Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Amazon.com is slowly but surely losing the PR battle with publisher, Hachette. Authors, well known and not, have united in protest groups to oppose the company's actions. Amazon is not listing books from Hachette or not making them available for weeks. It makes little difference at this point that Amazon's position is a benefit to book buyers. The noise from the author community is so loud and insistent that Hachette needn't worry. Where did Amazon go wrong? By not explaining itself forcefully in the first place. This was an easy battle for the company to win if the company had only engaged rather than remained silent. It's not Amazon's style to justify its position in the media. It might not be too late to respond to its critics but it needs to go big at this point and that isn't what it appears to be doing. Jeff Bezos is brilliant but in this case he has been ham-handed from the beginning. One hopes he is not so arrogant that he fails to realize the poor position he is in and how he is compromising the long-term reputation of the company.