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3 Voices In The Age Of Amazon: Tech It To The Next Level

30 June 2014

From Thought Catalog:

Is there a way to hack through the jungle of snarls and get a higher view on publishing’s struggle with and around Amazon?

“Those who think the ground beneath the book business is not moving violently, look away now,” writes The Bookseller’s Philip Jones in his editorial lead for Friday.

. . . .

Would you like to assume that Amazon is telling a lie? Want to give it a good harrumph and claim that you don’t believe a thing coming out of that Northwestern city? That’s fine. You get to disbelieve and discount anything and anybody you want. Hell, I don’t believe a word I say.

But in any argument, it’s a lot better for you to have to stop, even briefly, and consider the fact that someone’s original assertion, especially about a lightning rod like Amazon, may not be accurate. You’re likelier to find the truth if you get a chance to hear more than one side of a problem.

And there are a lot of sides of the problems facing publishing — like those facing Amazon, actually.

Wednesday evening, the self- and traditionally published author Hugh Howey was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio’s Suspense Magazine by a host who studiously pronounces Hachette “Hashay.” At one point, this interviewer wondered aloud why publishers weren’t “stepping up and trying to save Barnes & Noble.” Maybe he doesn’t know that just last year, Barnes & Noble was in a retail-negotiations fight with Simon & Schuster that punished innocent authors and readers, including Howey and readers of Wool, by refusing to carry certain books in stores — very, very much as Amazon’s standoff with “Hashay” is punishing some of its authors now. This host seemed to have to be reminded by Howey, too, that rising profits on royalty-poor ebooks have been shoring up publishers’ sliding revenues on print.

Howey, on the high ground, patiently talked about the way the industry! the industry! seems to focus on just that — its commercial fortunes, not the value of its content and the reader-writer relationship.

“We see people consumed,” Howey said, “with how things are going to affect these multi-million-dollar corporations, and not the people on either end of these corporations,” the writers and the readers.

Link to the rest at Thought Catalog

Amazon, Big Publishing

3 Comments to “3 Voices In The Age Of Amazon: Tech It To The Next Level”

  1. Now I want to listen to that interview.

  2. I agree with the basic premise of this article, but one note: Seattle is a Pacific Northwest city not a Northwest city. Milwaukee is a Northwest city. Just saying’.

    • Last I heard, Milwaukee was a Midwestern city. I wouldn’t begin to describe it as Northwest.

      (Says the nitpicker who is so far into the Northwest, he’s in Alberta.)

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