Monday, May 19, 2008

Amazon power could be good for authors

On, Sramana Mitra argues that Amazon's move into publishing (which has been criticised as heavy-handed) could help authors by cutting out the middlemen of agents and publishers.
Amazon is poised to revolutionize the book printing business through vertical integration. Let’s look at the numbers. Assuming that Amazon already pockets 50% of the retail price of a book, it could directly engage with authors and cut out the middlemen: the agent and the publisher. That would free up 30% to 40% of the pie, which can easily be split between Amazon and the author.

Let’s say, in the new world, Amazon becomes the retailer, marketer, publisher and agent combined and takes 65% of the revenues, offering 35% to the author--we end up with a much better, fairer world.


  1. Or the publishing business could complete its transformation into a wide-open crap spigot.

  2. As ever, Stephen has a point! But the exciting thing about all new digital media is it's wide-open and a golden chance to rewrite some of the old rules and make new ones of your own. The Guild's been doing that successfully with new telly platforms. But to me the most important principle is (for lack of a better phrase; I'm not feeling especially Saatchi today) Writer Power. Don't wait for others to decide your fate; decide for yourself and act upon it. And unite with other writers with similar aims. It's Dambusters time!

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