In With The New: Amazon Forcing Out Antiquated Publishing Giants

The New York times recently published an article examining Amazon’s rise to the top of the publishing circles and its efforts to stamp out competition in the industry. The author attempts to take a balanced view, interviewing both people who have benefitted from Amazon’s ascent from online retailer to publishing giant, as well as those who have been hurt by Amazon’s increasingly dominant market share:

“All of this angst and arguing is pushing forward a question: Is the resistance to Amazon a last-ditch bid to keep the future of American literary culture out of the hands of a rapacious corporation that calls books “demand-weighted units,” or an effort by a bunch of dead-enders and snobs to forestall a future that will be much better for most readers and writers?”

Amazon survived the dot com bust by diversifying their products, focusing on slower business growth, and reading the desires of the market. One of these needs was a more merit-based system of publishing, which has since become a great boon to writers by providing a larger platform for distributing their work while requiring a significantly smaller rake of their profits.

In the previous model, large publishing houses would give minuscule contracts and advances to authors, and reap as much as 85% of the profit in exchange. Authors are now more certain than ever that the strength of their content, and not their connections within a small, insular industry, would carry their sales.

The author also talks about the practices that Amazon has revolutionized, beginning with their ranking algorithm. Prior to Amazon entering the publishing game, they would simply distribute the books from publishers and keep a ranking for how well the books were doing relative to each other — a small innovation, but one that ultimately proved to direct their business:

“A lot of [publishing houses] had been in business for 30 years,” he said. “They said [to Amazon]: This is what we’re going to publish, this is the price, you have no leverage, we control the content.

An author would see his ranking drop from 98 to 798, and the first thing he’d do is call his agent or publisher and say, ‘What happened?’ ” he said. “He held the publisher responsible and expected it to straighten this out.”

Amazon was once pushed around by these larger companies, who would withhold book supplies and prevent Amazon from selling their product. Ironically, it was their algorithm, (and not their publishing) that got them into the conversation. Nowadays, Amazon is attempting to use their considerable industry muscle to pressure publishing companies into giving them a higher kickback for promoting and distributing their products. With brick-and-mortar bookstores all but dead, the major publishers are forced to acquiesce:

 “He noted that Amazon was also trying to squeeze a large publishing group in Germany,Bonnier, for better terms. And Germany has fixed-price laws for books. That, Mr. Pietsch said, ‘is evidence that Amazon’s margins, not lower prices for consumers, are the crux here.’”

One major business is accusing another major business of acting in the interests of higher profits. The author also speaks to representatives of Rutgers University Press to get a sense of how Amazon’s practices are impacting their business:

“We still pride ourselves on what we are doing — producing books that educate and create a public good,” Ms. Wasserman said. “To see that migrate into the hands of people who might not share our mission, or might not even be people, doesn’t say much for the future of American culture.”

Forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for university presses, who typically sell poor-quality textbooks for hundreds of dollars and subsequently eradicate their resale value by releasing new editions every other year. Note that these organizations are unable to advance any logical justification for their existence in the age of digital publishing. Their argument against a competitor devolves into a pseudo-intellectual soup of nebulous buzzwords such as “public good”, “sharing their mission” and their importance to “American culture.”  As someone who spent hundreds of dollars a year on worthless textbooks in college, I will take the most pleasure when these dinosaurs are finished for good.

 “American publishers and booksellers are looking longingly at France, where different rules apply. In late June, the French Senate unanimously passed a law forbidding free shipping on books bought online. It was called the Anti-Amazon Law.”

This sounds suspiciously like something out of an Ayn Rand novel — a government imposing sanctions on a profitable big business in order to artificially help a more entrenched but decaying industry. This is cronyism of the highest order, the kind that we have thankfully not (yet) seen applied to Amazon in the U.S.. The author closes with a hollow caution that Amazon may revert to the same profit-maximizing practices once they have stamped out the competition:

“Amazon looks so good because it has the rest of publishing to compete against. But if those publishers wither, maybe that would not be true.”

All in all, though the article attempts to present a neutral view of the situation in the publishing industry, it is clear that Amazon has been a boon for all but the most entrenched of authors. Is this a move of retribution by an industry giant against its formerly strong competitors? Perhaps. But if Amazon delivers more value to both authors and consumers, it’s difficult to argue that their ascension to the top of the industry is anything but a net positive. Amazon’s practices have helped to turn publishing and information dissemination into a merit-based, rather than infrastructure and credentialism-based, practice.

This article makes it clear that large publishing houses have ruled over their kingdoms with an iron first, rarely thinking about the future of the industry and instead clinging to an outdated business model as they chiseled authors for as much money as possible. That was their right because they were the only business in town, but times have changed. What we’re seeing now strikes me as the last gasps of an antiquated industry, one that is being rendered obsolete by a more consumer-driven and artist-driven model. Good riddance.

Read More: Get The Equivalent Of An MBA From Reading One Book

81 thoughts on “In With The New: Amazon Forcing Out Antiquated Publishing Giants”

  1. I’m very happy that Amazon is now a major player in publishing. That Amazon exists has helped me evade censorship and the humiliation of submitting to the “good old girl’s club.” As a new writer, I first tried (for many months) to publish my works through traditional means, but quickly found that maybe 80% of literary agents are women, and half of the remaining are gay men… and I’m highly skeptical that they’d like advancing my themes. And if I somehow got past the agents, I’d still have to bend over backwards to please a snooty publisher. Who needs the aggravation, and for such a small, small payday? I’d much rather maintain full artistic license and market the product on my terms. I’ve sold almost no books so far, but at least I have the satisfaction that every word within them is exactly as I had intended and that no one was able to tell me, “No.” Amazon made that possible.
    For the curious, here are my works:

    1. The publishing industry really is a good old girls club and no one wants to talk about it or admit it. If something like Cather in the Rye were written today do you even think that it would make it past the agents? I doubt it. The same would be true with something like Brave New World as well. They would be labelled as sexist and misogynistic and be in the trash bin.
      Both of these books are on top English-language novel lists and they would not stand a chance of being published by one of the major publishing companies if they were written today. If you were to look at a list of the top 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century how many do you think would make it to publication today?

      1. Cather in the Rye will most likely be made into a movie after its copyright expires and as we all know feminism will creep into it and totally fuck it up.

        1. That may or may not be true. These feminists like to keep things in, like in Madmen, just to show how evil men were in the past. I guess that they’re too stupid to understand that men will like it and even most Normal women may like it.Feminism began as a fugly dyke movement and they have no idea what is normal to average men and women.If you don’t believe that feminism is a lesbian movement to brainwash and get their hands on better looking straight girls(even manly dykes want feminine females) then answer this;why can’t a real feminist talk for more than 2 minutes before she brings lesbians into the conversation.They’ve now reluctantly brought homosexuals and trannies into the conversation to divert attention away from their own evil intents and to try to look inclusive.Even in the 1800’s these females interested in this “equal rights” crap were mostly dykes and that was just a cover for their real interests.
          If some men’s rights person was speaking does he bring homosexuals in? Hmm

        2. you have a pretty good point…. feminism is built on penis envy… the next step from there is doing a girlfriend with a strap on….
          Lesbianism is a great cop out for ugly women…. converting pretty girls is just their revenge… and even quite hardened looking masculine girls like Michelle Rodriguez try it and then hop back again (if they are lucky).

      2. Yeah. The ‘gatekeepers’ of publishing are twenty something, East coast millenial feminists with delusional takes on their intelligence and worldliness–filled to the brim with p.c. sensibility and pseudo-heroism. How many Shawns, Gregs, Mikes, Bills and Eds who are literary geniuses were immediately passed over by this set of idiots. ‘Mike Johnson, see ya.’ They’re looking for Tariq, Shontarelle, Nadir, Seo Yun, Rosalita, etc. That’s literary fiction–ETHNIC. The skill or, even, game of storytelling is nowhere to be found. You want a story then you’re relegated to all the paint by numbers genre stuff. Some of it is good, luckily.

        1. We’re not even talking good “ethnic” fiction, we’re talking disgruntled “-Studies” majors who dispense with everything that is good/entertaining/profound because it’s “colonialism” or whatever.

    2. I’ve sold almost no books so far, but at least I have the satisfaction
      that every word within them is exactly as I had intended and that no one
      was able to tell me, “No.”
      So what was the difference between that and laser printing a few copies for the local starbucks ?
      It’s a myth that Amazon helps the little people…. All Amazon does for small time authors is help them see their name in lights on their own computer screen… ooo… wow… there’s progress….
      What really helps the little people is MARKETING and who does the marketing is the big giants… nothing ever changes… the venue might have changed from the printing press to the internet, but it’s worse than it ever was… just as it is with music….
      A.) It’s completely devalued the product
      B.) It’s completely devalued the profession… now any clown can call themselves a writer, musician, producer etc.
      C.) The good stuff is even more buried than it was before because the mountain of output hitting the public perception means they can’t find anything and just grab what floats to the top.
      D.) What floats to the top ? Shit floats… stuff that is aggressively marketed… no change there, and catchy rubbish that holds your attention for 5 seconds…

      1. I agree with all of your points, especially the last one. Self publishing my work on Amazon was absolutely artistic masturbation, and I have no illusions about that. But… I thought is was neat and it brought a rare smile to my cold, hard face, and those small pleasures are quite welcomed by me. The reality is that I’m just another of possibly millions of hacks that are trying to put their stuff out there, but so be it.
        I once read a genius comment on ROK: “The biggest impediment to glory is doing nothing.” I firmly believe in this, and so, in that spirit, I’m pleased that I did (versus, did not) put a couple of works out there, however I could.

  2. I have a feeling that blogging & self-publishing will ultimately be more meaningful to human society than the invention of the printing press. While the printing press was the first drops of free water to thirsty masses, the blogosphere + self-publishing is the Niagara Falls of all human thought. With this change, ultimately nothing will escape the scrutiny of the human mind. That’s a very good thing.
    What I can’t understand is why there aren’t more self-published books by drug abusers. This situation seems ripe for a flood of people like Hunter Thompson. I can’t think of a more honest way of earning your next fix, to be honest, not that I’m trying to give anyone ideas.

    1. I’ll take the Good Doctor HST any day over a what is been put to typewriter/word/print today.

    2. Drug users aren’t exactly known for their ambition. Writing a book is hard work.

      1. Ever read Confessions of an English Opium Eater or Naked Lunch? I think that you meant to say that Potheads have no ambition.

    3. I’m a bibliophile and I’m always looking for better strategies towards finding fulfilling reads. The lesson I’ve learned recently is that just because a topic interests you (in your case, drug histories) it doesn’t mean the book will be good at all. A book has to be written very well by a talented author. The subject matter doesn’t always carry it through. Lately, it seems like it has nearly nothing to do with the book’s quality. I enthusiastically picked up CIA agent memoir, supposedly full of spy subterfuge, behind the scenes stuff and it was dull as could be. The guy was nearly to the point of describing how he folded his socks to fit in his suitcases. Now with the deluge of self-published stuff, you have to be very discriminating. If you have a kindle, make full usage of the ‘sample’ option.

      1. If it was dull, then it was probably an accurate account of spy work in the modern era. Your average intelligence worker is likely entirely segregated from the big picture for security reasons, and often never sees the result of their work. As such, being a “spy”, unless you’re a field operative, can literally be as dull as being an accountant.

    4. I’ll have to write one sort of like DeQuincey’s Confessions but I doubt that even 1% of modern readers would get most of the allusions due to the fact that they don’t have a classical education.I’d need a hundred footnotes for each page lol

  3. What pisses me off is the eBook portion of Amazon. When a book is first released they want to charge the same amount to the consumer for an eBook as the hardback edition. Amazon tells us it is the publishers setting the price and the publishers say it is Amazon. The argument is they don’t want to cannibalize their hardback sales. I call BS. They don’t have to print, bind, ship or stock the book. If they were interested in not cannibalizing their profits just cut the price by the amount of costs avoided. How can making $2 off a hardback and $2 off an eBook be any different? The reality is they want to make the $2 off the Hardback and the $15 off the eBook. I say piss on both their houses.

    1. The problem is, that for each E-book released, you are giving the book to 50-500 people instead of the 1-10 people that will read a hardbound book.
      E-book Piracy is rampant. Frankly, I would rather pay the more expensive price than encourage e-book publishers to go with pricey and ridiculous DRM methods.

      1. piracy takes profit. copyright infringement takes nothing. the more a work is infringed, the greater the chance of acquiring the attention of someone willing to pay, increasing the odds of profit, while doing nothing to the odds of loss. this behavior of profiting more from increased infringement is well known and quite the opposite from piracy.
        further, drm stops no one determined and only adds costs to content, making drm-books cost more and non-drm books cost less. thus the more you pay for the same content, the more likely you are to encounter drm and not get to enjoy the content (as a paying customer).
        how long has it been since warez groups have been around? 30-40 years? this isn’t rocket science. those that infringe on the government-granted ~100yr monopoly of an art were never likely to pay in the first place. infringement primarily allows non-payers to enjoy content without licensing rights. infringement undoubtedly causes some loss of those that would otherwise pay, but only if the asking price was too high/inaccessible in the first place.
        said simply, steal this post.

        1. You don’t actually have to preach to the choir here. The thing is, Book ‘piracy’ is actually different from software ‘piracy’.
          your rule of ‘those who steal a copy online were not going to be customers anyway’ actually falls short in the realm of books. I personally have purchased three or more copies of the same book as old versions are damaged or lost… an E-book attached to an online account is rarely re-purchased in this fashion, which cuts into publisher profits.
          Also, because of the low price point, many e-pirates for books WOULD have purchased it outright. Obviously, it’s a huge boon for a consumer, to ‘read before buying’, but it also means that a lot of trash never makes the big bucks it would have made previously for a crappy book with a great cover.
          I think publishing houses are, for the most part, dead, but as long as they still give writers peanuts on the dollar for books, and control advertising, they will still control both paper and e-book distribution.

    2. When you go to Amazon you’re buying a book from some retailer listed anyway.There are copywrites on the books so Amazon can’t just take one, make it into an e-book and then sell it on its own. I guess that an author could just make his writing into an e-book and then try to get it onto Amazon and sell it but we know that 99% of this will be crap, no one will buy it and the author still won’t make any money.
      Look at Roosh with his Bang books. I doubt if he’s sold a dozen which is about enough profit to buy a pack of cigarettes.

      1. You clearly don’t know how publishing on Amazon works.
        Not all books are sold through retailers. Amazon has its own FREE print on demand service for paperbacks. Its called
        And ANYONE can self publish an eBook in kindle format (a hellish formatting job). An eBook earns you 70% net profit.

        1. I said that when you look for a book to buy there are always a number of places where to buy it both new and used.
          And show me one e-book writer who has ever made any money.Real money not a few thousand that only the top make in e-books. I know that the top writers who make the best seller list like Harry Potter or even 50 Shades make some real money.
          I think that e-books will be the future but it will be dominated by the same people who control publishing today and they’ll be cheaper like everything else in modern times but people who are amateurs and who could never get a publisher won’t really make any money with e-books and they’ll just be a lot more crap around to wade through, sort of like the internet today. All junk and little substance.There may be some rare exceptions but they won’t be basement dwelling pyjama boys who dream about sitting on their butts and making money writing.Books even e-books need to be promoted and blanket boys are unable to do this.

        2. Roosh seems to do fine and makes a decent living of selling ebooks. You sound very bitter though. Did you try to publised but no one was interested?
          No reason to bash others.
          Please define REAL money. 50k?, 100k? 500k? A mill? Multiple mill?
          Money can only make you happier, not happy by itself. That’s still your own responsibility and yours alone.

        3. Roosh does not make a living selling e-books lol He works as a fry boy at the MickyD’s in south DC for $9 hr.
          Real money? That would be when you can earn a decent amount of money by writing alone, day in and day out for the remainder of your life. One hit wonders are a fluke. Roosh isn’t even a one hit wonder or a has been. He’s a neverwuzzer who couldn’t even feel up a girl after a year in Denmark. Because you know that Jante code lol

    3. I work for an audiobook and e book company and our stuff is sold on amazon. I was floored at the rrp of the books when I first started and was a bit againsy it (can’t beat hard copies) but seeing the behind the scenes costs I can kind of understand the cost now. To make the actual product cd andcase is not expensive however its the rights to the book, the cost of creating a jacket (rights to stock images) and the narration thay can run up to the tens of thousands in some cases hence the cost

    4. Also, something to consider regarding actual content.
      If everything goes to the way of eBooks, then you have the problem of access to that content. This is currently the fate of movies and content online.
      People don’t realize that right now you can walk into a store and purchase a book, DVD, Bluray, etc….you control the content (an actual physical copy in your hand). If Amazon, Netflix, etc…become the sole providers of this content, then they will have the key to the gateway of the content and you pay to play (view) each time.
      The model right now (of course) is to charge a flat fee to get you on board. But, if these companies control all of the content, then they can sent the rates.
      A big no-no was letting Comcast merge with NBC Universal (an ISP with a content provider).
      Which shows do you think Comcast is going to ‘prefer’ through its gateway to consumers?

  4. Excellent article amazon has truly leveled the playing field for the time being. It brings me a lot of joy to see capitalism create a more equal system while leaving agents of the left desperately explaining why more money for the writer and better value for the customer is wrong.

      1. Read the article again. Then read my comment again. The publishing industry is a bastion for the left. They control the content, the price, and the writers. I’m talking about agents of the left not the people who vote for parties of that ideology.

      2. Read the comments to any article about Amazon on The New York Times.
        He’s far from clueless, it’s easily demonstrable.

    1. Yes, I’m beginning to realize that more competition in general in every sphere of life is always better than the alternative. Amazon causing other publishers to wither away? Good, competition working as intended, survival of the fittest.

  5. The big publishers and their apologists always argue that we need them to filter out the crap that would otherwise flood the market. I always reply, “You let through Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I rest my case.”

    1. The book stores are just as bad. I remember going into Waterstones to find the classic section downsized in order to make room for comic books and alternate spirituality.

      1. Too funny. I was looking for Thus Spoke Zarathustra and possibly pick up another classic. I headed to the Barnes and Noble and asked the lady for the classics section and she looked at me and said, somewhat mockingly ” What do you mean by classics” I explained books such as The Jungle, The Prince, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and a few others. She said “Why don’t we just look those up because I’ve never heard of classics” I asked if she was new and she said yes, that she had been there 3 months. We walked over to the section and it said Classics. She looked at me and said, “Because they’re old books their considered classics?” This from a mid-30s woman.

        1. I can tell you I laughed. I remember thinking, okay its a pretty big store, but you haven’t even noticed the signs while you’ve been walking around at work? How have you not even noticed the signs?

    2. They also make the case that their books are professionally edited. Well, I’ve found grammar and punctuation flaws in every book I’ve ever read. Sure, they may have more editing passes and produce a more polished average book than the average self-publisher, but editing is hard, and perfection may indeed be unobtainable.

    3. But to a publisher they were not crap because they sold.Writing is just a business and they’ll publish whatever sells to the proles, with an occasional good book thrown in.
      Self published books were always almost all junk and the same will be true of self published e-books except now they’ll be masses of them. The only good e-books will be those first published in hard copy by a legitimate publisher and then available on e-book format.
      If e-books do become the dominant format then you would still have publishers and editors to separate the wheat from the chaff and who would also know how to promote the good stuff they think they can make money on.
      Even someone who had a good blog that he wanted to run as a real business and was unknown would have to use every trick in the book to get traffic to his site and it’s not easy.

      1. I don’t know what time you’re living in but it’s 2014 now and e-books account for 75% of book sales in the last few years.

      2. You missed my point: having a big publisher behind you is no guarantee that your work isn’t crap. If I’m starting out as a no name scrub, then it’s unlikely my first novel will earn back its advance from a big publisher. If I self-publish on Amazon then not only do I earn more for every copy sold, I retain all the rights to my work. If the self-publishing industry imploded tomorrow, I can still try to sell it to a big publisher. If the big publisher goes under then it will be many years and lots of legal work before I get the rights back, if I ever do.

    4. Not to mention the fact that Big Pub pushes leftoid crap for philosophical reasons, whereas Amazon gives non-leftoids a chance to get into the marketplace.

  6. Fuck Jeff Bezos. The fucker attended Bilderberg 2013. All you need to know to boycott their shit.

    1. Can someone put an auto blocker on all this conspiracy theory garbage? This section of the internet attracts far too much of it.

      1. Yeah. You, the citizen, command the destiny of civilization. Certainly not the handful of powerful people whose family connections, business connections, and vast wealth pay for all our most influential politicians’ campaigns. It’s all conspiracy theories. Best to ignore it.

      2. going to the bazaar and complaining that anyone can get in is retarded. just don’t respond. trolls, women, etc; see rule 1.

      3. At this stage of affairs, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.

  7. Bring it on I say. What is stopping someone starting an amazon type company anyway. Then we can have even more competition. This anti amazon tax is bullshit. When did businesses start believing it is their right to stay in business? Most of these criminal CEOs justify their salary by talking about the pressures of running a large firm then get on their knees to suck the governments cock for a handout.

    1. The law in France does not sound suspiciously like something from an Ayn Rand novel, it sounds identical to the Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Law from Atlas Shrugged.

  8. I’m cracking up about the anti-Amazon law in France and how Amazon worked around it. Since Amazon was forced to charge for shipping, they just charged a penny.

  9. “Whatever man does a thing best, that man should do it.” – Henry Ford.
    Amazon putting old school publishers out of business and replacing them with their platform will allow more authors to publish their own work, creating a whole new need within the publishing industry – if not a whole new industry. Nothing truly negative can come from industrial innovation.

  10. Black Knight, you speak the truth. Let me take it a step further and say that you all should learn Amazon KDP as a fantastic source of passive income. If you’re willing to put in the effort, it’s a great passive income stream that can help pay some of your startup costs for your various side hustles as you shoot to get them established.
    Now, developing valuable, worthwhile content that a lot of people want to pay for? Developing a personal brand? These are the things that a lot of guys fuck up. Just think to yourself “What do I have to offer the world?” If you have something, write a short, well-put-together ebook. If the answer to that question is “nothing,” you have far deeper problems than I can deal with in the comments section of a website…

  11. Great article. This is a really interesting area for me personally, both as a writer and a reader.
    In the UK — and, I believe, the US — you need an agent before most major publishing houses will even consider you. But getting an agent is incredibly difficult, even for those who write well. It’s like gaming a group of entitled girls — they will reject you for the most superficial reasons and in many cases not even reply to queries.
    I write fiction as well as ROK articles, my blog and my game book the Seven Laws of Seduction. At the moment I’m in the process of trying to sell a novel. I’m going down the traditional route, approaching agents. But increasingly I ask myself why. Even if I were to secure a deal with a publisher — incredibly difficult in this climate — it is unlikely I would get much of an advance, and the marketing budget behind my book would probably be negligible. So I would have to pimp myself out via social media in the same way as if I’d self-published.
    In the end, the ONLY reason for me to go down the trad route is for the kudos that a major publisher would bring to my work. In the UK there’s a lot of heritage in the book industry. To be published by someone prestigious like Faber (where TS Eliot was once an editor) would feel like it meant something, particularly for someone like me who grew up surrounded by books.
    But does anyone really care anymore?
    I finished writing The Seven Laws of Seduction in February and published it in March (after having it professionally edited) with Amazon. It was up on the site and selling within a few hours. People can download it and begin reading within seconds. The response from readers has been fantastic. If I’d have gone the traditional route it’s likely it would have taken at least a year and a half to get it out — and that’s assuming any major pub house would have taken it on.
    I’m beginning to wonder whether I should just go down the same route with my fiction.
    The other problem in the UK is that publishers are increasingly unwilling to ‘take a risk’ with anything that isn’t a nice ‘well-made story’ where the beta chode gets the nice girl in the end, or historical fiction. A few authors unlikely to be published in today’s climate include: James Joyce, Nabokov, Henry Miller, Bukowski, Marquis de Sade, Lawrence Stern, and Proust. That is why writers of more serious, experimental or literary work are often forced to self-publish. A great example of this is Sergio de la Pava, who self-pubbed his David Foster Wallace-like novel The Naked Singularity a couple of years back after it got rejected wholesale in the US. A mainstream publisher later picked it up, after it got loads of props online.
    Traditional publishers have definitely sorted the wheat from the chaff and brought out some great books. But the way that we consume texts has changed radically due to the internet. My feeling is that hey are coasting on tradition and a heritage that people increasingly don’t give a damn about. Amazon has let the genie out of the bottle and there’s no putting it back in. My guess is that the old publishers will all buty die out in the next 5 – 10 years.

    1. “It’s like gaming a group of entitled girls — they will reject you for the most superficial reasons and in many cases not even reply to queries.”
      Sounds like the human resources dept.. But seriously, I always wonder how these kind of people end up in these jobs (i.e. gatekeeper to publishing, to employment etc.). More often than not, they seem to have no real capacity to recognize the creativity of others or to recognize true potential, and instead go with conformity. Ultimately, nothing changes, and businesses lose money or go down.

      1. When the nostalgic higher-ups fail to realize just how badly they have screwed themselves by allowing clueless gatekeepers to block access to meritorious individuals that could very well bring about their salvation in a rapidly changing market they simply deserve to go the way of the dinosaurs. Sure, it is nice to get published by a prestigious house but, as alluded to above, how long will people even keep caring about this? Sooner or later a once-revered name will no longer suffice to hold one’s ground in today’s world.

        1. As Gordon Gekko said in “Wall Street”:
          “The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest.
          Well, in my book, you either do it right or you get eliminated.”

    2. Good move. Once you realize attempting to move through the “traditional” channels to get published amounts to a negative ROI on your time, effort, and commitment, you simply move on and adapt. Nothing wrong with that. And, if you work truly is successful, it will find its audience without the need for their kind “help” in making it happen.

    3. Look at it from the worst case scenario: if the self-publishing industry died tomorrow, you can still go shopping for a big publisher because you retain all the rights to your work. If your big publisher goes under, it will be many years and a lot of legal work before you get the rights back, if you ever do.

  12. What Amazon wants to do which is anti-competitive, is be able to print books themselves when they are out of stock, and force publishers to give the same prices Amazon has that they sell the book for elsewhere, so they cannot undercut Amazon, and so Amazon can undercut other publishers (if only they have it in stock).
    Hatcherette said no to the deal, so Amazon is making delivery times for their books 3-4 weeks and is removing pre-orders from their books.

  13. London is the ultimate (yes bigger and worser than New York) snob driven, elitist, aristocratic, racist, sexist publishing capital of the world.
    Trying to get a publsihing deal with any of the publishing houses or agents is like trying to fly to the moon. These people who run the industry are a bunch of the worst parasites you will ever encounter in your life when you try to subit a book to publish.
    It is good to see that Amazon is now getting bigger, allowing the small man to get his voice heard. Now I am enjoying the demise and destruction of the publishing industries and agencies in London. They truly deserve it.

  14. One is more able to access books not favored by the traditional Anglophone publishing giants (run by the global power banking elites), with the advent of Amazon. Yet, the tiny global power Elite still also control . 🙂 Hence, there is yet to be a straight black and white history of the last 100 years, written for the mainstream, to be the mainstay of Western academia and schooling. The true history of the global elite controlled, financed, and lead Bolshevik Revolution, a completely factual, unbiased history of WW1 and WW2, being the prominent examples….Anyone tried buying straight factual history “200 Years Together” (, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Prize winner) in the English language, snubbed by the Elite controlled Anglophone publishing houses ? 🙂 Oh well, at least this important book is in German and French…..Voltaire said “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

  15. Amazon is just digital Wal Mart. They are pushing out all competition. Wall Street is still behind them for what they might achieve. Acting in the name of the lower prices and the consumer is a holy writ in the US.
    Kindle self-publishing gives 70 percent royalties granted but marketing is the only thing that makes that worth a dime. Then interaction and click baiting and suddenly writing is incidental to gathering audience. And about that 70 percent, it probably only temporary as they want to give it all away now:
    The Greater Good is now the Consumer Good. Heaven forbid you want to write but maybe that’s the point, the people that do write and obsess cannot not write and its not about money for them. Amazon knows this and they will flatter with 70 percent but turn up the heat and know it will still be done for less and less.
    Typically a financial collapse or world war or political event happens before corps get to this point but we’ll see in October of this or next year. Regardless, plenty of people will still be writing about it.

  16. I see the biggest win for niche interest writing.
    Used to be if you wanted to publish a book on traditional Taoist meditation,or decoupage, you had to be the one book a year put forward by a big publisher who then edited your work to nothing by a staff that had no idea what the hell you were talking about. Or you could self publish and marketing was a bitch.
    Now people can at least look for your subject matter in a place with a decent search function, instead of having to rely upon pure word of mouth.

  17. Amazon is banking on innovation to fuel growth and market share as the ticket to sustained profitability, but they haven’t gotten there yet. Their profit margin is razor thin. While I’m a fan of Amazon and a frequent customer, I am not an investor. When Amazon was at 43 in 2008 I did not consider it a buy, and while I clearly missed out on the climb during the ensuing 5 years to 400 (currently at about 358), I would not change my investment criteria going forward. (The one thing about Amazon I regret is that 15 or 20 years ago I did apply to work, there. From all the “horror stories” I’ve read about working for Amazon, it sounds like I would have thrived, there.)

  18. A point for and a point against Amazon:
    For: in book publishing, it’s breaking the Big Five’s oligopoly on publishing, and that is worth the price of its existence. This is a good thing, pushing along a process that the Internet itself eventually would have started. Book publishers took unconscionable advantage of authors, especially new authors, and had practically identical contracts no matter which one you went to. And they treated authors like shit, on the simple basis that everybody wants to write a book. If you want to understand how self-publishing works and proof that it works in tandem with Amazon, try Joe Konrath’s blog. He was published under both systems and adores Amazon’s way of doing stuff.
    Against: Amazon’s business model is fundamentally flawed in the long term, and long-term value investors should therefore be staying the hell away from it. It is basically an Internet middleman, which is a contradiction in terms, because the Internet destroys middlemen by definition. Eventually, and probably via better search engines, suppliers, manufacturers, artists are all going to realise they can make more by selling to their customers direct rather than shipping to Amazon. Amazon depends for its existence on the old cancerous model of continual growth. When that model stops, so will the company. And Amazon has been hammered in the past for being mendacious with the truth and dishonest with its suppliers — google up Jeff Bezos in connection with Toys R Us and see for yourself.

Comments are closed.