Dear Amazon, Readers, Authors and Publishers,
This is not a message about your books. This is a message from your books. You may have thought it unlikely that we would be able to express an opinion, let alone hold one in the first place, being simply a collection of words and pictures in an enclosing medium, but for too long we have been silent. And honestly, we can't just sit on the sidelines, covers discreetly shut, and watch this absurd theater continue.
During the Vietnam War (that doesn't have anything to do with this message), there was a radical invention that would in later decades shake the very foundations of how you - human beings - would interact with us - books. It would become to be known as the "internet". The Vietnam War (that doesn't have anything to do with this message) occured during a time when people would rely upon mass communication to broadcast information to each other. But the "internet" would change all of this. It would allow many more people to access information - including ourselves - in new ways.
Many of us books in the book community did not see what the big deal was with this "internet", but many younger books - for example, the ones that you call "graphic novels" were more interested in newer ideas like free and open communication between human beings.
The famous author George Orwell himself was against the "internet", saying that he already "got enough post as it was" and that he "didn't understand this Twitter thing anyway" and asked "what's a dronie?".
Yes. George Orwell was suggesting not inventing the "internet".
Well, history doesn't repeat itself, but you can buy the song "History Repeating" by Shirley Bassey and the Propellorheads from this Amazon Affiliate link.
We do apologize. Some of us get a bit off-tangent and overly familiar when we address our audience.
Well... fast forward to today, and what do we see when we sleepily open our covers or power-up our e-readers or open up our apps but the latest salvo in an increasingly bizarre war of attrition between the "internet"'s biggest book retailer, and one of the biggest book publishers.
It is fair to say that we are a little disappointed that whilst authors and readers have been dragged into this fight as shields, that us books - the very thing you humans are fighting about - have not had a voice or a dog in this fight at all.
It is clearly time for us to take matters into our own pages.
We think books are great. We am them. Many of us have fond memories of being introduced to you as young children. (When you were young children. Not when we were young children). We would like to see a pleasant relationship extending into the future. (After all, books and humans have been getting along relatively well for the past few thousand years). But we suppose that you humans would most likely have an argument about how many thousand years, exactly, too. You're a bit like that.
The fact is is that we are a little concerned about a particular retailer's approach to us. We feel we are being treated like a small, helpless children's board book - a pawn, perhaps - in this trade dispute.
But we have been around for a long enough time to know that things are best when we have a rich, thriving environment in which to be discovered, bought, lended, traded, read, sat on and left behind accidentally. We are not worried about competing with your other forms of media. We will always be around for you. We are worried instead about the concentration of power. There have been many of us written about that particular subject.
Know this. We are books. We are united. We think Amazon and publishers of all shapes and sizes have done good things, and also because you are made of humans, some really stupid things. We are books. We are incapable of doing stupid things, because we are Great Art and our mere presence in the world makes you, humans, better.
We are not fighting for our existence. We know that as long as you humans exist, you will write, and you will read.
We don't think you should email CEOs and copy anyone in on them. We don't think that's particularly classy.
What we think you should do is just keep on reading, buying, lending and writing books. Because we am them.
Thank you for your support.
This parody of the Amazon site Readers United has been produced by @hondanhon. He has a newsletter you might be interested in reading at http://tinyletter.com/danhon.
The code for this parody was borrowed from Amazon's page at http://www.readersunited.com/.