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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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August 10 2014

Disney disc pre-orders disappear from Amazon.com. So if you were looking to pre-order the Agents of SHIELD S1 DVD or Blu-ray before September 9th, you can't. However they are available for pre-order at other online retailers such as Target, Walmart and Barnes & Noble.

You can also pre-order at Amazon.co.uk (but the UK release date is five weeks later than the US).

You can grab it come Canada here.
Disney is not Hachette. This should prove interesting. Today, I'm grateful for my local Target's copious DVD inventory of new releases.
Hachette still hasn't budged an inch either, as far as I know, plus Stephen King and some other HUGE authors have openly taken sides against amazon.
From comments I'm reading to the original different article I emailed the mods (evidently I was not alone in spotting one) its only initial releases that Amazon is targeting. Re-releases and stuff already out there seem to be unaffected. In any case I can wait to the 9th of Sept and do my normal order through Whedonesque and live without the pre-order.
The same situation recently occurred with Warner Bros. and Amazon, where upcoming titles like True Detective S1 and Pretty Little Liars S4 weren't available for pre-order for months, and then were close to full msrp when released. It took a little while, but they worked it out.
Every day it seems my Amazon Prime membership is less and less worth the money. I've been happy with it up to now, but with the price going up and the growing number of popular items I can't use it on, I'm not sure I'll be re-upping.
I like Amazon Prime, but I agree it seems to be less valuable now...however, since these are pre-order items it's not like you could place an order and get them in 3 days anyway. The pre-orders will be back as soon as Amazon and Disney strikes a new deal.

There's a sense that despite being a retail giant, Amazon is starting to bite off more than it can chew. This isn't just the fight with Hachette; it's the idea that Amazon thinks it can start dictating how the industry makes decisions, while ignoring that it has not been a success in the self-publishing business. Amazon's original programming has nowhere near the amount of acclaim or prestige as Netflix, and the phone is flopping.
Last night, I was watching "Checkpoint" from season five, the episode where the Watchers Council shows up to put Buffy through an inspection. It's a pretty good metaphor for the Amazon-Hachette fight. Here's what happens at the end of the episode:

Buffy: No review. No interrogation. No questions you know I can't answer. No hoops. No jumps. (Nigel is about to speak.) No interruptions. See, I've had a lot of people talking at me in the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I've finally figured out why. Power. I have it. They don't. This bothers them. Glory came to my home today.

Giles: Buffy are you all—

Buffy: Just to talk. She told me I'm a bug, I'm a flea, she could squash me in a second. Only she didn't. She came into my home, and we talked. We had what in her warped brain probably passes for a civilized conversation. Why? Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her. You guys didn't come all the way from England to determine whether I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives, some semblance of meaning.

Nigel: This is beyond insolence— (Buffy hurls the sword at him, which he must jump aside to avoid.)

Buffy: I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.

Xander (quietly): That was excellent!

Buffy: You're Watchers. Without a Slayer... you're pretty much just watching Masterpiece Theater. You can't stop Glory. You can't do anything with the information you have, except maybe publish it in the Everyone Thinks We're Insanos Home Journal. So here's how it's gonna work. You're gonna tell me everything you know. Then you're gonna go away.



In this metaphor, Amazon and Hachette are the Watchers Council versus Glory the monster goddess. (You can decide for yourself which is which.)

While I was watching the episode, I thought that Buffy stood for the writers who'd like to be independent from huge corporations. I'm sure Authors United would appreciate that metaphor.

But I think Buffy might represent us. She's a pretty good symbol for readers, for people who don't like arbitrary price changes and books that suddenly become unavailable. If readers turn away from the corporations, there's going to be some sort of power shift.

Reportedly, Amazon and Hachette are in danger of facing huge financial losses this year. I think Buffy might be winning.
Normally, I wouldn't care who wins in an ego battle between two giant soulless corporations. But I am being inconvenienced, so heads need to be knocked together.
I just checked in at Amazon, and saw the pre-order option for SHIELD. [oops. Just clicked thru and got "currently unavailable"]

How much does Whedonesque benefit when we buy via the shop?

[ edited by Jocelyn on 2014-08-12 09:13 ]

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