Amazon flexes its muscle… (reblog: Write to Publish)


Robin Sullivan over at Write to Publish has a nice post about how, as an indie author, you can keep from being left in the cold as Amazon–love ’em or hate ’em–goes about its quest to retain market leadership in publishing (c.f., KDP Select exclusivity, flexing contract muscles on Independent Publishers Group, etc.).

Find it here: http://write2publish.blogspot.com/2012/02/amazon-flexes-its-muscleauthors-caught.html

My take:

  • It would be foolish to forget that authors’ interests and Amazon’s interests are often ALIGNED, but they are not IDENTICAL. I waxed poetic about this when Amazon announced KDP Select.
  • Diversification isn’t just a good word for crossword puzzles. Whether we’re talking financial investments or outlets for your writing, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Amazon is the biggest basket, but not the only one.
  • I find those who boycott or hate on Amazon without referring to history or the bigger picture irritating. This is hopping on a bandwagon. Where were those people when traditional publishers kept the majority of authors under their thumb and allowed publishing as an industry to stagnate for the last thirty years? You can recognize Amazon for what it is (a corporate entity running a tight P&L sheet) without pillorying it or hopping into bed with it. Celebrate them when they do good, chastise them (or even fight them) when they do bad. Extremists make life hard.

 

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Writer of crime fiction, psychological drama, and dark humor.

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2 comments on “Amazon flexes its muscle… (reblog: Write to Publish)
  1. Matt …. glad to see you have a balanced view of Amazon. A post by another author with a more indepth view of Amazon. I have mixed views on KDP Select, but believe in Amazon as a distribution channel.

    Ron

    • Matthew Iden says:

      Hi Ron – Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to hear another voice of moderation.

      I think the people claiming it’s time to “boycott Amazon” or other such nonsense are tying their trunk to the tail of the elephant in front of them. Amazon is a successful global company that’s going to do the best for themselves and their shareholders…no more,no less. To vilify it for doing that is myopic and juvenile.

      Following it over a cliff is also silly. What they’ve done to IPG isn’t a good sign and, frankly, I’m not very comfortable with the exclusivity of KDP Select, which is why I support Smashwords. There’s a very good reason that competition in the marketplace is a good thing.

      As someone on Passive Voice commented, “Fire is a good servant, but a poor master” (referring to Amazon). I think they were correct. As long as our goals are aligned, that’s great…but let’s keep the buckets of water handy!

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