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Monday, November 14, 2011

Amazon and the Changing Face of Book Publishing?

Back in October the New York Times had a most interesting article. You can read the article here. After you read the article, I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions, but it puts me in mind of all the speculation out there.

What does the near-future of the book publishing industry look like? I think Amazon is overestimating its ability to monopolize the market. They have a lot of clout on the retailing market, but do they have the trust of the consumer? Traditional publishing houses have succeeded by creating brands that readers trust or follow. Yes, Amazon can sell a whole lot of product, but that is not the issue. Traditional houses create art, and art is what people want. Amazon wants to position itself as publisher, retailer, monopolizer. But if everything was grown on the same branch of monetary return, books could not be as diverse or unique.

The above mentioned article in the New York Times states rather accurately that Amazon is trying to position itself as a direct competitor to the major publishing houses. But I think they miss the point, or rather Amazon is overestimating their pull. Is it possible that the big publishers will start pulling away from Amazon, placing their high-demand products with other vendors? I'm not saying it will happen, but it only takes the right situation--just one step too far--If Amazon were cutting out, or perceived to be cutting out the major houses, that could force their hand. Anyway, I'm merely speculating...

Certainly the industry is changing, but not as much as we think. There are new faces in the market. New, smaller publishing houses meeting niche markets. The recent acquisition of Thomas Nelson sent waves through the Christian publishing industry. I myself am curious how all these changes will change the market and the industry, yet I'm eager to watch.

...Now I have to sit down and write. I have a novel to finish! (-:

1 comment:

Star-Dreamer said...

It is a tricky subject to approach, isn't it? While I agree with you for the most part, I'm not really sure exactly where I stand. This is why.

Yes, I have a feeling that amazon is trying to "take over" the industry... becoming a publisher and offering marketing for the published product as well. Yes, the big 6 is perhaps feeling threatened by this move. Amazon has made it's ambitions known now...

The question is, how does this all affect the niche market you were speaking of? And the reason I ask this is because it seems to me that amazon has actually made it eaiser and more possible for small, nich publishers to rise up... at least to some degree.

Now granted, what with self publishing rising and with the marketing abilities and assets becoming cheaper and easier to get a hold of, it may come down to people deciding ultimately on brand and product, but as you yourself can attest to, nich marketing can bring about a quality product and a trusted brand. The thing for consumers to remain aware of is HOW the tools amazon is offering is being used.

Sure, we have confidence in the big 6 and their abilities, and obviously we, as consumers, can't simply assume that all products (in this case "published" products) out there are good. But if a consumer were to look at how the tools are being used, then one might get an idea of the quality of the product itself. And that is what opens up tons of possibilities for those entreprenuers out there. :D


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.