If it’s one thing I despise–in me when I catch myself doing it and in others when I hear/see it–it’s an empty-headed, knee-jerk argument.
Whether it’s from a lack of knowledge, a confirmation bias, or intellectual laziness, when one side of a debate has bothered to gather supportive facts and present a considered argument and the other just parrots old information or rehashes only what they want to hear, it makes me want to pull my eyes out (or my ears, if I have to listen to it).
I feel particularly frustrated when I’m the one that’s factless in an argument…and twice that if it’s something I care about.
Empt Cans Rattle the Most
So when it comes to the recent media shitstorm over Amazon’s bullying of Hachette (and make no mistake, that’s how it’s being painted in the media, since Big Five publishing owns massive chunks of modern media), I know enough to be informed and to even get past my own biases as a self-published author (hint: I’m with Amazon on this one), but not enough to argue cogently with someone who takes the opposite view.
A little research on some trusted sources goes a long way. For those of you who similarly despise meritless arguments and wanted to know more about the case for Amazon against Hachette, I thought I’d supply some of my own recent discoveries.
Read these over the course of an hour or two, digest them, and you might be able to take on Stephen Colbert on the subject if you’re ever invited to his show or tackle James Patterson pretty much anywhere, since his arguments are so poorly thought out. Enjoy!
THE CLIFF NOTES
First, the scorched earth approach: Joe Konrath’s take here and here (though with an appeal for balance from Michael Sullivan).
Then, David Gaughran’s intimidating body of research on the subject, gathered in one post.
Next, Barry Eisler stops the Amazon Hate Train in its tracks and dumps cold water on a couple of know-it-alls in the Comments.
Lastly, Hugh Howey steps in, calmly dismantles every possible argument in the defense of traditional publishing’s position, and leads us to a brighter future.