Friday, October 17, 2014

Publishing is Not a Vacuum



Another day, another slew of Anti-Amazon articles.

When I read another Amazon ebook doomsday scenario for authors, it makes me confused. So Amazon will be the biggest corporation in town, will cut author royalty rates to super bad but not specified, and authors will burn in the fire they created? Sounds biblical to me.

Here's what gets me, the assumption of Amazon overlords means no other competitor actually tries to compete with rates, contracts, indie author presence. They do nothing. So I ask, why are all these articles not a call-to-arms to get Nook or any other retailer to be an actual rival?

Where are the multi-tweeted-tweets about how Nook isn't being competitive with Kindle? How about iBooks not rolling out some features to help boost indie author visibility? Why not a push to standardize ebook royalty rates where they're at now? I don't get it.

The constant alternatives are bookstores and publishers. The same bookstores that have a boycott on self-published authors? The agents who won't touch a manuscript if they're told it's been self-published, unless of course it sold a ton of units already, than that's fine with them (This one includes small presses as well). 

I've met people wary of Amazon because they've heard all the noise polluting the news, even though there is no cause for concern.  The Hachette dispute means nothing; it's a fight over a sliver of the publishing pie. I can publish a book today, with no roadblocks, because of Kindle. The alternative is never being picked up by an agent and publisher; and just a few years ago that was the norm.

I'd love other retailers try to sway me with benefits and readers, but they're not. They've incorporated the bare-minimum of work, and as a surprise to no one, are doing poorly because of it. Are they trying to remedy that? Not really.

Amazon has crafted a platform to support me as an author, and no other competitor wants to replicate it at all. How is that not the bigger issue being brought up? Why are doomsday scenarios not holding competitors accountable for anything?

That's the kind of discussion I want to start seeing.