Friday, June 6, 2014

Amazon the Bully -- for them.

You wouldn't know it from the news stories, but there are a bunch of authors who just love Amazon.

The self-published ones.

They are actually rooting against Hachette and the other Big Five publishers.  Most of them were probably rejected at some point by the traditional publishers and therefore are antagonistic.  So there is some sour grapes there.

There is, just like in traditional publishing, some big winners in self-publishing.  Authors who can make much more money on their own than they could through traditional routes.  But just like traditional publishing, the few winners do not represent the vast majority.

I'm sympathetic.  I do believe that traditional publishing has been too elitist and constricted.  They've become closed on so many entry levels and to so many mid-list authors, and have become so addicted to the "Big" book that might be made into a movie, of following the latest success until it becomes formula pap.  There are less and less editors and imprints to send our books to, and less and less support for the books, less pay, less patience.

I think Amazon has opened to door to worthy writers and genres. 


Another reason that self-published authors like Amazon.  You can get up to 70% of the price of an ebook as profits.  The Big Five offer only 25%.


I do think Amazon is a bully.  I think there is no guarantee that they'll keep up the high rate of sharing profits.  I think that they are getting flooded by books, good, bad, and everything in-between.

I'm only getting the same rate as the Big Five on my books from my smaller publisher.  But I'm about to put up a book that is completely self-published, Cyber Flash (which is a reworked Freedy Filkins.)

I think self-publishing, or "indy" publishing as they like to call themselves, is the future of books.   Great authors and books will come out of this phenomenon -- authors and books that never would have emerged under the old system.  But there will also be many great authors and books that will be ignored because they can no way to break out of the logjam.  (Self-promotion is everything.)   Again, not all the different from what is currently happening in traditional publishing.

I think books that deserved to be published but were rejected by traditional publishing, have found great success at Amazon and other online venues.  So have thousands and thousands of books that probably should have stayed in a drawer. 

But the public will figure it out. 

I think there is room for both.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

My guess is that if traditional publishing had been operating on an efficient and open method, it could have accommodated for more authors to their profit.

So Amazon (and Smashwords) self-publishing is overflow, authors that should have been published are finally finding an outlet.