You thought the Big Five were bad for Publishing?
They were just Big Business. Big Business has no conscience. It only has hunger ... for more.
Chuck Wendig, author and blogger, had an interesting article:
DIVERSIFY YOUR PUBLISHING: WHY AMAZON'S ACX ROYALTY CHANGE MATTERS
Once upon a time, the Big Six had a monopoly of sorts.
Amazon came along with Kindle and KDP and the Big Five no longer had us by the throats.
B&N came up with the Nook and Apple with its iPad. We had places to go with our ebooks.
Amazon commenced to do what it does best: crush its competition.
Now, the Nook is almost a ghost. Apple is but a shadow of its former self.
With Audible's exclusive contract with Audible, ACX is basically a monopoly for audiobooks ...
Hence, ACX now gobbles 60% of the royalties which really are but fees they charge for distribution.
Ah, where are you going to go with your audiobooks now? Nowhere.
Unless you want to invest $3000, that because of Whispersync you will never earn back, your audiobook days are over.
Oh, well, you weren't going to do audiobooks anyway.
As I wrote:
Nook is almost a ghost. Apple's ebook store is a shadow of its former self and is harder to get into than KDP.
And we bragged so much about Amazon, Kindles are dirt cheap and most ereaders do their reading on Kindles.
People with Kindles find it hard to use them on any other platform.
KDP gave only 35% to authors when it was the only game in town.
Then, a week before the iPad came out, it gave authors 70%.
Now, to get that, you must make your book EXCLUSIVE to KDP.
Amazon is floating the idea of raising the price for Amazon Prime to $119. Ouch. You'd have to order 17 things a year from them just to have that price make sense.
Amazon is grumbling publically about its profit margins. In trying to undercut Apple's iPad and other competitors, Amazon has not made much profit over these past five years.
That has to change for it to remain solvent.
Rather than angering their entire Amazon Prime stable of users,
Amazon would much rather just undercut self-publishers. I mean where would we go?
And in a few years, we may not be given a choice ... just the boot.
Amazon wants to rival, then crush Netflix and Apple.
It wants to be the only game in town so that it can prune and weed its inventory and merely have Large Names with their Large Profits.
As Chuck so quaintly put it:
Amazon no es tu amigo.
Amazon bought Goodreads — for the member list, not to sell them books.
If a company does well coming up with some other ease of use approach to e-books, Amazon will either try to buy it or wipe it out of existence.
Amazon is steadily squeezing publishers for all sorts of fees and increases in their share of the monies,
the smaller presses the worst because Amazon is a bigger part of their sales.
For a smaller house, Amazon’s total discount can go as high as sixty per cent, which cuts deeply into already slim profit margins.
Author publishers were good advertising for the Kindle.
As for the Kindle, the issue isn’t whether Kindle customers can buy titles from elsewhere, but will they bother.
The Kindle’s success is based on ease of use, which has been Amazon’s advantage.
Now that Amazon is moving on from e-readers to numerous fronts into the tech and media worlds, e-books are already in the back seat of their attention.
By 2010, Amazon controlled ninety per cent of the market in digital books—a dominance that almost no company, in any industry, could claim.
Now, after the Apple reversal in court, it has a 65% dominance and climbing back up.
Mr. Bezos originally thought of calling his company Relentless.com—
that U.R.L. still takes you to Amazon’s site—before adopting the name of the world’s largest river by volume.
It seems preposterous now, but Amazon began as a bookstore.
In 1994, at the age of thirty, Mr. Bezos, a Princeton graduate, quit his job at a Manhattan hedge fund and moved to Seattle
to found a company that could ride the exponential growth of the early commercial Internet.
(Mr. Bezos calculated that, in 1993, usage climbed by two hundred and thirty thousand per cent.)
Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon.
Mr. Bezos saw Amazon selling books as a way of gathering data on affluent, educated shoppers.
The books would be priced close to cost, in order to increase sales volume.
After collecting data on millions of customers, Amazon could figure out how to sell everything else dirt cheap on the Internet.
Before Google, and long before Facebook, Mr. Bezos realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected.
Two decades later, Amazon sells a bewildering array of products.
Book publishers’ dependence on Amazon, however unwilling, keeps growing.
Amazon constitutes a third of one major house’s retail sales on a given week, with the growth chart pointing toward fifty per cent.
Amazon is a venue.
Venues raise their rent.