Monday, 20 October 2014

Never bite the hand that feeds you.

Below is a quote from the Bookseller email newsletter received this morning.

"Influential Krugman says Amazon 'hurts America'
Prominent New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has criticized Amazon for using its power in ways that “hurt America”.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist, who has been described as The Times’ “most heralded” columnist, used a piece in the newspaper yesterday (19th October) to argue that Amazon has too much power and is “abusing” that power by using it to push prices down."

Why should we, the members of the creative writing fraternity be so antagonistic towards Amazon, remember the story of the Pied Piper and what happened when he didn't get paid?

Publisher have abdicated their responsibility to the author, by delegating their search for new authors to Literary agencies, and the publishing, printing, and distributing responsibilities to Amazon, and their ilk.

In these modern days with the advent of the internet, websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, et al, and POD for single or multiple book printing, why can't publishers re-claim their heritage and distribute their product directly to the reader? Especially since there is a growing use of on-site POD machines in major bookshops using the Xerox Espresso Book Machine. Have a look at them in use on YouTube.

These machines allow the author complete control over the creation of their work, though distribution and marketing is now the author's responsibility.

This is where Amazon and their Createspace system shines the brightest for the budding author. It not only provides for the creation of the authors work in print and digital format, it also aids in the setting out of the work and very importantly distributes the work globally. As a cherry on the top of the cake, the author decides, after Amazon has recovered their cost, what price the work sells for, and subsequently how much the author gets paid.

In spite of all that is said about self-publishing, for a manuscript to turn into a best seller, it still needs to be edited, and not necessarily by the author.

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