agree with a lot of what you said in your post. I also know that sending an email to the CEO of Hachette (or Jeff Bezos, for that matter) will have about as much effect as a fart in a hurricane.

    And when I asked a few of my friends who are not writers (i.e. just readers) what they thought of the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette the response was universally the same: “Huh?”

    It may be an important issue for writers (especially those under contract with Hachette). But readers don’t really give a flip. If they think an ebook is priced too high, they won’t buy it. Simple as that. So, eventually, it all comes out in the wash.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 11:00 am

      Yep. Most people could give a rat’s ass. They are worried about their own pressing issues. As are we all.

      Reply
  12. Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 10:45 am

    While I tend to agree with your position — that if you don’t know all the facts, don’t prognosticate — I still believe it is our right (not as writers but as humans) to point out hypocrisy and bias. I don’t suppose Amazon is completely blameless in this spat between giant corporations, but I do believe outrageous statements by publishing machines like Patterson and anti-Amazon “reporting” by The New York Times (for whom I wrote Pulitzer-nominated articles and had dozens of Page 1 stories during my career there) must be challenged. I can still tilt at windmills while writing my books — 10 at last count.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 10:59 am

      Sure, Lawrence. I don’t disagree with pointing out hypocrisy and bias. Then again, I’m accustomed to that from the media, as it’s par for the course, so have a difficult time getting upset over obvious agenda foisting. Of course the NY media, which is beholden to or owned by many of the same folks who are involved in trad publishing, is going to advance their agenda. Of course the trad pubbed authors marching in lockstep with Hachette’s spin are going to be selectively blind to their own case’s massive holes. Just as Amazon leaves out of their appeal that the 70% they give authors was only acceded to after Apple did it (Amazon originally only gave 35%) while trumpeting how fair and good they are. My point is that big corporations tend to all distort and prevaricate, which is why you can’t honestly believe that in either case you actually understand all the elements in play. As a journalist, I’ll bet your first rule was “assume it’s all lies” until proven otherwise. That’s how I tend to greet any statements by corporations, the media, or the government. So far it’s served me well. I’m just amused by how many “think” they understand all the issues enough to have long-winded opinions on it, when I know they can’t possibly because they aren’t in the room. Healthy skepticism seems to have been tossed by the wayside in the rush to demonize the other side, in both cases.

      Reply
  13. Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hello Blake,

    I know exactly–precisely–what is going on with this issue:

    It actually came to a head on February 2nd…
    Hachette was being goaded, taunted, into seeing things Amazon’s way. After they spurned corporate lures and mega-perks, their retaliation was swift–bury Amazon!
    Of course, Amazon would not stay buried.
    It was able to find its way back to the surface and into the light. It was certain that it had won, and calmer skies would prevail.

    But when it looked around and saw its shadow…

    Reply
  14. Wed 13th Aug 2014 at 2:23 pm

    For an indie writer like me, it’s like being a mouse watching rams clash their horns together. Three seconds of interest and then back to the scrounge for food and water.

    I’ll just keep writing.

    Peace, Seeley

    Reply
  15. Sat 16th Aug 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Good point about not knowing– add in the fact that, shocking as it is, some of the players are lying and misrepresenting ‘facts’, it’s best for me to stick to the thing I do know: writing my books and running my business.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 16th Aug 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Bob: Yup. That’s really the only thing we have control over. I sometimes think that there are a lot of authors who invent reasons to not write the next one, and melodrama over events out of our control is one of those. Stick to your knitting is sound advice. From my perspective, the only ones I give a crap about are my readers. Everyone else can suck it. They simply don’t matter to me. As long as my readers and I have a great relationship, I take the attitude of kill em all and let God sort em out with the rest of the industry.

      Reply
  16. Sat 16th Aug 2014 at 4:30 pm

    For those who haven’t dealt with Amazon as a publisher and followed the machinations that became the agency model, the furor is, truly, a waste of time. However, having engaged in business with Amazon for the last 10 years or more, and having paid attention to stuff, it’s not hard to figure out the general reasons for all this nonsense, if not necessarily the details.

    The trouble is, those details, as noted, are largely irrelevant anyway, because this is just a been-there, done-that moment. It has happened every time some new business model emerges that challenges the way the mainstream industry thinks things should be done. Ho-hum.

    Reply
  17. Paul Sadler
    Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 1:07 am

    My brain starts with the same premise as yours, goes in a different direction for logic that seems to be completely against yours, and then comes back in with a curve that left me surprised by my own thinking.

    Initially, I think there are a few areas where there is fruitful discussion by non-combatants so to speak, involving both Amazon and Hatchette a bit, but really about neither.

    First and foremost as a reader — one could posit whether a fight between the largest retailer and one of its suppliers matters to you as a reader, not morally, but what you’d like to see come out of discussions / negotiations…lower prices, faster delivery, more authors supported, whatever. You might have a view not about who is right or wrong, but perhaps about what you’d like them to do collectively that helps you as a reader.

    Second, as a writer generally about what you might like to see as writer benefits of whatever outcome — greater royalty rates at different levels, a different way of sharing costs between print and ebook, higher prices or lower prices, whatever. As you said above, you don’t know which position/combatant will give you that, but it would be good to have views about what you’d like improved for writers.

    Third, as a business analyst or even just interested observer, you might have very strong views about the roles that should / could / would be played by dominant retailers vs. large suppliers who themselves are part of a fairly large vertically-integrated control structure with barriers to entry. Maybe you have views about whether a retailer like Amazon should be able to say “my way or the highway” and dictate terms, and whether Hatchette should set up an ebook site tomorrow and sell their stuff tomorrow, albeit with slower delivery times and higher packaging and shipping costs. Or is this an area that is ripe for some form of arbitration based on past contracts i.e. that says “hey, we’re partners and this is an ongoing relationship, and when we have disputes, we’ll have arbitration if necessary” or it is truly “I’m a retailer, you’re a vendor — you don’t like my rules, don’t sell with me; if I don’t like your terms, I won’t sell your stuff”. Or each can simply pound sand if they don’t like the other’s business model. Or maybe someone thinks it’s an essential service, an infrastructure, and it should be subject to govt regulation as to price levels and gouging or subsidization or audits or whatever. Or maybe you have a view of what the impact of the lack of progress means for the authors — could a failure to sell on Amazon, obviously a huge market, void a contract between an author and Hatchette? After all, most contracts have some sort of wording about where the book will be sold or how available etc., maybe the books “will be available in all major marketplaces”, and yet it wouldn’t be available on Amazon. That would be a pretty significant clause to have voided…one could argue, likely unsuccessfully, if such a change would require a whole new contract (with rights reversion, etc.).

    One could, perhaps, have a view about the outcomes — rates, shipping times, preorders, continued sales, halts to sales, etc. — without choosing a side. And having those views, expressing them as one of the writers groups did where they said “Hey, we’re not taking sides, but here’s some things we’d like to see in the business” adds to the general business / operating environment. Can you imagine the pressure on the negots if, for example, everyone agreed in the stratosphere that, umm, every book cover should have the same font type and size? Obviously that would never happen, but if Company A and Company B are arguing over fonts, and they see a “standard emerging” in the international community, that would put a huge pressure on them to say “Hey, let’s go there too OR we really don’t want to go THERE so we better find an alternative solution fast”. It happens in business sectors all the time, why not publishing? If everyone was talking not about H vs. A but about what the one-size-fits-all royalty rates should be on ebooks, that could certainly inform the discussion. Pro or con, but inform. I think we’re still about two iterations of disruption away from a business earthquake rather than the tremors so far in individual sectors, so maybe the existing power structures will hang on for ten more years avoiding the pressure from thought leaders like yourself, or KKR, etc. but the change “is a coming”, too bad we don’t know what it will look like either.

    So, I think there’s some potentially interesting fodder there, and the type of fodder that only comes up when there’s a conflict with decisions to be made — even if you’re not part of the decision, you might have some views about the types of outcomes that would benefit you. Which sounds like I disagree with you. As I thought I did when I was reading your post.

    But my ending point is the same as yours. As you noted, knowing the outcome you want doesn’t say which side you should support. Which also means, of course, that your conclusion still holds. If you’re not part of the negotiations, you’re better off writing than kvetching. Which is probably generally true at any time. 🙂

    Thanks for the post, and to KKR for forwarding the link.

    Paul
    aka PolyWogg

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 1:43 am

      The long way around the block, but thanks for thinking it through in real time. Yes, we have no bananas. Or no, we have none. I forget which.

      As authors, your battle is with yourselves, to produce something that matters to you. As publishers, your battle is to find an audience that cares. Ultimately you’ll be dead, and how much you made in May won’t matter. What will matter is whether you lived a life you wouldn’t trade anything in the world for, even one more gasping breath.

      Whether Hachette or Amazon prevails won’t be one of your last thoughts. Nor should it be one of the thoughts you occupy your mind with now. Unless you know all facts, you’re engaging in public mental masturbation. Nothing wrong with that, but is that really how you want to spend your only finite time on the planet?

      Not me. Kill em all and let God sort em out. If you take my meaning.

      Reply

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