Amazon and Publishing – It’s a Jungle Out There

January 5, 2013 4:58 pm

I read an interesting article about what Amazon are up to with their publishing program and the way the wider publishing industry views it (surprise, surprise – they don’t like it much).


This article points out that in today’s climate the only irreplaceable elements in the publishing process are the writer and the reader. So serious writers take heart! The playing field is that much more balanced – it is again becoming possible to write and get your work in the hands of readers whilst making some dosh out of it.

My personal opinion is that if Amazon can ensure top-notch editing in their publishing model, then why not? They already have all the other elements in place – no mean feat. And – knock me over with a feather (quill pen) – Amazon doesn’t view their stable of writers as so much grist to the (pulping?) mill (traditional commercial publishers, you know who you are). My prediction is that it’s going to go (or has already gone – depending on whose figures you refer to and which trade publications you read) that way whether anyone likes it or not. Writers are best advised to capitalise on that fact.

My motto as a serious writer who is making a career out of writing is: buy in; don’t sell out. What other choice does a Editorswriter have? Let’s face it, the big publishers are never going to work with you or consider your manuscript anyway due to internal machinations you will never understand, or even know anything about, as the rejection slips continue to assemble themselves into a distinctly Pyrenean-looking pile next to your mock Louis Philippe Mahogany writing bureau. So give up on that pipe dream and go where your writing will make you enough money to keep at it.

And if that notion is somehow unpalatable to you, then you will not be a professional writer and big, commercial juggernauts like Amazon will always be a convenient whipping boy for your lack of success.

The upshot? Regardless of Amazon’s detractors and deficiencies, competition is a good thing, and having a dusty elitist monopoly and their fawning, feckless minions as gatekeepers to a lumbering, stuck-in-the-past industry is not exactly, er, healthy. And book sales figures are reflecting that.

Duh. Of course they don’t like it.

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