A new email from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing sneaked into my inbox this morning. I say "sneaked" because who sends out a promotional or marketing email at 4 am on a Saturday morning.
The answer: A company beginning to panic.
The letter is obviously in response to the letter signed by Douglas Preston and more than 900 other authors who are tired of being abused by Amazon. In the letter Amazon compares ebooks to the creation of paperback books before World War II and how that invention shook up the publishing industry. They also beg their Kindle Direct authors to email Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch and demand Hachette remove authors from the middle of these negotiations.
I'm not going to dissect the letter, which contains a rehashing of Amazon's standard talking points. Instead, consider the timing. Amazon releases this letter early on a Saturday morning when most of their customers are asleep.
My guess is the Preston letter, which will appear in the Sunday New York Times but has already gained massive amounts of publicity, has them in a panic.
Amazon is used to being the friends of both authors and readers and investors. Now two of those groups have partly turned against them.
So they strike back with a 4 am email.
Yeah, they're feeling the fear.