Amazon Is Creating Competition, Not Killing It

The big topic (again) seems to be Amazon and competition – whether it is a monopoly, or is heading in that direction, and whether they should be “stopped” (although, I’m never quite sure what that entails exactly). Barry Eisler dealt with this fear, rather conclusively, back in October in a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog. But lately, the hysteria has been ratcheted up a notch by Mike Shatzkin’s sensible prediction that Amazon will soon be responsible for 50% of most publisher’s sales (I can’t link to Mike’s original piece at the moment, there seems to be a problem with his site, but Passive Guy quotes the main points). The Author’s Guild now has Amazon firmly in their sights. An article Read More…

Amazon Rakes In More Cash, And Spends It Wisely

Amazon announced its Q2 results yesterday, and the growth was stunning – net sales were up 51% on 2010, topping out at $9.91bn for the three month period ending June 30. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that “low prices, expanding selection, fast delivery and innovation are driving the fastest growth we’ve seen in over a decade.” He also noted that the Kindle 3G with Special Offers (priced at $139) quickly became their bestselling Kindle. As usual, no exact numbers were given. Those deep pockets just keep getting deeper. But what are they doing with the money? Despite this staggering growth, profits are down 8% on the same period last year. Why? Some of the details from Amazon’s press release Read More…

JK Rowling Really Is Self-Publishing: A Closer Look

Now that the dust has settled a little, I would like to take some time today to examine aspects of JK Rowling’s move into self-publishing. As soon as the announcement was made, various people were tying themselves into knots to describe this as anything other than self-publishing. “Although some are likely to see Rowling’s decision to be her own publisher for her e-books as a significant one for the industry at large, Potter is a unique franchise.” That was from Publisher’s Weekly. Aside from the ludicrous suggestion that any writer couldn’t set up a website and sell their own work direct to the public, note they use “decision to be her own publisher” instead of the dreaded words “self-publishing”. Some Read More…

Self-Publishing & Trade Are Not Mutually Exclusive

There was one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb amidst all the huffing and puffing surrounding Barry Eisler’s decision to sign with Amazon’s new imprint, Thomas & Mercer. Some people (both indie evangelists and arch-defenders of trade publishing), think that self-publishing and trade publishing are mutually exclusive paths. This nonsense needs to be dealt with right away. First off, there are many, many people who have trade deals who are also self-publishing other titles.

Publishers Skinning Authors

I have to spend the day hauling giant loads of copper, chemicals, and silicone (don’t ask), so if you don’t mind, I will do a quick news round-up, and talk about some stuff appearing here and elsewhere in the coming days. Publishers & Agents Trying to Skin Their Authors The Passive Voice is my new favourite blog (thanks to Dean Wesley Smith). He provides excellent overviews of the disruptive changes occurring in publishing, and as a former lawyer, he is especially strong on how publishers are introducing worrying provisions in contracts, attempting to tie-up rights they haven’t paid for.

The Third Way – Barry Eisler Signs Trade Deal With Amazon

In a move announced yesterday at BookExpo America, Barry Eisler has signed a trade deal with Amazon’s newest imprint Thomas & Mercer. Full details of the deal have yet to emerge, but Eisler stated that the advance was “comparable” to the trade deal he walked away from. He also stated that print royalty terms will be similar, but that he will receive “close to” 70% e-book royalties and retain creative control. He also stated that the contract was the most “author friendly” he had ever seen and that he signed straight away.