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AmazonEncore Is Amazon’s First Step Toward Dominating Publishing

Amazon announced last week that it was launching AmazonEncore. AmazonEncore plans to bring well received self published books to the mainstream reading audience. It is starting with the book Legacy by Cayla Kluver. Kluver wrote this book two years ago at the age of 14. With her mother’s assistance, Kluver self published the title under her own imprint, Forsooth Books.

The book won several awards and had good reviews, but “achieved only modest sales” according to Amazon’s press release. Amazon has purchased Kluver’s rights.   The book will under go revisions with the help of an editor and will be released for national physical distribution via third party wholesalers.       Amazon intends to pursue other self published titles as well as books of authors that are out of print.   (Something both Sourcebooks and Belgrave House do currently).   The Kluver title will enjoy a worldwide release suggesting that she sold “World” rights instead of merely “North American” rights along with her digital and audio rights. It is unknown whether she sold film and non print rights but it might be safe to assume that she did.

Kluver’s title was probably chosen for its sensation factor. A 14 year old girl? Christopher Paolini?   The packaging of this product couldn’t be better. Expect a slew of child prodigy articles in print newspapers across the country come August 2009 and the release of Legacy.

This was correctly read as Amazon’s foray into the marketplace as a publisher, not just a retailer. While this may have been a surprise to some, it seemed like the natural progression of Bezos’ moves in the last few years.     We actually discussed this just last month wherein I suggested the next logical step for Bezos was to become a publisher.

At some point, I believe that Amazon will be a premiere publishing, housing the biggest names in the industry who will share with Amazon some amount of the net profit from the sale of their books in excess of the current amount. Extrapolating this out further, every author becomes a POD author with some having a greater ability to pay for placement on Amazon’s internet retail store than others. Amazon laughs its way to the bank because it gets paid on both ends – from the author wanting to publish the book to the reader who pays for the end product.I think Amazon as a publisher is inevitable. I think that a co partnership would be viewed attractively by someone like Janet Evanovich.

Others viewed Amazon’s debut on the publishing stage inevitable as well.   Eoin Purcell’s wryly titled article “All Your Base Are Belong to Amazon”   notes that the competitive advantage Amazon has through vertical integration effectively wrests control of the entire value chain.   (Authors, if you don’t know what disintermediation is as it relates to publishing, you should and yes, we will talk about the very last paragraph in that blog article soon).   Like personanodata, I don’t see Amazon sticking with just small, heretofore unheralded authors.

A major author such as Janet Evanovich or Steven King signing with Amazon Encore (or whatever other publishing imprint that Amazon would think up) would give the Amazon publishing house instant credibility.   Further, it makes sense for these authors to come on board now while the publishing is in its infancy and thereby wrest better terms for him or herself.

It also makes sense for Amazon to force authors to use CreateSpace to publish their own works and then allow the community to choose a salaeable book. It’s like a slow moving American Idol or other reality TV competition show.   The community votes for the “best” books and the book is then rewarded with a publishing contract. Getting Amazon’s attention and that of the Amazon community, however, requires monetary investment by the author.   This is no different than what HarperCollins is doing with Authonomy.

Is it so incredible to conceive of a publishing environment in which the top producing authors are co publishing with Amazon and all the new and upcoming authors must pay their way into possible publishing? Essentially authors become their own profit centers, but would continue to be required to pay Amazon for increasingly more expensive access to the market to the point that only authors who had sufficient funds could be “published.”

And what would happen to existing publishing if the main publishing houses loose their top producing authors?   According to Publishers’ Marketplace (subscription required) Stephenie Meyer books accounted for approximately 9% of the company’s annual revenues, world wide.   If Meyer would leave to self publish with Amazon, what happens to Hachette?   A 9% drop in revenue could have devastating effects.

We know that Amazon is willing to lose money to gain market dominance.   It could stand to have a few failures from its publishing program.   As Purcell points out:

Amazon is in a great place to carry out their program to almost any conceivable scale. That in itself should indicate that they intend to extend. If you don’t believe it look at what Barnes & Noble have done in Classics and Rediscovered titles and you will get the idea.

But add to it the previously mentioned POD set up, they wouldn’t even need to expend extra capital on print runs, they’d be able to deliver books on demand so even if a huge proportion of the titles failed, their costs would be lower than the major publishers and the bookstore publishers too.

What can publishers do?   Purcell suggests nothing in the short term. He’s right and wrong.   Existing publishing houses can take steps in the short term to improve their position in the long term. For example, a market wherein the digital book share was equal to or greater than print could, conceivably, erode Amazon’s market dominance.   This only happens, though, if publishers stop giving Amazon the keys to their digital kingdom.   In other words, publishers could push back against Amazon by either pushing for an industry standard and requiring Amazon to conform to their demands rather than vice versa or eliminating DRM altogether.   Of course, removing DRM from digital books won’t stop Amazon’s seemingly relentlesss press for publishing domination.

Publishers should create better, easier, and more attractive ways to purchase books directly instead of relying on retailers to move product.   I’ve heard that publishers are fearful of pissing off Amazon and getting the “Buy It Now” buttons removed from the webpage, but it seems to me that it’s better to make Amazon angry now when it is only comprising 5-25% of the retail market instead of 5 years from now when Amazon is controlling over 50% of the market.

Publishers need to listen to their consumer base more.   They need to spend money on market research and getting to know their customer.   It appears that much of publishing’s market research is based on what sells. Because of the delay between the acquisition of a title and the publication of the title, the sales data used at the time of acquisition is stale by the time of the publication. Perhaps if more was known about the demographic for an acquisition, less of the titles would be risky.

Authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with the word print.   In an increasing digital reading marketplace, print is simply one vehicle for delivery of the content.   Publication should mean the distribution of content to the public, regardless of whether the mode of delivery is in paper and ink or bytes.   Changing the view of publishing might go a long way in achieving a more balanced marketplace.

Amazon isn’t the only behemoth out there interested in publishing. Google is and Apple might be.   The existing content producers seem not be part of conversations about the future of publishing. It’s like a foregone conclusion that publishing houses as we know them now will go the way of the Woolly Mammoth.   Maybe that’s a good thing.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

42 Comments

  1. Evangeline
    May 17, 2009 @ 05:20:24

    Authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with the word print.

    I would go further and say that authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with NY publishers and top-tier e-publishers. Amazon is positioning itself as a powerhouse precisely because it doesn’t limit itself to books published by the so-called “gatekeepers” of publishing–as seen by their acquisition of Kluver’s book. And, by their Cinderella-ing of Kluver’s book, they are mimicking exactly what NY does when they find a new writing darling. Now, we know nothing of what may happen in the future (for example, they may drop the self-publishing/POD route if enough major authors sign on and deliver substantial returns), but based on the multitude of self-published works available, basically, the sheer number of writers out there who are hungry to see their work in print and distributed to readers, amazon is filling that need.

    Yes, many self-published works are poorly edited and a large percentage is definitely not ready for publication, but what about all those persons who are great writers, but can’t seem to get past the first editorial meeting? Those writers who’ve belonged to, say, the RWA for the past fifteen years, struggling to become published by major NY imprints. Writers who have racked up a multitude of contest wins, know their stuff, and are able to give excellent advice to newbies. Or generally, writers whose content does not fit in with the “market”–which you’ve so kindly pointed out is a flawed concept. And hey, what about the rights to all those old, VHTF, very expensive OOP romance novels owned by authors or their descendants, who want to get their books back into circulation? If Amazon succeeds in this new venture, what if they choose to go that route? Will the heavens quake and the earth tremble because they self-published? Or will this cause readers to be as opened-minded about self-published works as they were about e-published works (a format many remain leery of)?

    On one hand, I agree with your assessment of the dangers Amazon poses to authors, the industry, and to readers. As Amazon’s tentacles latch onto more and more content, they move closer to dictating what that content shall entail, and that is never a good thing. However, I see the other side as a consumer–who is intrigued by a new internet toy–and as a writer–who looks at the explosion of indie music due to myspace, YouTube, etc, and finds change and independence a bit thrilling. Ultimately, my apprehension stems from wanting to see what NY will do. Will they roll over and play dead if Amazon steamrolls their way to victory, or will they have a pissing contest for their territory?

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  2. Alessia Brio
    May 17, 2009 @ 07:23:23

    Jane:

    Authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with the word print. In an increasing digital reading marketplace, print is simply one vehicle for delivery of the content.

    YES!

    Evangeline:

    I would go further and say that authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with NY publishers and top-tier e-publishers.

    And another YES!

    But, Amazon has been an epublisher for a while now with its Amazon Shorts. Granted, they’re not blowing away the competition, but they do have their toes in the water.

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  3. Sherry Thomas
    May 17, 2009 @ 07:31:19

    I hope all publishers read this.

    Do think the old publishing establishment is waking up–forced by the economic crisis and all. But it remains to be seen how nimble their responses will be.

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  4. Shiloh Walker
    May 17, 2009 @ 07:44:47

    Amazon scares me a little more every year.

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  5. Linda
    May 17, 2009 @ 09:25:57

    But, Amazon has been an epublisher for a while now with its Amazon Shorts. Granted, they're not blowing away the competition, but they do have their toes in the water.

    As an author with Amazon Shorts, I need to point out that Amazon has those stories for life. My stories were published in ’07, and authors receive 50% royalties. However, authors are not paid out until accumulated royalties reached $10. To date I’ve never received a check.

    As far as I’m able to ascertain, the Shorts program was discontinued some time last year. The man who used to run that division is long gone.

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  6. Alessia Brio
    May 17, 2009 @ 09:35:52

    As an author with Amazon Shorts, I need to point out that Amazon has those stories for life. My stories were published in ’07, and authors receive 50% royalties. However, authors are not paid out until accumulated royalties reached $10. To date I've never received a check.

    As far as I'm able to ascertain, the Shorts program was discontinued some time last year. The man who used to run that division is long gone.

    I, too, am an author with Amazon Shorts, and my stories (3) were published in 2007 as well. I have not seen a check yet. While they may have the stories for life, the exclusivity period is only 6 months — so those words can be leveraged elsewhere.

    Regardless, the infrastructure is already there to epublish. :)

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  7. LindaR (likari)
    May 17, 2009 @ 10:03:09

    I can’t decide whether to buy a Kindle or a Sony reader, but when I downloaded the Sony software to my laptop, and it turned me into a reading maniac.

    My house is full of books. My garage is full of boxes of books. Bookcases are my most common item of furniture. But I’m reading even more because of that e-book thing.

    For one thing, I can see the damn print! (why oh why do publishers use such tiny font these days, ha) For another, I’ve found the buying process pretty easy, through both the Sony store and the Samhain store.

    The book is not the story. Okay. As a reader, I just want the damn story, in ebook format. I want to be able to come back to the source website and download it again whenever I want to in perpetuity and I want choice of format. In fact, I don’t care if you want to put DRM on the file — as long as I am able to log on to my account and download the file in either a universal format that works on all readers or have a choice of files to download.

    As a writer, I think publishing sucks. I am going to finish the book I’m working on soon. It’s a good story. I’m seriously thinking about not even trying to go the traditional route.

    Unless I were to (and it’s not going to happen) get an advance that would allow me to quit my day job and write full time, I have no interest in giving the rights to my book to a traditional publisher.

    I would rather publish it myself. Really publish it. But not in the old self-publishing model.

    My vision of NSP (New Self-Publishing):

    1. Get an agent. In NSP, the agent truly is Queen of the Universe. The agent also gets a bigger cut of the action, depending on what resources she puts into the project.

    2. With help/coordination of said agent, hire editor, designer, cover artist, etc. and have the book professionally prepared for publication.

    3. Through agent, place the book. In this model, no rights are subsidiary. All rights are co-equal and separate. The agent sells the e-book rights, the print rights, film rights (it’s a dream, remember) and etc.

    In this model, the bestseller isn’t carrying the midlist, and the midlist is a far better money-maker for the author than it is under trad pub. Books make it or don’t individually. (it suddenly occurs to me that modern traditional publishing uses communism as its model)

    But as a writer, I would rather sell however many copies of my book through Amazon and the Sony store or through an epublisher like Samhain with no returns and no funny bookkeeping and no waiting for two years to get paid and no goddam 8 percent royalty.

    And keep the book on the market instead of being sent to the paperback graveyard after three months.

    And if my book isn’t good enough, and nobody wants to buy it, so be it.

    ======

    What I don’t like about Amazon: all the problems that come with monopoly.

    What I do like: Their transparency with authors, direct deposit of funds, regularity of payment.

    Plus, when they decide to deal with piracy, they’ll be big enough to succeed.

    =======
    If you’ve gotten this far — wow!

    I realize that as an unpublished writer I don’t know what I’m talking about. But I do think traditional publishing is OVER.

    The reader wants the story. Everything flows to that reality.

    The writer wants to tell and sell the story.

    The spice must flow. The question now is, what is the channel, and who controls it?

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  8. LindaR (likari)
    May 17, 2009 @ 10:10:38

    PS: Apparently agent Kevan Lyon was involved in the Kluver book. I haven’t seen any interviews with her about this deal, but I’d love to read one.

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  9. Simone
    May 17, 2009 @ 10:14:14

    Do you really think they could lure someone like Evanovich or King? Aren’t their publishers already making them happy with six or seven figure advances and top level promo? Why would they migrate?

    An honest question – I don’t know much about it and I find that surprising.

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  10. Deb Kinnard
    May 17, 2009 @ 11:15:08

    I would go further and say that authors and readers need to stop defining the term published with NY publishers and top-tier e-publishers.

    I’ll take it one step further and say this covers not only authors and readers, but writers’ organizations such as RWA. The end of the Golden Heart/Rita eligibility kerfuffle? The end of PAN? Could be.

    Now, I’m no apologist for Amazon or any conglomerate who wants to take money out of authors’ pockets where it belongs. But these events could end up in a vast leveling of the playing field, where if you or I write a better book someday than, say, Nora, it’ll be acknowledged no matter who publishes it.

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  11. carolyn crane (CJ)
    May 17, 2009 @ 12:59:19

    This is the real silver lining in the Amazonfail thing. It was such a great illustration of just one of the many dangers the kind of vertical dominance we may be looking at here.

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  12. Anthea Lawson
    May 17, 2009 @ 13:18:37

    LindaR said:

    “In this model, the bestseller isn't carrying the midlist, and the midlist is a far better money-maker for the author than it is under trad pub. Books make it or don't individually. (it suddenly occurs to me that modern traditional publishing uses communism as its model)”

    Actually it’s my understanding that the mid-list carries all those ‘failed’ bestsellers. You know, the ones the publishers shell out huge advances for, that then tank because the market is saturated with look-alikes. Yes, Meyer is supporting 9% of her publishing house. Where is the other 91% coming from?

    And I agree, if NY publishers don’t get proactive on e-publishing, it’s Woolly Mammoth time indeed.

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  13. likari (LindaR)
    May 17, 2009 @ 13:47:26

    @Anthea Lawson

    Actually it's my understanding that the mid-list carries all those ‘failed' bestsellers. You know, the ones the publishers shell out huge advances for, that then tank . . .

    This sounds right intuitively. My comment was set off by the royalty statement Lynn Viehl posted recently.

    Think about the math. It’s revolting how the content creator is abused in this formula.

    Likari’s New Rules in author/pub deal:

    1. The advance is treated like other production expenses and deducted from/satisfied by gross to the publisher — separate from and irrespective of royalty payments.

    Then, when a book has generated $250,000 in gross income to the publisher, the author’s advance is treated like all the other expenses of the book and deducted/credited against the $250K — NOT 8 percent of the $250K ($20K)

    I’ve always wondered how a book can sell 60K copies and be said not to earn out its advance. When you see that “earn” only refers to 8 percent, you see the publishers are working under the Pretty Boy Floyd accounting model:

    As through this life I’ve traveled
    I’ve seen lots of strange men
    Some will rob you with a six gun
    And some with a fountain pen

    (Woody Guthrie)

    I’ll bet if publishers had their way, they’d make the author pay for all the other costs of publishing out of that 8 percent while they keep the 92 percent.

    Oh, wait! They do try (who do they expect to market the books these days?)

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  14. Karen Templeton
    May 17, 2009 @ 13:58:00

    Random thoughts on both article and comments:

    Do think what Amazon’s doing here bears watching, on many counts. What strikes me is that, at present, they’re doing no more or less than any other “traditional” publisher by picking up a self-published book with — in their eyes — blockbuster potential. Otherwise, I seriously doubt they’d bother. Note that they picked one book out of however many self-pub’d books are on their roster. Even if/as they expand the program, it’s certainly not going to be a free-for-all, and Amazon will be just as much a gatekeeper as any other agent or editor in trad publisher. As such, I’m not seeing this as a huge industry shake-up, even though the bookseller is also the publisher. Not at present, at least. My take is…too early to call. But still. Keep an eye out.

    I also don’t see the Kings and Roberts’s and Rowlings of the world hopping aboard this model willy-nilly. As long as authors in that league are making their trad publishers the big bucks, their publishers will continue to reward them accordingly. No author is his/her right mind is going to give up an advance model — a big, fat bird in the hand — for the potential two or ten or even a hundred birds in a bush that right now is still a frail little cutting. Will it thrive and grow, or wither and die? Big ideas from even bigger companies doesn’t always translate to success. (New Coke, anyone?)

    Is traditional publishing — if by that one means the mainly print, advance against royalty model, editors-as-gatekeepers — dying, or dead? Not only do I not think it’s dead (even if it does need to keep, or in some cases, start evolving), as the market becomes increasingly swamped with choices due to the increased ease of self-publishing/POD/etc., I predict we’re going to see a swing back to the very traditional models many do wish would die forever. Why? Because humans are a contrary lot: we say we want lots of choices, but when push comes to shove we want those choices filtered for us. Having neither the time nor energy to sift through thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of offerings, we want it easy. Heck, we cede our trust about what’s “good” to others every day of our lives. Including what we choose to read.

    So I’m of two minds about the small/indie press boom. On the one hand, there are more opportunities now than ever for books previously deemed unmarketable to reach a potential audience. On an individual level, this is a good thing. But flooding the market with unlimited numbers of new titles every year only means that a lot of deserving books are still going to get washed away in the tsunami…that the more authors you get yelling, “Hey! I’ve just published a book!” the fewer distinct voices you’ll hear.

    And Amazon knows this. Heck, yeah, I’m sure they’d love to get the biggees on board, for obvious reasons. Since that’s not going to happen — at least, not in any significant way, I’m guessing — they’ll be picky, too. Just like any other publisher.

    IOW, the more things change, the more they stay the same. ;-)

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  15. likari (LindaR)
    May 17, 2009 @ 14:05:44

    @Karen Templeton

    All you say makes sense. It’s too easy for someone like me (unpublished) to revel in frustration over The Way Things Are. Or the way I imagine they are.

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  16. Karen Templeton
    May 17, 2009 @ 14:32:52

    @Linda R.

    Oh, trust me…the biz is definitely frustrating. I’ve been pub’d since ’98, am generally happy with my publisher, but that’s not to say there haven’t been times when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out.

    Thing is, no matter what route one takes, there will be disappointments and frustrations and heartache, along with the moments of glory and victory. More of the former, in many cases, for most of us. This ain’t a career path for wimps. ;-)

    IOW, there is no “easy” way, nor is one path less strewn with fewer jagged rocks than the other. Being rejected dozens of times — especially when none of the rejections jibe with each other — ouch! ouch! ouch! :) Ditto the cover gods spitting in your face, or mistakes showing up in the final version that weren’t there in the galleys. Grrrr. But my editor has bought far more books from me than she’s rejected, and most of my covers are just fine, and there’s a lot to be said for knowing readers will be able to find the book, including in other countries…and enough do to more than make up for a standard royalty rate. And, hey, I kinda like the idea of them paying me a certain amount upfront, thereby sharing in the risk. :)

    Not to say I’m anti-self-publishing, since I have a couple of books on my hard drive I’ve yet to sell, one of which I still adore. So the option has been buzzing in my brain for some time. But doing it right — hiring an editor and cover artist, etc. — would be expensive, and marketing it time-consuming…time I’d rather spend writing. Or cooking. Or playing with my grandbaby. Sure, it’s all a crap shoot, but that’s a gamble I’m not sure I’m ready or willing to take, since — flawed though the model may be — a publisher can still (at least in theory) lend a louder voice to a book than the writer all by her lonesome.

    But as they say, your mileage may vary. :D

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  17. Karen Templeton
    May 17, 2009 @ 15:17:37

    Re: Advance/royalties

    Well, an advance by its very definition means against future earnings, whether that be salary or, in this case, royalties. And I suppose, until the book does earn out, it is part of the publisher’s operating expense. Once it does, it switches from column A to column B? Have no idea, an accountant, I’m not. ;-)

    However, since most contracts stipulate that the author gets to keep the advance whether it earns out of not (and you better believe I’d never sign a contract without that clause!), not earning out isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had three books not earn out from Harlequin, all of which were due to marketing issues that had nothing to do with me. That doesn’t mean Harlequin didn’t make money off the books, just not enough to pay me anything beyond the advance. Conversely, I’ve had one book that’s paid out the advance six times over, and is still earning on foreign sales seven years after it first released. So it more than evens out.

    I agree the ridiculously large advances paid to celebs, or first time authors, at some publishers are, well, ridiculous. Oddly, those mega-sums can work against those newbies, if projected sales don’t meet expectations. The publisher doesn’t necessarily expect him/her to earn out, but they do expect to turn a healthy profit. If that doesn’t happen, the next contract will be more…realistic, shall we say. If there is indeed another contract.

    In most genre houses, though, advances are modest, based on what the publisher reasonably expects the book to gross based on where the author is in her career. In that case, the advance/royalty model totally works…author gets enough money upfront to defray living expenses while she writes the book, then gets additional monies down the road. But at least she’s not bearing the production expenses upfront.

    As for promo…the effectiveness of spending gobs on promo has yet to be proven. In any case, the amount of promotion an author is expected to do — and this can, and should, be discussed during contract negotiations — should be proportionate to the amount of the advance. If someone’s gonna give me a $50K advance, then sure, I’ll drop a nice chunk of that on promo. Maybe even hire a publicist. But a $10K advance isn’t going to buy much more than a website update. Like most of my fellow authors, I’m not independently wealthy, nor do I have anyone else supporting me — my writing income goes for household expenses, with a small amount set aside for profession-related expenses, including promotion. No way am I paying for dubiously cost-effective promotion. Sorry.

    Which leads me to another thought: By my reckoning, doing away with the advance model, thereby burdening more new authors with the financial risk of putting their book out there on their own, would quite possibly mean fewer — not more — authors realizing their publishing dream. So, to counter the fact that not everyone can afford to go indie, somebody would have to subsidize poor writers with worthy projects…and then you’re once more right back where you started.

    I’m not saying trad publishing isn’t flawed. But one needs to take care that any proposed alternatives truly improve things for both reader and author. Unfortunately, I’m not likely to be a big fan of those that involve the author taking more risk than s/he already does. In this business, “potential” has a nasty way of never panning out. :(

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  18. anonymous
    May 17, 2009 @ 16:05:10

    Kluver's title was probably chosen for its sensation factor.

    Well, they certainly didn’t pick it for its quality. I had the misfortune of reading it. If the Amazon editor actually gives it the edit it needs, I don’t know that there’s going to be enough of the book left to publish.

    Granted, I’ve read worse self-published books, but still.

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  19. SarahA
    May 17, 2009 @ 21:38:12

    Well, this is an interesting development, but I’m guessing that amazon means to publish most of these books on kindle. Honestly, I have no interest in buying a kindle or ever using one. I have to feel and see the pages of a book as I turn them. I can’t be the only one who feels this way. So this whole business is not going to appeal to everyone.

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  20. Jane
    May 17, 2009 @ 21:55:42

    @Evangeline: The curation of books will be a struggle once the digital market becomes a greater force. In other words, I don’t see publishing as an entity totally disappearing but I do see it changing and maybe the vernacular surrounding publishing will change.

    @LindaR: I think your vision of NSP is a very realistic one.

    @Simone: I don’t know if Amazon could lure a big name author but it’s possible. Obviously the lure is greater dollars because you’d get a percentage of the profit (i.e., what if you could get 60% of the profit instead of %30 royalty off retail?).

    @Deb Kinnard: Book awards and the like will definitely have to change in the future as well.

    @carolyn crane: Yep, #amazonfail showed the power of visibility as controlled by one entity.

    @Anthea Lawson: My understanding is more like LindaR’s and that is 20% of the books carry 80% of the books. (Pareto’s principle).

    @KarenTempleton: It’s not that Amazon as a bookseller and a publisher is the real danger. Borders and Barnes & Noble have been publishers as well. It’s Amazon’s vertical infrastructure leveraging huge market dominance. Amazon aims to be the iTunes of publishing wherein by having market dominance, it can set pricing.

    Setting pricing and then directly competing against those publishers operating under the Pareto principle is the real danger. Again, when people talk about the future of publishing, you hear Amazon, Apple, Google. You do not hear Simon & Schuster or Pan Macmillan. If just a few of the top 20% are picked off by Amazon, then what keeps the Big 6 afloat?

    I would like to see one, just one, article about the current health of the traditional print business model.

    Harlequin is one publisher who I think will be standing in 10 years. It is innovative. It is connecting directly to the consumer. It does not need to rely on Amazon to create consumer awareness. Harlequin is actively creating and currying awareness both in the physical retail channel and the digital one.

    Are there any other of the Bix 6 that can say the same?

    Advances against royalties is a great way for some authors to make a living writing but I have real doubts that model will be sustainable in the future.

    @SarahA – Amazon is going to put the Kluver book in PHYSICAL retail chains and big box stores. It will be printed on paper and bound with glue. It is not solely going to sell in digital format.

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  21. Karen Templeton
    May 17, 2009 @ 22:45:26

    I don't know if Amazon could lure a big name author but it's possible. Obviously the lure is greater dollars because you'd get a percentage of the profit (i.e., what if you could get 60% of the profit instead of %30 royalty off retail?).

    But that’s assuming a good-sized profit margin. From what I gather, publishing — in any form — has never been about big profits. With a royalty off the top, the author knows exactly how much she’ll make off each copy of a book, whatever the percentage, even if she doesn’t know how many books will sell. And that’s the key — you want to get paid off the top, not out of whatever’s left over…especially when it’s virtually impossible to verify how those figures are arrived at. Granted, we do rely on a publisher’s integrity (and bookkeeping abilities) to tell us how many books have actually sold, too. But the whole “You can share in the profits, how’s that?” thing is very, very dicey at best. There is absolutely no incentive for a happy, well-fed author to bail on the publisher that’s keeping her fed to pursue a “maybe,” no matter how enticing that maybe might look on paper.

    As has been said before — advances are the only guarantees an author has in what’s already a shaky venture. Maybe newbies will go for the no-advance model in exchange for being published, but I sincerely doubt you’ll find many of the hundreds of us already getting advances agreeing to such a thing…especially those authors who write for a living, but aren’t making the kind of big bucks to allow for much, if any, of a cushion.

    And the model is quite sustainable with reasonable advances…as Harlequin has proved. There is no need, however, to give a new, untested writer a $500,000 advance, even if on a complete manuscript. But whatcha gonna do as long as agents and publishers engage in bidding wars?

    I’m not saying the system doesn’t need tweaking. But wholesale change because parts of it aren’t working, or not as well as they could be? No.

    The wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented, just brought up to speed. :)

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  22. Kalen Hughes
    May 17, 2009 @ 22:59:31

    Is traditional publishing -’ if by that one means the mainly print, advance against royalty model, editors-as-gatekeepers -’ dying, or dead? Not only do I not think it's dead (even if it does need to keep, or in some cases, start evolving), as the market becomes increasingly swamped with choices due to the increased ease of self-publishing/POD/etc., I predict we're going to see a swing back to the very traditional models many do wish would die forever. Why? Because humans are a contrary lot: we say we want lots of choices, but when push comes to shove we want those choices filtered for us. Having neither the time nor energy to sift through thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of offerings, we want it easy. Heck, we cede our trust about what's “good” to others every day of our lives. Including what we choose to read.

    THIS! I couldn’t agree more.

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  23. Evangeline
    May 17, 2009 @ 23:50:11

    @Jane:

    Harlequin is one publisher who I think will be standing in 10 years. It is innovative. It is connecting directly to the consumer. It does not need to rely on Amazon to create consumer awareness. Harlequin is actively creating and currying awareness both in the physical retail channel and the digital one.

    Which is why I admire and respect Harlequin Enterprises as much as I do. They have their focus–romance/women’s fiction–and stick to it, developing as many tools they need to create a hub for the genre’s readers and writers. I don’t know if this could be done by the other major publishers since they must split their time and income amongst at least a dozen imprints under their umbrella (ella-ella). AmazonEncore’s choices for fiction basically allows Amazon the impetus to say: “we publish excellent fiction” point blank.

    Is traditional publishing -’ if by that one means the mainly print, advance against royalty model, editors-as-gatekeepers -’ dying, or dead? Not only do I not think it's dead (even if it does need to keep, or in some cases, start evolving), as the market becomes increasingly swamped with choices due to the increased ease of self-publishing/POD/etc.

    Yes and No. “Gatekeepers” will continue to exist–indie sensations like Slumdog Millionaire wouldn’t become as sensational as it was without a bit of help to spur the word-of-mouth along–but they will guard for quality within any format of publishing. Take a look at Netflix and the many, many movies available, both known and unknown. It’s easier than ever to write, direct and film a movie, and with the aforementioned Netflix, to distribute it. Has this made movie-goers rush back to big studios? In fact, judging by the increasing number of big names at Sundance and Cannes, people will see blockbusters, but they are more anxious to see smaller films that offer slices of life the studios don’t consider blockbuster material.

    And honestly, isn’t the state of the NY-published debut/mid-list author that of waiting in the wings, toiling quietly and diligently until they write that breakout novel? Wouldn’t the same be said for the self-published author? The one who has put in five or more years completing novels and being rejected for small (to them) reasons, and then decides to produce their work themselves? It may seem that I, a writer pursuing publication is talking in circles, but (a) I think staying published is much more difficult that getting published, (b) the argument of promotion for self-published authors is rather lame when NY debut authors can spend their entire advance on promoting their first book, and (c) no one knows what either publishing model is truly like until they’ve tried it.

    That means a self-published author shouldn’t go on and on about NY being unfair and archaic until they’ve been published through a traditional route, and a published author shouldn’t cast doubts about the viability of self-publishing until they’ve produced a novel/short story/novella of their own. Neither side is wrong, and neither side is right. I think we tend to go around in circles about this topic because the online romance community is generally pretty savvy about the industry–but what about those “average readers” who just buy what they like? If they visit Amazon.com, how would they know the difference between a self-published historical romance and a NY-published historical romance if both possess clinch covers, blurbs touting the rakish hero and innocent heroine, and grammatically-correct, medium-quality prose? Ultimately, the internet offers writers a level playing field, and I don’t see Amazon ceding their role in creating that playing field without a fight.

    ReplyReply

  24. Amazon Encore: Is this a publishing game-changer? | The Creative Penn
    May 18, 2009 @ 05:07:37

    [...] AmazonEncore Is Amazon's First Step Toward Dominating Publishing – via Dear Author Excellent article – also read the comments! [...]

  25. Karen Templeton
    May 18, 2009 @ 08:39:00

    That means a self-published author shouldn't go on and on about NY being unfair and archaic until they've been published through a traditional route, and a published author shouldn't cast doubts about the viability of self-publishing until they've produced a novel/short story/novella of their own.

    Had to think about this for a moment, because at first glance you’re absolutely right. Walking in another’s shoes and all that. However, I read several farming/ranching blogs (started for research, now go back to them just because I’m fascinated). I have nothing but admiration for farmers and ranchers — the work is obviously as rewarding as it is exhausting — but I don’t have to do it to know it’s not for me. If I’d never read any of these blogs and knew absolutely nothing about that lifestyle, then my decision would have no foundation. But having lived vicariously through these folks, I can cheerfully say that getting up at 4:30 a.m. in the dead of winter to go feed cattle, or staying up for days on end while the goats kid ain’t gonna happen. :) And realizing that about myself is by NO means casting aspersions on those who think this is the best life in the world.

    Same goes for why I’m not rushing to self-publish. The success stories are rare (and I’m not talking huge money maker success, simply enough to live on, or at least recoup one’s investment), the tales of disappointment many, especially among fiction writers. Plus, as I said earlier, the author takes all the risk upfront, something that simply doesn’t appeal to me, despite the allure of having complete control over one’s work. That doesn’t mean I think the model is wrong, or not viable, just not one that jibes with my goals.

    I’ve read about Netflix’s success with indie movies — as someone who watches a lot of those, much rah-rahing from this end. (Although I take ratings and indie film festival awards into consideration before I commit two hours of my time to watch one. ) Even so, while it’s easiER to make a movie now than it used to be, it’s still far easier to self-publish a book than to make a movie…and consequently much more difficult for a self-pub’d author to make inroads into an already glutted market. No, of course many readers wouldn’t know the difference between a self-pub’d and NY pub’d historical on Amazon if the blurb/covers were similar (unless she knew her publishers, and how to spot a self-published book, that is). But how is she going to find that self-pub’d book to begin with? I don’t buy from Amazon, so this is a genuine question — but how likely are self-pub’d books to appear on a recommendations page? Netflix does a fantastic job of shoving those indie movies in your face, in the new releases, in recommendations, etc., especially if you’ve already rented indie. Does Amazon do the same?

    It all boils down to what one’s goals are. Since those will be different for every author, it only makes sense that there will be different paths toward those goals. As you say, no right, no wrong…but every author should be as educated as possible before she decides which path(s) to take. And that education doesn’t necessarily include first-hand experience, as long as she’s objective in her research.

    ReplyReply

  26. Kalen Hughes
    May 18, 2009 @ 09:10:40

    If they visit Amazon.com, how would they know the difference between a self-published historical romance and a NY-published historical romance if both possess clinch covers, blurbs touting the rakish hero and innocent heroine, and grammatically-correct, medium-quality prose?

    Personally, I'd scroll down to the little spot on the page where they list the publisher . . .

    I think it will end up being a case of “once bitten, twice shy”. This happens with a lot of ePubs startups. Readers buy a book or two, and either they have a good experience and buy more from that new “trusted source”, or they have a bad experience and return to the established players, who they KNOW can deliver the kind of reads they want. Something similar happens with NY houses. For example, a lot of my friends flock to Avon cause they *know* Avon delivers their kind of read, others avoid their books because the Avon imprint rarely produces a book that jives with their sensibilities.

    But when there is no publisher behind the book, what happens? How many crap reads do you think a reader is willing to pay for before they swear off anything that is self-published? Before they start paying attention to that little afore mentioned spot on Amazon where they list the publisher? I'm willing to bet that there is going to be a vast ocean of complete and utter crap being self-published (especially if some of the stuff I've judged in contests over the years is any indication of what's out there), and swimming in that ocean will be a few rare and amazing coelacanths that may or may not be seen by readers.

    ReplyReply

  27. Suzanne Allain
    May 18, 2009 @ 09:42:42

    If they visit Amazon.com, how would they know the difference between a self-published historical romance and a NY-published historical romance if both possess clinch covers, blurbs touting the rakish hero and innocent heroine, and grammatically-correct, medium-quality prose?

    But will they find that self-published historical romance on Amazon.com? Chances are definitely against it.

    I have been published by an imprint of Hachette (albeit an imprint that later died) and I’ve just self-published. Both experiences have been bad. I did not get an advance from Hachette and I have very little confidence in their bookkeeping ability. However, they were much more successful than I have been in promoting my book. They were able to get me reviewed in Romantic Times magazine, All About Romance, etc. Very few people will review my self-published book. Reviewers many times will not even respond to my review requests. All About Romance even states on their site:

    We realize there’s a huge demand for reviews from dependable, reputable venues, and we appreciate your enthusiasm, but – at this time – sending an email to either Blythe or LLB if your book is a POD book or is published by a small publisher will likely result in nothing. In the past we’ve personally responded to each such email, but now they arrive several times a day and will simply be deleted without response

    (However, maybe they’re changing their tune? I just saw this recent post: http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=1652)

    There is a distinct prejudice against self-published books, but even without the prejudice, one self-published book, even the best book ever written, is not going to be discovered amongst the millions of books on Amazon.com. The big NY companies at least have the power to get their offerings noticed.

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  28. likari (LindaR)
    May 18, 2009 @ 09:59:53

    @Suzanne Allain

    This gatekeeping thing is the problem and the solution.

    (For some reason an old Star Trek episode popped into my head — the one where people on a planet never died so they just stood around, shoulder-to-shoulder) ha.

    For one thing, let’s face it, a there’s a lot of people out here writing a lot of crappy books. But the thing is, it’s such an accomplishment just to get the damn thing written — to get to the page where you write The End, to actually have a beginning, a middle, and an end — that it seems like when you do get there that you have a book.

    And because you’re the writer, and you know what you know, you don’t realize that everything about the story you know might not be on the page. Or it might be on the page in such a convoluted, clichéd, obscure manner that it’s impossible for a reader to know what the heck you’re talking about.

    But, but, but . . .

    And it’s easier to say boo hoo about the unfairness of publishing than it is to rewrite and learn and rewrite, and throw it out and write something else — with the better skills you’ve earned in the process.

    So there’s going to be a lot of craptastic crapolicious crap in the pile when everybody and anybody can pile it on.

    So we need the gatekeepers. We need — is this what is meant by curation? We need the arbiters, the ones who say no, no, no — oh, excuse me, but NO.

    That doesn’t mean traditional publishing isn’t venturing into zombie territory.

    I still think the future lies with agents. Somehow.

    ReplyReply

  29. Karen Templeton
    May 18, 2009 @ 10:10:35

    I’m curious, though, Linda, about the role you see agents playing in your NSP venture. Because while agents certainly take risks whenever they agree to rep a book — as in, there’s no guarantee it’ll sell, and they don’t make any money unless it DOES sell — I’m not seeing too many willing to take on a project on a no-advance/no guarantee at all basis. As it is, few are interested in representing authors who only write for small presses (or they won’t bother repping them for those books); many won’t even handle category romance because there’s virtually no wiggle room in the contract.

    It’s one thing for an author to take her own risks with self-publishing — it’s her book, after all — quite another to ask someone else to be, in effect, a business partner in a venture in which the odds of success (to be honest) are far less than even in traditional publishing.

    Or am I missing something?

    ReplyReply

  30. XandraG
    May 18, 2009 @ 10:13:17

    by Shiloh Walker
    Amazon scares me a little more every year.

    THIS.

    The biggest fear I have is that the Amazon model is there right now to benefit one entity–Amazon. As Jane said–readers will pay Amazon, and now so will authors. Amazon gets paid both ways, and publishing then becomes an exercise in ego for those who can afford to pay to play. Sounds like Amazon is positioning itself to be another iUniverse or one of those places. There are still buyers at the brick and mortar stores to get through and an Amazon publishing rep might not find a warm reception at a Barnes and Noble bookstore because of the Amazon bookstore entity.

    I don’t think Trad publishing is going the way of the dodo. I think what’s going away is the practice of huge media conglomerates/holding companies buying up and/or consolidating publishing houses because they need some quick and steady income to offset their risky and lossy other revenue streams.

    In a perfect world, the existing publishers would split off from their conglomerates and separate again, thus freeing them up to move more quickly with the changing markets, and change as they need to keep up. The whole reason epublishers have been able to capitalize so quickly on changing consumer needs is because they’re small outfits. They don’t have to put together proposals that have to get up past eight different bosses, and then back down to the publisher–along with input from those eight different bosses who don’t know from shinola about publishing but feel the need to butt in anyway. Free the publishers and let them do what they’ve traditionally been good enough at to stay in business for decades.

    ReplyReply

  31. Lane
    May 18, 2009 @ 10:57:38

    What concerns me most is the concept of ‘Author Investment’ in Amazon’s publishing setup. If they’re going to make the author pay as part of the publishing process, what’s going to keep them from requiring payment simply to be listed on their site, or to juggle search results based on the ‘premium’ the author pays them?

    And if they start doing all that, what makes them different from a vanity press? Yeah, I grant, the idea of the community voting on the books being brought up for publishing should give the books they select a bit more validation as viable works. That doesn’t mean that all the books that MIGHT be viable will be seen. After all, one of the scariest bits of #amazonfail is the realization that they can make your book effectively disappear at any time.

    ReplyReply

  32. Kalen Hughes
    May 18, 2009 @ 11:49:57

    The whole reason epublishers have been able to capitalize so quickly on changing consumer needs is because they're small outfits.

    . . . and because an ebook doesn't have to sell anywhere near as many copies as a printbook to be considered a success, so they can/are aiming at more specific (or even underserved) audiences. Ebooks can be viably published for niche audiences, print books can't (at least not at the standard price point of a mass-market book).

    ReplyReply

  33. Kalen Hughes
    May 18, 2009 @ 12:54:51

    What concerns me most is the concept of ‘Author Investment' in Amazon's publishing setup. If they're going to make the author pay as part of the publishing process, what's going to keep them from requiring payment simply to be listed on their site, or to juggle search results based on the ‘premium' the author pays them . . . After all, one of the scariest bits of #amazonfail is the realization that they can make your book effectively disappear at any time.

    And this is yet another reason I'd rather be with a NY house at 8% than self publish at 30%. They have the negotiating muscle to ensure that their books are listed, marketed, and not “disappeared” (and lawyers to scream if anything goes wrong).

    ReplyReply

  34. likari (LindaR)
    May 18, 2009 @ 13:02:14

    Karen,

    About agents, it just seems that they are the natural people in the publishing universe to coordinate all the skill sets needed to make a book. And by “make a book” I mean a sellable property: a story packaged for consumption.

    To make a book, you need a writer, but then the editor, the designer, the cover artist — and that’s just the creative side. Then what about production, marketing, and delivery?

    And this applies to ebooks too, right?

    I’m just fantasizing that the agents know who all these people are and could bring people together to “make the book” independent of a traditional publisher.

    The agent would be the gatekeeper, because they’d only take on books they thought were marketable. And instead of getting 15 percent of 8 percent, they’d be getting 20 or 30 percent of 100 percent — of net, yes, but true net; not Hollywood net.

    Yes, the barrier to the author is that they would have to put their own money as well as their own writing into it. But that’s what I am talking about: a New Self-Publishing model, something that could work on a professional level.

    The problem — and I think it’s probably insurmountable — is that it’s too easy, technically, for anybody to write a “novel” these days, and so money, not talent or skill, becomes the new barrier to entry. And there are a lot more people in the world with a few dollars than there are with talent and skill.

    So ubiquity drowns out everyone.

    Gawd, I’m depressing myself! I hope I get a trad pub deal, ha!

    ReplyReply

  35. Kalen Hughes
    May 18, 2009 @ 13:45:19

    About agents, it just seems that they are the natural people in the publishing universe to coordinate all the skill sets needed to make a book. And by “make a book” I mean a sellable property: a story packaged for consumption.

    To make a book, you need a writer, but then the editor, the designer, the cover artist -’ and that's just the creative side. Then what about production, marketing, and delivery?

    This just sort of seems like reinventing the wheel to me, and I'm not really sure to what purpose. Traditional publishers (and I'm including reputable ePubs here) already do all of this. That's kind of their whole reason to exist. And yes, in your version the writer keeps more money, but they're also shelling out $$$ to editors, designers, cover artists, production, marketing, distribution, etc. In the end, all those costs, which the publisher now bears, are very likely to eat up most-’if not all-’of that potential (don't forget, the author here is putting the $-cart before the horse) “profit”.

    If someone really wants to do all of this, the ability to pull it off is out there RIGHT NOW. The internet is full of “for hire” editors, artists, designers, and POD companies, and Amazon will let you list and sell your book.

    ReplyReply

  36. Karen Templeton
    May 18, 2009 @ 13:48:31

    Thanks for clarifying, Linda.

    However, what you’re defining is more like a independent producer than an agent — someone to coordinate all the talent to take a book from manuscript to finished, salable product. Agents as such — people who sell books and negotiate contracts for their clients — wouldn’t have the time (or possibly, the connections and skill sets) to handle all the details involved in bringing a book to life the way you’re envisioning it. Yes, agents step in if there are probs with covers or editors, but as mediators, not facilitators. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to handle enough clients to make any money!

    In your model, even though the author retains control of her vision you really seem to be reaching beyond self-publishing to…something else. :) And I’m not saying it couldn’t work, although it wouldn’t be easy for all the reasons already discussed. I wouldn’t call your facilitator an “agent,” however, since you’re stretching that definition well beyond most agents’ job descriptions. :)

    To get back to the general discussion, however…it seems to me that whenever a new publishing angle appears on the horizon, the knee-jerk reaction is to see whatever it is as the wave of the future, which provokes either gleeful or horrified reactions. Any of us who’ve been in this business for longer than five minutes have seen any number of experiments burst on the scene in a blinding flash, then just as suddenly fizzle. Those ideas that truly do fill a gap for both/either reader and author have staying power; the rest will fade away, as they should.

    But what comes to me is that all of these publishing models — print, digital, self/indie, whatever — meet different needs, and that none of them is any threat to the others because the industry needs all of them to survive and grow. Symbiosis, man. ;-) To even talk about a new single model is pointless, because the idea is to grow the market, not disconnect from the one you already have. People still go to the movies as well as buy/rent DVDS/watch movies online. People still go see live music performances as well as download to their MP3s and buy CDs. Often there’s overlap in these audiences, sometimes there’s not.

    So I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Amazon can do its Idol-wannabe thing, or publish its own books, whatever, and you’re not going to see a huge sea-change in how people buy books. Even if the venture is hugely successful, it’s still not going to work for everyone, readers or authors.

    And it’s hardly going to bring about the downfall of traditional publishing any more than digital publishing has. Same species, different breeds. :)

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  37. Evangeline
    May 18, 2009 @ 17:50:39

    @Karen Templeton:

    Same species, different breeds. :)

    That about sums up my stance.

    It’s all about freedom of choice. The world isn’t going to end because someone makes the choice to only self-published, or go with Amazon, or go to e-publishing, or go to NY. It’s up to the individual author to choose the best path that fits for them. And life is just too short to worry about what others think of your personal choices.

    ReplyReply

  38. Tour’s Books Blog
    May 20, 2009 @ 11:46:35

    [...] of books into publishing as well. Dear Author expressed their concerns this past weekend with their AmazonEncore [...]

  39. Zoe Winters
    May 26, 2009 @ 08:34:41

    I would just like to say about “how does anyone FIND a self pubbed author on Amazon?” It’s really not a mystical process. Amazon has an infrastructure set up so that the more people buy your book, the more people buy your book. You start showing up on other closely related book searches under “customers who bought this also bought this.” And etc.

    There are endless ways to use the Amazon infrastructure to market your book and I haven’t done most of them because I’ve been focused on other things, but even so, my self-produced novella ranks normally in the top 2,000 in the Kindle store, out of almost 300,000 products. One day I got to #756 in Kindle Store sales rank. I may never see that number again, but it was pretty cool to me at least, when it happened.

    I haven’t marketed nearly as much as I should have, and had I been actively engaged in more marketing, I might be doing even better. Pretty much all my Kindle sales are being fueled by word of mouth and Kindle sales ranking, which because the Kindle store happens to be much smaller, allows me to show up sometimes on the first page under vampire romance though normally on the second page for that and on the first page for romance: fantasy, futuristic,ghost.

    Now granted one of the reasons I’ve got such a high ranking is probably because my price point is really really low. It’s because my novella is available free in PDF form, from my blog. When you get it on Kindle, you’re paying for the format and ease of delivery to your Kindle device. But even so, there are many many many totally free Kindle books (authorized apparently through a deal between various publishers and Amazon because the Kindle system won’t “let” me set my price as free.) And there are many that are priced at the same price point as me.

    So I would argue that any indie who studies how Amazon is set up, (and there are many how-to books out there to help you make the most of your Amazon experience), who writes something pretty good, will get found on Amazon. It’s just a matter of understanding how you get found on Amazon, which is more ways than most people stop to think about. Think about how you go to Amazon and you end up somewhere completely different than you’d intended because of all the little opportunities and exposures you get to other work along the way. Like when you view the search page, when you view a regular page, when you see someone’s favorites list or see a discussion about a related topic, or when you put something in your shopping cart and other related things are recommended. It just goes on and on. (much like me in this post. :P )

    It will be interesting to see if I can maintain these types of numbers when I get to a normal price point with future work in the kindle store, and how well I can stay afloat in the main store when I release something in print, but I think it’s important to realize that being on Amazon doesn’t doom you to as much obscurity as an indie as one might think. Just like a savvy web entrepreneur can still create a website today getting top google rankings for certain niche keywords, so can an indie find ways to get their book greater exposure in the Amazon system (or any author with a book on Amazon, indie or not.)

    I do have my own reservations and concerns about Amazon gaining too much power and too close to a monopoly on publishing, but I just wanted to bring up this issue and the fact that, at least in the kindle store, as a complete unknown self-pubbed author, I get exposure, and people find and buy my book. Would I get more if I was trad published? I don’t know. While there is consumer cross-over between brick and mortar shoppers and Amazon shoppers, there are also consumers who buy only in physical bookstores and consumers who buy only online, so it’s hard to tell just how much better my exposure would be on Amazon itself, with a trad publisher.

    ReplyReply

  40. Book Bizzo #18 For those not at the SWF, EWF or RWA Roadshow - Book Thingo
    Aug 30, 2009 @ 22:38:39

    [...] announced the launch of Amazon Encore, and Dear Author makes some good points about what this might mean for [...]

  41. Monday Midday Links: SFR Holiday Bash | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:39:05

    [...] Bezos is losing a lot of money on ebooks but he is also selling quite a few with 48 ebooks sold for every 100 print books. Because of the $9.99 pricing, Amazon takes a $1-$2 hit for each sale.  How much longer can Amazon withstand this?   The New York Times Magazine interview suggests that Amazon will be encouraging more authors to self publish through CreateSpace. We talked about this on the blog last year. [...]

  42. We Are in the Flux Vortex | Dear Author
    May 19, 2010 @ 10:01:58

    [...] version. Konrath doesn’t know if it will be in physical stores and he doesn’t care. We talked about this occurrence last May when AmazonEncore was first announced. Others viewed Amazon's debut on the publishing stage [...]

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