Friday, August 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

James Patterson and others debate Amazon.com

By
From page D2 | July 06, 2014 |

NEW YORK — For a discussion titled “Amazon: Business as Usual?” panelists at the New York Public Library cited Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson and the Stamp Act of 1765. Questions were raised about the future of democracy, the manners of Silicon Valley and the consequences of religious war.

This is clearly no ordinary time in publishing.

“What’s at stake is writing,” best-selling novelist James Patterson said at a gathering last week before some 150 people, many from the publishing world. “It’s our livelihood. It’s the livelihood of our friends.”

As Amazon and Hachette Book Group remain in a standoff over issues such as revenues from e-book sales, with the online retailer restricting access to books by Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell and other Hachette authors, literary agent Tina Bennett moderated an often passionate 90-minute exchange among Patterson and five other speakers. They included publisher Morgan Entrekin of Atlantic Monthly Press, the author and net neutrality advocate Tim Wu, political theorist Danielle Allen and attorney and founder of the music download service EMusic.com, Bob Kohn.

Sympathies, both onstage and in the audience, were strongly with the publisher and traditional publishing. Panelists worried about Amazon’s growing power and that its determination to lower prices would put competitors out of business and force publishers to cut royalties, making it harder for authors to work on their books. Bennett said the negotiations between Hachette and Amazon “could change our business forever,” and likened her situation to sitting in a hospital waiting room while a loved one was being operated on.

Amazon has provided few comments on the conflict with Hachette and, according to Bennett, declined an invitation to send an official to the library Tuesday. Standing in for the Seattle-based company was David Vandagriff, an intellectual property attorney who on his blog earlier in the day had wondered if he was the only panelist not subject to “Amazon Derangement Syndrome.”

Entrekin and others spoke of publishers as indispensable patrons of literary culture, investing in books that sometimes take years to complete and taking on authors who aren’t profitable, but have something important to say. “They could make more money just publishing the kind of junk I write,” Patterson joked. Vandagriff advocated for authors (including his wife, G.G. Vandagriff) who broke from the industry and published through Amazon, saying they had more control and received much higher royalties. Patterson worried that Amazon was a danger to free expression, even invoking the image of burning books. Vandagriff praised Amazon as an innovator dedicated to its customers.

“What do the people who work at Amazon think of when they get up and in the morning?” said Vandagriff, who on his blog earlier in the day had wondered if he was the only panelist not subject to “Amazon Derangement Syndrome.” ”They are entirely, completely focused on pleasing and delighting the millions of people who shop there.”

A few groans were heard in the auditorium. Fellow speakers onstage responded.

“Are you talking about the warehouses, or the corporate headquarters?” said Patterson, referring to numerous reports that Amazon’s warehouse employees endured harsh conditions.

“Jeff Bezos, when he goes to work every day, his job is a different job,” Kohn said of Amazon’s founder and CEO. “His job is to win a winner-take-all game.”

Publishers fret even in the dullest moments, and Bennett asked each panelist to rank the current climate on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 business as usual and 5 a five-alarm emergency.

“3,” said Patterson, who has been a leading critic of Amazon among writers and believes their “religious” passion will sustain them.

“4,” said Allen, who agreed with Patterson that writers were a strong force against Amazon, but was skeptical that the general public would get involved.

“5,” according to Kohn, who said that Amazon was “predatorily” pricing.

“1,” said Vandagriff.

“3,” Entrekin said, but he was talking about the present, when the industry is relatively stable. The future could well be a 5.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Chapkis Dance brings award-winning moves to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DA’s departure delays 2012 murder trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1

Ducks on the pond, sturgeon in the water

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Jazz invasion Aug. 30 at performing arts center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Salsa star Domingo Quinones headlines Festival de la Isla

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Green Valley water users appeal court ruling

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

How I spent my summer vacation

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Small fire takes place at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Internet cafe measure goes before state Senate

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Housing specialist to speak before Senior Rountable

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Brown approves “dining with dogs” law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
GPS devices find huge water loss in western US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Cops greet students at school where plot thwarted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
San Francisco to tally bird-into-window death toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California plans aid to immigrant minors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
No bail for woman in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
American Ebola doc: ‘I am thrilled to be alive’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Turkey’s Davutoglu named new premier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Thai army ruler named prime minister

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian court rejects election loser’s appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria opposition: Deadly chemical attack forgotten

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Get it straight in Ferguson

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Young men helped me, and I thank them

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My whole house shakes when my new neighbors drop their barbells

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 22-28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
The voice-overs can’t save ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: A sweet Moretz rescues ‘If I Stay’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

Julianne Hough dances back to ‘Dancing’ as judge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Jon Hamm hopes Ferguson will come out stronger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fade to black: Leonard Maltin ending movie guides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Doctor Who’ returns with a new season on BBC America

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Local boxers make weight and are ready to fight

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Serena Williams to face Townsend in Open 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Loose sod at new Levi’s Stadium removed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Raiders’ Woodson returning to Lambeau, faces Pack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Tigers’ Price throws 1-hitter, loses to Rays 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Ryu sets course record at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in 2 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Phelps back in international comp, advances in 100

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Big 2015 Chevy Tahoe remains a rare breed of SUV

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
S&P 500 closes at a record; Hewlett-Packard gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US housing recovery appears to be back on track

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Louise Loveall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9