Friday, June 10, 2011

Amazon Takes Over the World!

It came as no surprise to anyone at Book Expo America when Amazon announced that they will be going into the publishing business. After all, they have been recruiting new talent for specific jobs for weeks. It was only a question of time. They have already setup several new imprints for non-fiction titles. Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what their next move will be.

But what does this mean to the big brick and mortar houses that can’t compete with Amazon’s sheer size, and the fact that readers have been forever changed by the way they buy and read books with Kindles and eBooks? It means many of the old fuddy-duddy, arrogant editors who sit in Ivory Tours and reject one author after another and pay pennies on the dollar for all the authors’ hard work and creativity will be looking for secretarial jobs, or become agents and try to sell new talent to Amazon, who will surely corner the book publishing market in a matter of months.

You will be seeing many publishing houses fold, but the smaller ones will probably take the biggest hit. When Borders closed the majority of their stores, the smaller publishers got nailed the hardest because Borders loved working with small, independent publishers. And the way things are going, I don’t see how Barnes & Noble can compete with Amazon either. They are being swallowed by the leviathan’s enormous distribution network, the fact that they lead the market in eBooks, and that by publishing their own titles, they would pretty much leave everyone strapped and hogtied.

Amazon does discount their books by a wide margin, but said that when they start publishing, they would be paying their authors roughly 30 percent, which is astonishingly generous. So, even though they may charge $9.00 per book, the author would get an enormous percentage of that, making it more attractive to agents and authors.

Be prepared folks. We are facing a literary revolution. There will be blood baths and many casualties. My first novel, Swiss Chocolate, published by Daily Swan Publishing, may be forced out of print before it has a chance to become successful. My publisher is very small and hanging on by a thread. He runs his company on a wing and a prayer, but still manages to get books out. I pray that he makes it, because I don’t want to shop Swiss Chocolate all over again. In fact, I just may not, and let it go being happy that I was good enough to get published.

Love to all!

James M. Weil

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