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Amazon Might Be Even More Disruptive Than You Think

30 September 2013

From The Motley Fool:

For as much as the headlines dissect Amazon.com’s new Kindles and adventures in streaming, it’s easy to forget that the company’s original business — i.e., selling books online — is expanding in creative ways, and that’s good news for investors.

Take digital publishing. Amazon has built an entire operation out of helping authors self-publish, and earn cash from, original works. Novelist and comic-book writer John Jackson Miller, whose work is usually set in the Star Warsuniverse, recently used the e-tailer for his first self-published novel, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive.

“The editor I’m working with is one of my former editors at Random House on the Star Wars books, so working with him has been great. Their proofreaders have been world-class. I’ve just been astounded,” Miller said in an interview. “The fact that Amazon understands its own data allows me as a number-cruncher myself to really know what’s going on in the lifecycle of this product, and where I need to do my PR.”

. . . .

With Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, Miller wrote the novel like he would a comic book — 12,000 words every two weeks. He’d then release the latest novel “episode,” selling thousands of copies directly through Amazon. Miller had decent sales numbers even before the final product was available for purchase.

Link to the rest at The Motley Fool


4 Comments to “Amazon Might Be Even More Disruptive Than You Think”

  1. At a casual glance, that looks like “Onion Offensive.” It really made me sit up and take notice.

  2. Boy, that was a waste of time. No hard sales numbers, just PR fluff. Typical Motley Fool krep.

  3. Little behind the curve, aren’t they? I don’t think the Fools–or the publishers–realize how very deep this goes. I’m small potatoes, tiny potatoes, actually, but even in my tiny list are NYT best sellers and genre stars who thought they’d give self-publishing a try, just to see what it’s all about. What they find out is that it is DOABLE. It is easy to find competent people to help in production (editing, covers, formatting). It is easy to distribute their work. It’s easy to track sales and manage promotion. It is easy to find support and yes, even nurturing if they require it. I think some of my clients are a little shocked by the fact that there are no mysteries in self-publishing. All the information they need is available for the taking. Throw in the fact that scheduling is entirely within their control and so is their money, and they get hooked.

    Articles like these put so much emphasis on the news-makers. It makes me wonder if the publishers are paying any attention at all to those who are quietly going about their business–business that doesn’t involve them in any way. Their business model is badly broken (especially in how they deal with producers of the goods they need to sell). Sure, there are plenty of hopefuls clamoring for “validation” and publishers can still easily fill their lists. But with what? I can easily envision the day when readers see a book from a major publisher and sniff in derision at the pathetic offerings.

    There is a major exodus going on, and it’s not making the news. I can see it from my end. Wonder if the publishers can see it from theirs.

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