Sunday, January 29, 2012

Authors and the Fight Between Amazon and Barnes and Noble

There is a big fight going on between Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Basically Amazon is trying to squash traditional book publishing with the Kindle and Barnes and Noble is fighting back and saying they are Custers last stand between traditional publishing and the cold windy streets of Ebooks. Authors are in the middle but according to the NY Times article we will suffer if BN goes down because people will quit buying books and we will be left with our little downloads to make a living. That would suppose authors are making a living now.

The one percent rule applies here. About one percent of the authors make all the money and the rest scramble for the crumbs. Shelf space is the dividing line and if you cannot get shelf space in a store then you do not exist. You may be one great writer but there are only so many slots or so much space in a store and your book might not make the cut. So you have effectively disappeared. Or you never got up to bat in the first place. Getting a book of fiction published has never been easy and now it is something like winning the lotto (except for the money of course)

So where does that leave authors. Wellllll (as Ron Paul would say) you know having an ebook out there might not be like having a real book but it beats the alternative: oblivion. And I don't mean you are not still writing oblivion, I mean you are still writing very good books that you simply cannot get published or get onto the shelves. So you really don't exist. And that is a very real fate for most authors in the old paradyme. Not to say we all don't want the book published route, but if presented with some water verus no water in a desert, I will take the few drops offered.

So who knows if BN will win. The big authors do have a lot to lose. They are making real money. The literary mid list fiction writing authors probably will do better in an Amazon dominated world. At the very least they will get their books out there and if they hustle and word of mouth gets going, they might even sell. And they can have all the shelf space they want.
Rocket word...plastics

Books by William Hazelgrove