14.7K on “Strength” and Amazon’s Plan to Leave the Book Biz…

Another hot sexin’! Anything that keeps people reading through all the explication/setup on Bitcoin.

And what’s all this about Amazon leaving book publishing? Oh, that’s simple. Let’s just run a list.

  1. Amazon has set up a system that rewards the current top 1% of Amazon-exclusive writers. *Note the use of the word “current.”
  2. Amazon has consistently made abrupt and dramatic changes to the rules (the adult filter on searches, what’s taboo and what’s not), then made it impossible to comply with them (the content blocks with no explanation other than “for content”).
  3. Amazon has changed the compensation schemes (KU 2.0, KU 2.1 with this regional pay-per-page thing) for self-published writers with almost no notice (15 days for 2.0, ONE day for 2.1), thereby alienating everyone dependent on a self-publishing income.
  4. Nobody’s famous forever. The writers at the top of the selfpub heap now will burn out and people will move on.
  5. Selfpub is the future. Writers who are learning the craft now are working with each other, supporting each other, learning from each other, and the tradpub dinosaur is ambling into the tar pit.
  6. The big names of five years from now will all be…us. The farm team writers on Amazon’s B, C or D list. The ones whom Amazon has been methodically treating with disdain for years.
  7. And you can bet that we’re going to want to do as little business with Amazon as possible. That we’re never going to trust Amazon as a single stream of income, that we’ll “go wide” with as many platforms as possible, because we’ve learned too well how arbitrary and abrupt and uncommunicative Amazon is about what content they’ll carry, about what they’ll pay from one day to the next. We’ve learned what a bad business partner Amazon is.
  8. Therefore, it seems clear that Amazon is just fine with going out of the ebook business in a few years, given how hard it’s working to alienate all the ebook stars of tomorrow.

People are already strategizing about ways to unseat the ‘zon. Maybe we need to go the “paywall” route – sell books, but also give away free books on an AdWords model, with ads inserted into “free” books, which we distribute ourselves, or through some collective. Or hell, just find a way to get Google to embed AdWords ads in our books. It probably pays about as much as Amazon is paying now for borrows.

See, Amazon? Necessity, invention, etc. People are starting to think about how to get out from under this giant thumb. The harder you press, the more creative they get. The Steve Jobs of ebook publishing is out there, in a garage, getting ready to eat your lunch. Hell, if Google woke up one morning and decided to get serious about its Play Store book tools, that could punch a big hole right there.

Amazon has had the Wal-Mart thing going for a while (or the right wing Texas textbook thing, same thing) – it’s so big that it can make the rules the rest of the world has to follow, if they want to do business with the behemoth.

But digital textbooks mean that textbook publishers no longer have to include a chapter on the flatness of the Creationist earth in every copy they publish, just to please Texas. Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club chain is getting beat by Costco (which, take note, Amazon, pays good talent well to retain it, hmm, wonder if that’s a factor…).

Basically, Amazon’s saying, “We don’t plan on a future in book publishing, because if we did, we’d behave better towards today’s grinds, who are tomorrow’s superstars. We’d treat our farm team like we expect to do business with them for the rest of their careers, instead of operating on a ‘Surprise! New rules! Tough shit!’ basis.”

Nothing lasts forever. Right now Amazon’s working real hard to be the MySpace of book publishing.

2 Comments on 14.7K on “Strength” and Amazon’s Plan to Leave the Book Biz…

  1. Hi Brad! Having only bought books from them, I don’t know anything about the details of working with them as an author, but have you looked into Dreamspinner Press? They seem to have a large number of good authors working with them. Just a thought…

    • Thanks for the suggestion! at this point I want to keep self-pubbing, but in partnership with someone who knows (and likes) the biz end of it – keeping up the mailing list, targeting ads, etc.

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