Should we learn to stop worrying and love the Amazon? That’s the position espoused by writer/publisher Bob Mayer in a post to his blog “Write It Forward”. Mayer co-founded independent publishing house Who Dares Wins Publishing in January 2011, and “went from selling a few hundred eBooks that month to earning seven figures.” He doesn’t see a threat in Amazon, but instead sees opportunity.
Mayer has some books in the Kindle Select program, but he is also providing exclusives to Barnes & Noble and doing business with Kobo and others as well.
I’m not playing Amazon against B&N against Kobo against Smashwords against the Ewoks or the Little 17 although I am done with the Weird 55. I’m working with all of them because I run a business. It’s called being an author. In order to successfully continue to do that, I must sell books. To readers. They want to help me do that. I want to help them do that. Let me help you. Help me. Help you. Help me. Help you. (Give me a call? Drop me an email?)
And that’s my point. This is a business. Not a slap on the back, happy go lucky, fellowship of the book. Because all these middle people screaming about Amazon would shove the door shut in my face in a heart beat if my books didn’t help their P&L statement and many have done so over the last 25 years.
Mayer places blame squarely on the publishers for not preparing for the digital revolution in spite of ample warning signs (such as what happened to the music industry), and estimates that many of the publishers who spoke at Digital Book World are still a year behind the digital explosion. “I saw presenters stumbling to remember terms and programs that should be second nature to a digital publisher,” he writes.
One way or another, the market forces led by Amazon are going to change the publishing industry irrevocably in the next few years. It should be interesting to see whether the change is for the better or the worse.