Saturday, February 13, 2010

AmazonEncore

I’m with Charles when it comes to fretting over what’s going to happen with the publishing business.  The more I read about it, the unhappier I become, so the only way I can keep from making myself miserable is not to worry about it too much.  It would be different if I knew of something I could do.  Like Rick said, if Jackie Collins, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, and their ilk got together and went on strike in the cause of all their fellow authors, then we’d be talking.  But if I went on strike, no one would even know.  So, as Charles noted, if you want to write, you can’t use the frightening state of the book business as an excuse not to do it.  There are plenty of other reasons  you can use if you need one. Even if you are a traditionally published novelist, unless you belong to the same club as the aforementioned Big Names, you aren’t making much money at it anyway.  Not to mention the fact that writing a book is hard work.


So you have to decide - what’s the point?  I don’t write because I have to, but because I like it.  I wish I could make some money with it, but I’d write anyway.  In fact, I have.  Maybe it’ll all work out in the end.  I hope so.


But as usual, I digress. 


Here’s an interesting bit of information to perk up the roiling discussion about the future of publishing.  Last week my local paper picked up an article from USA Today by Bob Minzesheimer entitled, “Amazon gives the self-published a second life”    It seems that Amazon has decided to create its own traditional publishing house called AmazonEncore Amazon has identified several self-published books that have sold well on Amazon, and contracted with the authors to publish them in paperback under Amazon’s own imprint.  Thus far, they have only published maybe half-a-dozen titles, but it will be interesting to see how this catches on.


The article states that Barnes & Noble and Borders list AmazonEncore titles on their web sites and that they are open to carrying the books in their stores, depending on demand.  Minzesheimer says that the Amazon editors use customer reviews (Crikey! Don’t make any enemies - D.) and sales data to find the books they want to publish.  Apparently, Amazon doesn’t pay advances, but a “competitive royalty based on sales”.  One of the authors whose book was picked up by AmazonEncore said that she is “thrilled to be part of an opportunity that encourages authors to take back their power by bypassing major publishing houses.”


Is this good?  Maybe it is.  I don’t know. It’s all too much for me to figure out.  I’m off to eat chocolate and have a glass of wine.


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