Is History Repeating Itself? Amazon and eBooks
It wasn’t that long ago (1980’s and 1990’s) really that the book world was being torn asunder by the rise of the super bookstores like Crown Books, Waldenbooks, B. Daltons, Borders among others who, due to their size and discounting practices, under cut the neighborhood bookstores and put many out of business because they couldn’t compete.
Then ironically came computer ordering and Amazon. Slowly the sales started to erode at the major booksellers as the cheaper hardbacks and then eBooks gained (for many reasons) in popularity and people started buying, not just eBooks but all their books on the computer. Equally ironic? Later we saw the rise of the niche bookstore, quietly returning back to the neighborhoods, filling a hole and feeding a desire that never quite left because people love to visit bookstore, hold actual books, and talk with others who share their passions.
Now its 2018 and so many of those super bookstore chains are gone or failing done in by Amazon’s success, with Google, iTunes and others close behind. Banes and Noble‘s longstanding flagship store in Bethesda is closing…long a landmark. Lately I’ve been wondering if our LGBT publishers have been looking over their shoulders and wondering if they will be able to compete against this giant as well. The list of publishers that have given up recently is depressing because they were the ones I turned to when I wanted my stories to read all those years ago (Samhain Publishing, ARe, Loose Id, Torquere…). it certainly wasn’t’ Amazon.
All those special niche publishers fed my need for these stories , giving home and platform to authors who had stories to tell. There is a much longer list than I gave and not all ended gracefully or were well run, just as all small businesses everywhere. Somehow with us, it seems more personal, our world smaller somehow. Anyhow, I’m getting off-course again. They did something Amazon couldn’t or wouldn’t do. The small and personal against the enormous business machine.
Does the #cockygate ring any bells for you? Google it!
So now Amazon is in the publishing business as well as the selling business and the cost of eBooks is rising. Some say it’s rising far above what people should have to pay for an eBook? What’s too high? $8 $9? What’s your limit for an eBook? What’s the price you would pay for convenience and portability? I get a feeling the market is about to find out.
What are your feelings about this?
Is there a built in balance supplied by the consumer? With the big business on one end (no matter the type Amazon or Crown and the more personal small business mode on the other? Or can both co exist financially if the right market balance is achieved? Same with publishers. Can the very real need for the small niche publishers ensure that they succeed even while the giants like Amazon and Google and iTunes roll on?
I hope that our continuing need for the personal, the quirky, and the individual will help us support our LGBT publishers while also not forgetting that there are self-publishing authors who need to make a living and do so via the juggernaut that is Amazon. We need both and should give our support to both. That doesn’t mean sacrificing scrutiny however, especially where in-house practices are concerned. And not just Amazon.
Much has been said recently about the practices at Borders and the problems at Riptide Publishing has been well documented here.
So, my wonderful readers here, I have one more question to put to you. What responsibility, if any, do we have as readers, to the authors and publishers that we love to read and buy from? Is it enough to simply buy their stories and leave it at that? Or do we have a larger responsibility here simply as book lovers to ensure that the concerns of all readers are being taken care of. That all stories are safe, not pirated, not being withheld from the public because of a giant conglomerate’s minion’s desire to remove all titles with the word Cocky in it (#cockygate), or just because they contain LGBT subject matter on the cover or storyline. Or even, help us, have a PoC on the cover. Do we just keep buying books or do we do something? And what?
What say you? I’d really like to know…
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, May 13:
- This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- Is History Repeating Itself? Amazon and eBooks
- Blog Tour for Upon Broken Wings by EL Reedy and AM Wade
- Ellie Keaton’s Unforgivable Tour
Monday, May 14:
- Release Blitz – Swings & Roundabouts – Jackie Keswick
- AUDIO TOUR The Solstice Prince by SJ Hime
- Harmony Promo Andrew Demcak
- An Ali Audiobook Review: Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
- An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kairos by Mary Calmes and Michael Fell (Narrator)
- An Ali Audiobook Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) by Jay Northcote and Lewis Carter (Narrator)
Tuesday, May 15:
- DSP Promo Chase/Rhodes
- Series Recap Blitz – C.F White – Responsible Adult Series
- Release Blitz – Leta Blake – Alpha Heat
- A Caryn Release Day Review: Nudging Fate by EJ Russell
- A VVivacious Review Angel and Firebird by Nell Iris
- A MelanieM Review: The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles
- An Alisa Review: The Power of Two by Leigh Vining
Wednesday, May 16:
- Hybrid cover reveal and book blitz *Masters and Mages series by Alexis Duran
- Release Blitz Tour – Last Defense (Harrisburg Railers #5) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
- Review Tour – On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin
- A Stella Review Lock Nut(Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
- A Lila Review: A Disposable Husband by Iyana Jenna
- An Ali Audiobook Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes and Dorian Bane (Narrator)
Thursday, May 17:
- DSP Promo Julia Talbot
- RELEASE BLITZ A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra
- RIPTIDE TOUR Lock Nut (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo
- A Stella Review: Lock Nut(Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow
- An Ali Audiobook Review: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds, #1) by SE Jakes and Adam North (Narrator)
Friday, May 18:
- New Release Tour for Level Up by Annabeth Albert
- Review Tour – Garrett Leigh’s Whisper
- Review Tour – Exploration (Kinky in the City #1) by Quinn Ward
- A Free Dreamer Review: Juggernaut (Strain #0.5) by Amelia Gormley
- A Jeri Review: Whisper (Skins #2) by Garrett Leigh
- An Alisa Review: Exploration (Kinky in the City #1) by Quinn Ward
Saturday, May 19:
- Book Blitz for Level Up by Annabeth Albert
- A MelanieM Review: :Level Up by Annabeth Albert