No, this is not about trans politics, it is about publishers, booksellers and fans, and the poor authors who get caught in the middle.
Seanan McGuire’s latest book, Discount Armageddon, is due out on March 6th. Amazon, for reasons best known to themselves, have decided to release it early. Barnes & Noble, not wishing to lose out, have followed suit.
Why is this bad? As Seanan explains here, the primary effect of this on her will be a substantial reduction in her “first week sales”, which is a key metric used by the trade in evaluating the popularity of an author. Early availability of the book will be bad for her career.
But that’s not really what has got Seanan, and me, upset. As you probably know, Amazon is engaged in a war with publishers, and one of their main weapons is to try to make publishers seem greedy in their approach to ebooks. So while they are releasing the paper edition of Seanan’s book, they are keeping the (presumably cheaper) ebook edition back until March 6th. B&N have followed suit.
What is the result of this? A whole bunch of “fans” writing abusive emails to Seanan accusing her of being greedy by forcing Amazon to hold back the ebook edition. Really, how can people be so clueless?