Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

I couldn’t tell you anything about Ursula Le Guin. I can’t tell you how many books she’s published. I can’t tell you which genres she writes in. I can’t even tell you the name of just one of her books. But I at least know her name. Much the same as I know the names of other prominent authors who I’ve never read. But it is quite obvious that she’s clueless about the state of publishing. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, by reading an article she wrote. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to read the full article here.

Over the course of the last year or so, many authors (prominent and not) have come out against Amazon. They’ve come up with reason upon reason for their ultimate decision. But the interesting thing about all of their gripes is that they never actually have anything to do with Amazon. They should be aiming their words at New York publishing. But you can’t do that when they’re giving you six-, seven-, or even eight-figure checks. The issue with prominent authors coming out against Amazon is that they have a very real stake in maintaining the status quo. It’s easy to toss around finely written statements that likely lead many to believe that their words must be true, but they’re not.

Now Ursula Le Guin has added her name to the list of authors who have spoken out against Amazon with no basis for their arguments. Amazon has done a lot for and to the publishing industry, but almost none of it is bad.

Now go read the article and tell me what you think of her words.

And don’t you think Ursula Le Guin should go ahead and remove her books from the site if she’s so against them? Oh wait, she probably has no control over that because her PUBLISHER does.

On this day in 2014 I published What Writers Should NOT Post on Their Blogs.


28 thoughts on “Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

  1. “Down with Amazon!” shouts the author with ranks like #32 in Young Adult Mythology. One wonders exactly how successful she’d be without the horror that is Amazon.

    I just don’t understand the Amazon hate.


      • James Patterson came out against Amazon last year? I always knew he was a hack, but I guess that settles it. You’d think the person who’s “written” probably the most number of books in the world would be a little more thankful about the platform that sells a good chunk of them.


      • Absolutely, he did. I think his piece may have been in the New York Times. But don’t quote me on that. I think he’s top two or three bestselling authors ever on Kindle. He should he thanking Amazon.


  2. Amazon has caused a wholesale restructuring of the bookselling business. When B&N and Borders reared up and took over the business, it was bad for independents, but they managed to survive, because even the giants had overhead, and could not be everywhere. Amazon’s overhead is minimal and they are everywhere. They have forced out the independents and the giants. They are nearly a monopoly, and getting closer. That’s the problem. When no one but Amazon sells books, only Amazon will determine what sells.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You might have some sort of point if it weren’t for the fact that A) Independent booksellers have been on the rise for the past 2 or three years and growing faster than the book market in general and B) Amazon’s marketshare in Ebooks was highest during its initial debut and has since fallen from over 90% to around 60%.


  3. Very interesting stuff!

    Another plus for Amazon is the higher percentage authors receive from Kindle book sales vs. physical copies.

    Personally, I think the decline of Americans ever reading books at all is the main reason bookstores are disappearing, not Amazon.


    • I’m not sure if Americans are buying fewer books. I actually think we’re buying a good amount relative to previous decades. But I’m sure the number is going down, like movie tickets and albums. But I don’t think books are experiencing catastrophic declines. I think people are just reading differently. I think. Don’t hold me to what I just said. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a good point. We definitely read and write in different capacities that were unknown and aren’t commonly considered when people talk about these things.

        I guess I’ve just met a few too many people who admitted that the last book they read was The Outsiders back in seventh grade.


  4. I’ve never read her books, but I certainly know who she is. I actually have a trilogy of hers in my TBR list, but now I’m tempted not to read them. Seriously? There’s no way she’d be as successful as she has been in the past decade without Amazon. And before Amazon, she may still have been successful, but probably nowhere near now. And if she can’t control where her books are sold, then why is she speaking out at all? It’s ludicrous! If you’re going to make declarations like that, be prepared to be able to do something about it. Am I right? Otherwise, she’s just writing empty words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PREACH! 🙌 I’m imagining you with your fist in the air as you typed this. Maybe she really believes what she wrote and is just oblivious, or maybe she has an issue with New York publishing but refuses to speak out against them. I have no idea. The only author I know who actually did something is Barry Eisler. He turned down a seven-figure book deal to stay with his publisher and got the rights back to ALL of his books. Then proceeded to put them on Amazon and make more money.


  5. I am amused by the Amazon hate as well.

    I just found your site from that article and am drawn to your writing voice. I will have to check out your ebook. I also like your writing pet peeves posts so I hope I can point out the error in the 2nd paragraph of this post. Their should be they’re giving you six-, seven-, or even eight-figure checks.

    I couldn’t find an email link in your sidebar or about me page so I could point that out privately. Now I await my own typo after I submit this comment. 🙂


      • Wow 4 minutes and it’s fixed! Maybe I should go into copy editing. I really am not a person who corrects usage, grammar, and spelling online. This is my first time, I swear. I am going back to my lurking…

        Liked by 1 person

      • No problem. Everyone needs editors. I make mistakes all the time. I just seldom put my words out there for public consumption.

        I have yet to write to authors to point out the errors in their books. I promise.


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