Sci-fi writers' group vaporizes Amazon links

After e-books from publisher Macmillan were pulled from Amazon in a publishing dispute, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is protesting by pulling Amazon links from its Web site.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
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Industry trade group Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is none too pleased with Amazon's dispute with publisher Macmillan over e-book pricing, and says that it is encouraging readers "to seek out new places to find their books."

In an announcement Wednesday, the group--which was founded in 1965 and hosts the annual Nebula Awards--explained that it's removing all links to Amazon from its Web site unless the mega-retailer is the only place where a certain author's work can be found.

"Our authors depend on people buying their books and since a significant percentage of them publish through Macmillan or its subsidiaries, we would prefer to send traffic to stores where the books can actually be purchased," the SFWA's site explained, adding that many of its member authors' sales were affected by the Macmillan takedown.

There's not much chance that this could result in a sales dent for Amazon. It's purely a protest move, as the beleaguered publishing industry looks to have more control over the prices they can charge for electronic versions of books. Meanwhile, it looks like Amazon will cave to Macmillan's request to charge more for e-book sales, even though it's none too pleased.

"We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles," Amazon said in a statement last week. "We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books."