Amazon is the world’s greatest marketplace for everyday goods and electronics. It is Amazon’s world and we’re just living in it. But the e-Commerce giant started its humble beginnings with the sale of books. Over the last few months there has been a cold battle brewing between Amazon and big name publishers. This time the company is pitted against Hachette.
Publishers have run the show for a long time and their efforts at cultural curation have resulted in million dollar deals for smaller literary writers. Luckily, the trend is moving towards epub and on-demand book sales. Here is where Amazon comes in. Amazon treats books like any other product. Some books are popular and give more profit, other books give less. But Amazon carries them all and regularly adjusts the prices on them. This does not suit well with the publishing houses.
And also the authors here are at a loss too. Because they want their books to reach every corner of the world and want more and more people to read them. Amazon gives them this platform but Amazon’s cut-throat pricing hinders the Author’s profits. Whereas if Author decided to go with a publishing house then their book does not get the same coverage as it would with Amazon.
Writers and publishers should not be enemies. Publishers are the gatekeepers while writers are the stewards. But, thanks to Amazon, these gatekeepers will become more selective and more mercenary. Amazon hurts them both in unequal measure. The publishers rewrite the contracts and keep making money. The authors get lower advances and the art in writing declines. It should not be this way. Books make history and help shape the future. If the margin of profit keeps on declining for the authors then the quality of writing would suffer. Amazon should treat books as culture and work of art rather than just another product.
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