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Turow on Amazon/Goodreads

30 March 2013

From The Authors Guild:

Amazon’s garden walls are about to grow much higher. In a truly devastating act of vertical integration, Amazon is buying Goodreads, its only sizable competitor for reader reviews and a site known for the depth and breadth of its users’ book recommendations. Recommendations from like-minded readers appear to be the Holy Grail of online book marketing. By combining Goodreads’ recommendation database with Amazon’s own vast databases of readers’ purchase histories, Amazon’s control of online bookselling approaches the insurmountable.

“Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads is a textbook example of how modern Internet monopolies can be built,” said Scott Turow, Authors Guild president. “The key is to eliminate or absorb competitors before they pose a serious threat. With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing on-line bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information.”

Link to the rest at The Authors Guild

You heard it from Scott, so it must be true.

Barnes & Noble is toast. Traditional publishers are toast. Indie bookstores are toast. Nobody there should come to work any more.

Expect the first Turow self-pubbed novel to appear on KDP in a month or so.

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Amazon, Big Publishing, Social Media, Video

91 Comments to “Turow on Amazon/Goodreads”

  1. I got told to “shut my mouth” on the Authors Guild blog that Turow did. Such openness to new or different ideas overwhelms one.

    Not.

    • I saw that. You can just smell the fear over there. I don’t think Traditional authors handle change well, pity that.

    • Bob, I gotta say, your point: that everyone who doesn’t like Amazon should pull their books from Amazon to prove they aren’t hypocrites? Well, that just made my morning.

    • Maybe you should start signing your comments over there Bob Mayer, Scorned Author.

    • All this time I thought Turow was running a blog. Turns out it’s a members only private forum. Somebody should warn them that it can be viewed by folks who may not agree. I’ve almost posted comments there myself.
      Imagine the beasting I would have gotten. I’m not even a former member or a NYT best seller like Bob…

    • Yeah, I saw that. I also saw she never responded to any of your comments. She also left one or two other comments without following them up, like throwing grenades and then getting out of the way.

      The rest of the comments, with the exception of yours, PG’s, and Dan’s, were mind-boggling. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to attend church and was told the Rolling Stones were Satan worshippers and I shouldn’t listen their music.

    • In all fairness, Ellen Hopkins once met Mick Jagger and after hearing some of his wry observations about pop music and Justin Bieber, she told him:

      “You sound like another wannabe musician, Mick. Until you actually parallel Justin’s stature, you might want to shut your mouth and listen.”

      🙂

  2. If it’s such a vital strategic property, why didn’t one of the publishers who have their hands up Turow’s butt working his mouth buy it?

    • Because they were building Bookish where they control the conversation. The idea that anyone outside the book business should have a say in what people read is anathema to those folks.

      • Ding. Ding. Ding.
        It’s been such a nice and cozy country club…

      • Amazon’s outside the book business?

        • No, readers are outside the book business in the view of the traditonal publishers. We are all supposed to go a physical bookstore and buy whatever Big Pub is offering us thos week.

          • And self-published writers spamming their way to the top is so much better, isn’t it?

            • Clamps, spam is unsolicited email. I have yet to receive one from a self-publisher.

              However, if you have some marketing ideas for self-pubbers, let’s hear them.

              • They should be good enough to stand on their own merits without promoting themselves.

                I guess the sea of really terrible self-published novels puts a damper on that idea, but oh well.

                • “They should be good enough to stand on their own merits without promoting themselves.”

                  Because Big 5-published novels with Genuine Literary Merit don’t get promoted.

                  Right.

                • That’s a load of bull, Clamps. Authors and publishers have been promoting books for centuries. Or do you think that Mark Twain and Charles Dickens went from country to country because they liked traveling? What’s that? They also did it for the money?

                  Your ignorance is showing. You may want to do something about that.

                • They should be good enough to stand on their own merits without promoting themselves.

                  …………..

                  …BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA*gasp*AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

                  Ahem. Go to the search engine of your choice and search on “promotion” and the name of any traditionally-published author of your choice. If they have a blog at all, you’ll find “here’s how to market yourself” stuff.

                  But hey, if you want to see some books which get hardly any marketing at all (woo, free Project Wonderful ads!)…? Just click my name up there. Oh, wait, I just marketed myself! Sorry, you’ll have to check out someone else. (I recommend Demon of Undoing — self-pubbed now, but trad-pubbed when I first read the paperback* — and anything by Barbara Hambly, whose marketing is indeed handled by her publisher**, because she is way, way, way too busy with her day job.)

                  (* I totally have self-interest in wanting people to go buy that; if the author sees enough money coming in, maybe she’ll write the blighted sequel already! WANT!

                  ** One of them, anyway. Open Road promotes her. I don’t know if any of her other publishers bother to do it, though.)

                • And never purchase advertisements in the New York Review of Books or pay to become a New York Times bestseller.

                • The thing I love about this blog is that, even when I disagree with a comment, it’s thoughtful and educated on the subject.

                  And then a comment like this, one that’s so devoid of any sense whatsoever, comes along and makes me appreciate this blog even more.

                  So here’s to you, Mr. No-sense-comment maker. /realmenofgeniustheme

            • Which self-pubbed novelists have “spammed their way to the top”?

              Be specific.

            • Just a troll.

  3. Loved your tag line:

    “Expect the first Turow self-pubbed novel to appear on KDP in a month or so.”

    There do seem to be a lot of “sky is falling” reactions to the Amazon/Goodreads news. But the sky has been falling for so long now…

  4. Well, Mr. Turow makes a few good points, but I am not convinced yet that Amazon has purchased a potential competitor. Instead, I see it as a brilliant marketing move buying non-stop access to the largest uncontrolled/unweighted source of reader data available. By adding the GR databases to their own, Amazon can produce the most accurate marketing and forecasting data anyone has ever conceived. I don;t see this as a threat to GR at all, rather, Amazon stands to gain so much more by leaving it to maintain its course of encouraging unrestricted commentary and community building. No, what I see for the future is GR becoming a key to the books Amazon shows you when you check out — uncannily “knowing” exactly what you’ll want to read next. Good for writers, but not so good for other booksellers. I know it’s popular to see Amazon as some kind of ogre gobbling up the entire industry, but if you remember all the years the talking heads spoke derisively about Bezos’ odds of ever turning a profit, you’ll agree that they got so large mostly because they did it better than their competition. Of course, I may be wrong… we’ll all just have to wait and see.

    • My concern is that Amazon bought it because — due to a spat they had with Amazon at one point — it was steering people to Other Ebook Sellers. For that matter, Kobo gets its book reviews from GoodReads. Yes, they’ve thus-far said that no, no, of course they’re not going to interfere with that. But, frankly, I wouldn’t believe that line if GR’d been bought by Apple and the words came from the undead lips of Steve Jobs — and I’m an Apple Fangirl with my soul bought and sold and stamped with the Fruit since the Powerbook 145’s release.

      We’ll see. Amazon might yet surprise me. If it doesn’t, though? Everyone here is so going to hear “tooooooold you so” for months. 😉 (There really needs to be a “demon-smiley” for TPV.)

  5. I saw it as a logical step for Amazon, to have a social network around book sales. They tried Shelfari, but everyone was already on Goodreads.

    I don’t get recommendations much from Goodreads. I really get them from Twitter and Bloggers. The only effect to my reading habits will be.

    1. Not having to construct a page for my books anymore
    2. Being able to automatically update my reading progress from my Kindle
    3. Having reviews on Amazon perhaps cross-posted to Goodreads? That would be nice.

    Further, Goodreads has had some issues with publisher interns slamming Indie Books (I have seen the accounts, two months old with 500 indie books at 1 star and another hundred books by the same traditional publisher at 4 or 5 stars). Maybe Amazon will be able to keep those kinds of shenanigans under control.

    I just don’t see the apocalyptic hype coming true. There are too many factors that influence what books I buy. Amazon’s “Customers who bought this book also bought” influences my purchases much more than Goodreads ever has.

    • Garfield (not the Cat)

      ” Goodreads has had some issues with publisher interns slamming Indie Books (I have seen the accounts, two months old with 500 indie books at 1 star and another hundred books by the same traditional publisher at 4 or 5 stars).”

      THAT’S WHERE THOSE REVIEWS COME FROM! I never looked at the fact they did have 4/5 stars of books from the SAME trad publisher. Dirty little trick.

      I agree with you and hope Amazon puts a stop to that. There are so many good indie books and so much “trad trash” as well as bad indie books and good trad books we don’t need fake reviews from young trad interns trying to help their Masters.

    • Re: the publisher intern thing, wow, I had no idea that was going on.

  6. Mark Coker sees the deal as a preemptive strike to keep competitors from getting it. Makes sense to me.
    An open Goodreads is no threat to Amazon; a closed Goodreads run by the Random Penguin or Google, however, would’ve required an expensive counter. Better to set it up as a Protectorate than see it serve as a beachhead for an enemy.

    • Protectorate – Love it!
      So, shelfari is more like the Brits burning the Danish fleet at Copenhagen before the French could get their hands on it?

    • Not that I necessarily disagree with Mark, Felix, but just how long was Amazon supposed to wait?

      Goodreads has been ripe for the pickin’ for some time now. What was Big Pub waiting for? They just missed out on a huge opportunity to obtain the book selling data that they desperately need. The data was the real prise in the deal, and as usual Big Pub screwed it up.

      Turrow is starting to remind me of a certain “Dear Leader”. He has to scream louder every time because nobody is really listening anymore. The sky IS falling for him, but it’s doing so at a pace that he, and his handlers, have plenty of time to react to.

      Its their own damn fault if they don’t. If they want to sit between the rails while the train comes at them, fine. But don’t blame the train.

      • It all comes down to the fact that neither the publishers nor Turow give a moment’s thought to readers.
        With all the harping on the (misnamed) “discoverability” issue, you would think a 16 million strong reader community would have drawn a thought or two *before* the sky fell down.
        As long as they keep giving (at most) lip service to reader issues this blind spot is going to keep coming back to bite them.

        (BTW, what happened to the talking point dujour, the indispensability of bookstores for “discovery”? If bookstores are the critical chokepoint, why such a fuss over online reviews?) 😉

      • That’s the ticket! With the industry’s history of leaving reader’s opinions out of the mix, it is no surprise that the retailer who devised the best distribution system yet invented, might think there was something to it worth investigating.

      • With all the books Turow sells on Amazon, his sky is probably intact for a while. I wonder what percentage of his income comes from Amazon?

  7. I’ve been telling everyone to wait and see, but authors seem eager to jump to conclusions about how Amazon is going to force Goodreads reviews down everyones’ throats, remove all links to other retailers, and unlock the seventh seal to hearken in the apocalypse.

  8. a site known for the depth and breadth of its users’ book recommendations

    one international bestseller’s depth and breadth is another writer’s (fill in the blank).

  9. Never heard that song before. 😀

    Turow’s post was very well-written. Such a nicely combined mix of sour grapes and incenditory buzz words. Monopolies! Threats! Scuttling potential!

    He almost seems to imply that Amazon was bad, bad, bad for buying Goodreads, and any truly decent company would have abstained from such a brilliant aquisition. The part about why the Big Six didn’t get there first appears to be missing.

  10. I just remembered (’cause I don’t use them) that Kobo points people tp Goodreads to get reviews of books. I wonder how that will change, and whether this will be a good or bad thing for Kobo buyers. Do you suppose Kobo might develop it’s own review system?

    • Their decision.
      Goodreads already said they’re not cutting them off.

      • Goodreads can say what they like right now. Once Amazon’s control is set, they’ll do whatever is to their best advantage, and I doubt supporting a competing eReader will be seen as advantageous.

        • OTOH, unless said competing e-reader becomes a big enough threat to alleviate the potential problem anyway, encouraging it to continue to provide a consumer alternative looks pretty good on the old corporate resume. Don’t think of it as subsidizing Kobo: think of it as cheap antitrust insurance.

    • Stop and think about this:

      Amazon has a feature — that they push hard — which allows Amazon customers to put non-Amazon products on their wishlist. These are not products from Amazon partner sites or from which Amazon earns a penny. As a matter of fact the sites have no say in the matter — the customer says “Ooooo, I want that chocolate Kazoo!” and puts it on her Amazon list, and friends who click on the list get sent to Kazoos.com where they can buy it.

      Kazoos.com gets all the money, as an ordinary transaction. What does Amazon get?

      Amazon gets the person’s friends going to Amazon to look for presents. That’s it. But that’s what Amazon wants.

      So what does Amazon get out of Kobo having all those Goodreads reviews on Kobo’s site? It gets everyone who shops at Kobo as a potential customer for Goodreads — which is a pipe into Amazon.

      This is less likely to convert a Kobo user to a Kindle user, but, um, AMAZON SELLS KOBO READERS TOO!

      And also Kobo slip covers and lights, and paper books, and desk lamps and bathrobes and chocolate kazoos…. and everything that a reader might want.

      That’s a win-win situation.

      • And there is value in knowing what kind of people buy Kobos, what books they like and why.
        For all the talk of Gooreads value for marketting, very little thought is going into its much more important value as a tool for market research.
        Amazon already knows what Kindle users are like: now they have a chance to learn what users of Kobo, Sony, and whatever are like.

      • Sure. They also sell Nooks and iPads.

        Back when people in my state could still be Amazon affiliates, I had a few Apple laptops sold through affilate links on my old blog. That was sweet.

      • Good point, Camille!

      • I have the kindle app running on my kobo vox, because there are books I prefer to read that way.

        There’s a false either/or here.

        I read kindle ebooks. I read kobo books. I read paper books. I read the back of crisp packets.

  11. One day Scott Turow might learn what the word monopoly means … Though I doubt it. What he really means is monopsony. Not that Amazon is close to achieving one of those either.

    All corporations work on the principle of creating a monopoly or monopsony. Duh. Make the most money, beat the competition. It’s how the game works.

  12. Traditionally, big companies, and amz is huge, buy up other companies/competitors to either quash them as they are competition [whilst keeping the top two or three people for a couple years who then often flee glad to escape the contract, but have also signed a non-compete contract so are out of luck to build their own idea again– as you know lots of $$$ can influence bad choices for … later]

    And/or big co buys smaller successful co to gut it. To take whatever ‘assets’, again keeping top two or three people, then cutting them loose once gutted. Also non-compete contracts will usually have been signed tying the hands of true innovators often.

    And/ or big co buys smaller co to take on chameleon cloak as though they hold the same values as small co. See for instance large food cos trying to buy up small health food chains in order to suddenly look a certain way. They aren’t health oriented at all, but now have the chamelion skin to fool some.

    And/ or big co buys up smaller co to literally gain the genius [if there is one] of that company, often a young person who is dazzled by the $$$ again and the inclusion in corporate. Dual idea, glean everything one can for R&D from ‘the genius’ while preventing his/her company from being a competitor. Two birds/one stone.

    THere are other reasons.

    Turow made some good points, and we’ll have to wait and see what Amz does with GR. However, the gatekeepers were broken when the newspapers and their few darlings they chose for reviewers went down bec of lack of ad dollars in general as disruptive Craigs list etc dominated much. I wouldnt like to see dominance again in book reviewing. I hope that is a trope of the past wherein people look to reviewers as somehow more knowing than their own minds, their own close in friends, and the wild seed that comes flying in from somewhere re a cool book.

    I note that my many grandchildren dont read reviews; they buy books by the ereader-full and by print on paper-full — as they are avid learners and readers. They get their hits from friends. From AMZ’s recommendation of 20-30 books in the crawler under the book they’re buying, and from real time browsing in bookstores.

    There are many ways to buy a book, but choosing books, I think, has expanded greatly from what it once was, ditto theatre reviews that are local, ditto art and architecture ‘reviews.’ It is so odd that art of writing, poetics, dance, sculpture, painting are ‘reviewed’ with a ferocity that is about such simple things. I often think that kind of cud and vitriol and/or over the moon praise ought be aimed toward saving lives, protecting country, something huge in the annals of time. Just my .02.

    The “Vine” program at Amazon of so-called ‘tested’ reviewers has been a very mixed bag for authors, as the print/audio works are given to them for free, and they have had issues with some of their reviewers selling their ‘free goods’ etc. Ebooks don’t pose that issue, I dont think.

    And one last thing: if a book has 100 reviews, no one in their right mind unless they are just thrilled to be reading reviews instead of books, and have no children to raise or elders to help or job to go to, or health issues to take care of… etc. — most are unlikely to plow through 100 reviews of personal reflections. Likewise, the really good reviewers who actually bring something new to the viewpoints, I think, ought be writing their own books, instead… they are often that good. WHen presumed, for some books, a hundred or more reviews from GR might be added on AMZ to each such book, it becomes a full time job to just read reviews.

    We can all really only eat so much food at one sitting, take so much direct sunlight, drink so much alcohol or water. It is not by accident that many forms of torture are excess food, water, being buried in the sand in the relentless sun.

    Just my .02. Amazon has several strategies/motives for buying goodreads. We will wait and have to see.

    • And/or big co buys smaller successful co to gut it.

      Which Amazon did with Stanza. And they didn’t even improve the Kindle app more than from “pathetic” to “passable”! Meanwhile, Stanza withers from neglect, despite still being the most feature-full and effective e-reader iOS app for heavy readers, and I can’t upgrade my iPhingies without losing it. (Which I am unwilling to do, because Stubborn and Contrary runs in my blood for generations.)

      And/ or big co buys smaller co to take on chameleon cloak as though they hold the same values as small co.

      AbeBooks, anyone?

      Amazon has behaved in both the above ways. Maybe the leopard will change its spots this time.

  13. I’m waiting for the newsflash that it has been discovered that Turrow is secretly pubbing on kdp select via pen name.

  14. I’ll pay Turow a hundred bucks for every post he ever made on Goodreads.

    I’m betting I won’t have to give up a dime.

    He probably had to have someone explain to him what it was.

  15. I’ve also suddenly started seeing a line at the bottom of my amazon pages asking me how useful I found the reviews in making a decision. I guess the whole review ecosystem is being evaluated for usefulness… 🙂

    • That’s been there for ages and ages — the “was this review helpful” bit. Or do you mean it’s changed somehow?

      • I think so. It’s not the one about a specific review but a question at the bottom of the page asking if the reviews helped me make a decision. Maybe I’ve just missed seeing it before.

        • Huh! I don’t see anything like that on any pages I’ve glanced at. Maybe they’re testing out a new approach.

    • I am not sure how long it’s been going on, but another relatively recent development at least for me is that when I go back to my Library after reaching the last page of a Kindle book (on my iPad app) a screen pops up that says “Before You Go…” It then invites me to post a review of the book directly from the app.

      • That one is new, I believe. I think it’s on the last page of the books in my Kindle app…?

        Either way, I approve. More apps should do that.

  16. Everytime a story like this breaks I can’t help but imagine what’s going on in boardrooms.

    AMZ: We’ve done good with our e-readers but we can do more. We know Apple owns the tablet market but let’s move ahead anyway with our own low cost tablet to make other media easier to buy and use.

    BPH: There’s a fantastic Thai-fusion place down in Tribeca, think they can get us in for lunch?

    AMZ: We want more people reading so let’s go head with the lending program. And just so we don’t alienate our writers, we’ll pay them for lends so they’re not losing out. Taking care of writers is important so we can continue to provide content for readers.

    BPH: Wow, we can get really high margins from our own e-books. Make sure we grab as many e-rights as we can from now on, and I love the idea where writers pay us for e-pubbing while giving us all rights forever. Slap our name and logo all over a pay to publish service and push that out right now. There’s still a lot of wannabe’s out there that will do anything to be published by us.

    AMZ: Let’s go ahead with the select program. Writer’s can be discoverd with free promotion and readers can try new writers for no cost. Putting readers and writers together is what’s it’s all about.

    BPH: Phew, Thank god the bonadage books are selling. We never would have bought that crap a year ago but make sure we take full credit for it in all our press releases. Print five million more copies and we can take the rest of the year off. I hear there’s fresh powder in Telluride.

    AMZ: We’ve been looking at GR for awhile. It will give us a huge amount of new data on what readers like. Remember, no matter how well we do and whatever we innovate, knowing our customers, what they want and how to give it to them is still key. It’s all about readers.

    BPH: Who?

    • That’s pretty funny, D.L. But I imagined a scene very similar to this one in which Amazon is doing all the talking and BP is just listening to Taylor Swift through the earphones and not hearing anything Amazon is saying.

  17. Not gonna lie. I’ve been having a blast over there. However, I did make the fatal mistake of “outing” myself as a self-pubber, thereby invalidating both my opinion and reality.

  18. If they don’t like that Goodreads are owned by Amazon, there are other reader clubs. Status quo over innovation and progress must be maintained, or so they wish.

    • Yes. If it turns into an Amazon shill/cheerleading site, someone will start a competitor. I don’t expect that to happen, though, at least not on a blatant level. The difference is that Bezos knows about disintermediation, and the Big 5 are still in denial about it.

  19. Confession: I often read the original posts, and then come here to read the really good stuff – the comments. 😀

  20. I honestly don’t know how anyone can complain about Amazon’s treatment of authors and compare it unfavorable to the treatment of authors by Big Publishing. There’s just no comparison. Plus the defenders of BP never ever say that, well…amazon is developing into the market leader by making smart moves. Over and over again. By understanding deeply the digital market. All things available to BP but sadly neglected. Instead of yowling about amazon’s market share why don’t they encourage their publishers to be smart instead of squeezing profits out of their writers?

    • I’ve heard — and experienced — some Amazon “attention” that convinced me all I want is benevolent neglect. Not saying tradpub is better, but Amazon “customer service” is no saint when it comes to authors with a problem that needs solving.

      If someone would hand me control of B&N, though, I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas to make it competitive… *evil grin*

  21. The esteemed trkravtin on self-publishers:

    No. End of discussion because self-published writers understand one narrow aspect of the publishing industry and have little experience to allow themselves to be open-minded to anything else except the cult of Amazon. Please, you should all stop embarrassing yourselves with this pointless, argumentative discussion. I marvel at the relentless, bullying that goes on in these comments on the website of an organization that apparently does not represent any of you. If you ever have the opportunity to be published other than as an ebook on Amazon, perhaps you’ll gain an insight that you otherwise don’t have now.

    • Being published other than as an ebook on Amazon doesn’t give you an inside into publishing industry, even if you are published by one of the big five/four — how many is there now? What it gives you is an inside into the editor-writer relationship or editor-agent-writer relationship. Even most of the editors doesn’t know the inside of publishing industry, they only know what’s happening in their little circle. (And editors don’t love authors, they love great books, authors are just ‘annoyance’ attached to books.) I work in the accounting of European cooperation that owns publishing imprints. I admit, that I don’t know anything what’s going on in editor-writer relationship even though I worked in fiction department for months and I knew editors by their first name. I say knew because most of them are gone now when our management decided that skilled editors cost too much and replaced them with part-timers. So whenever I hear somebody, who seeing the publishing industry only from one side, claiming that somebody who is a self-published author doesn’t have an inside into publishing industry, funny. News flash, you don’t know it either. Only a few do. Even I, who see all the income and expenses (overhead, paid royalty, print cost, …) see only one side of the industry. But I do know, all the big publishers are first cooperation and as such do what they think is good for corporation and for its shareholders, not for authors, editors, bookstores or readers. Believing otherwise is naive.

    • “Relentless bullying”?

      He is a sensitive snowflake, isn’t he?

    • From Dan’s Post;

      “The esteemed trkravtin on self-publishers:

      No. End of discussion because self-published writers understand one narrow aspect of the publishing industry and have little experience to allow themselves to be open-minded to anything else except the cult of Amazon…… If you ever have the opportunity to be published other than as an ebook on Amazon, perhaps you’ll gain an insight that you otherwise don’t have now.”

      Wow, that statement just floors me.

      So in order to understand trade Publishing one has to first be trade published? I beg to differ. To understand trade publishing one needs nothing more than a business education and some common sense. Signing a contract does not immediately bestow on the signatory an education any more than an honorary degree from a university does. Neither does time. Time does NOT automatically equal wisdom. You have to earn it. This was well demonstrated by the pathetic comments made by such long time trade authors as Jodi Picoult and Sue Grafton in regard to self-publishing.

      The list of pro’s and con’s regarding the two forms can be easily assembled from the multiple sources out there. Trade pub contracts are available to be read. Numbers are available to be crunched. One simply has to do a little work for themselves and not let the opinions and spin of their handlers do so for them.

      • And another thing;

        Why should an author spend time studying a dying industry? What is important right now is the future. Studying an industry in the middle of disruption puts you behind the wave of change. You don’t see the perpetrators of disruptive innovation looking behind them, they are ALWAYS looking forward.

        The fear is building. It’s the same fear that keeps some people in that dead-end job even though they have opportunity to grow elsewhere. They’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone, despite the potential rewards/freedoms.

        I could quote a certain speech by William Wallace here but I think I made my point. Some people are just hell-bent on being surfs. I say let um.

      • “If you ever have the opportunity to be published other than as an ebook on Amazon, perhaps you’ll gain an insight that you otherwise don’t have now.”

        This reminded me of law school when I did Jurisprudence: to know Justice, you need to know Injustice.

        Seems to me, this comes down to the same thing.

        • They closed the thread before I and a few of my friends could respond. I have a few trad published friends who I showed this thread too and wanted to comment in defense of Dan. I wonder if they shut down the comments because they were trying to post a response to trkravtin?

          They’ve all been burned by trad pubs and laughed heartily when they read trkravtin’s comments against Dan. Once you HAVE been trad published you’ll know the value of indie publishing, not the socalled ever diminishing value of trad publishing. But trkravtin cannot will not and does not want to accept that. For trkravtin the end is nigh with all these dreadful indie folks. oy vey.

          • I appreciate you having my back over there. It was just a ridiculous stance for trkravtin to take, especially in light of the trad-pubbed writers who were saying the exact same thing as I was.

            It seems to me that self-pubbers tend to know a lot about the trad-pub industry, whether by research, previous publishing history, failure to be published, or whatever. But most trad-pub authors know ZIP about self-publishing.

            Good times. 😀

            • It seems to me that self-pubbers tend to know a lot about the trad-pub industry, whether by research, previous publishing history, failure to be published, or whatever. But most trad-pub authors know ZIP about self-publishing.
              This.
              This also made me see that I should probably add in my long ramble above that I learned more about publishing industry (on whole) though KB, and Kris’s, Dean’s and PG’s blogs than I did in ten years working in a corporation with publishing imprints.

  22. “But I do know, all the big publishers are first corporation and as such do what they think is good for corporation and for its shareholders, not for authors, editors, bookstores or readers. Believing otherwise is naive.”

    factually said, Elka.

  23. I originally posted this comment on April 3 (before my coffee had kicked in) and randomly inserted it into another thread. I feel I must correct this error. Again, my coffee has not kicked in so let’s hope I get it right this time:

    Wow, these comments here and the comments on the original article were so entertaining! I love it when well-read people bash heads. Fashionably epistolary. I am still surprised when the anti-Amazon folks put their fingers in their ears and sing-song LA LA LA LA LA when a self-published author states the economic truths. I was astonished by the “shut your mouth” and “end of discussion” responses. Those faithful to traditional publishing probably think self-published authors are dabbling in the Dark Arts. They must refuse to listen to the Devil’s tempting lies lest they lose their souls. Hell, with 70% royalties, we can buy a really nice air conditioner if it gets too hot.

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