Here’s a biting and fairly alarming post.

“Amazon would like to offer a Netflix-like subscription to unlimited ebooks for its Prime members. Business sites are all over the publishing companies to comply–after all, what’s a little monopoly between friends?

But as an author this stinks to high heaven. You know, that place where Borders is chilling on a cloud and crying into its celestial beer.

See, there’s no mention of author benefit–everyone is talking about the publishers and how they need to get with the times. But how, exactly, would we be compensated for this? Since it’s for their Prime members, who as Netflix has seen, would howl over a price hike, it’s possible this will just be lumped in, wrecking ebook sales and contributing further to the idea that the ideal cost for a book is $0.00. Not to mention the number this does on libraries.”

Read the whole thing. Like I said, fairly alarming. Can I have a crystal ball, please, so I actually know what the future of book publishing will hold?

I know, I know, a major run on those particular crystal balls, if they ever come up for sale. On Amazon.

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2 thoughts on “Whoa!”

  1. I missed the original article which was in the Wall Street Journal and is now behind the online subscription wall, but from the pieces I have found quoted elsewhere it sounds like it is very far from a done deal. Comments on such articles split between cheering them on, to wondering how the authors are going to be compensated. (Along with a few ‘don’t use Kindle’ posts.) This is good – people are thinking about it. I guess writers and agents should start putting clauses about compensation for such things in the contracts.

    Personally, I’d rather Amazon and the publishers cut a deal to let people who have bought a lot of dead tree books from Amazon buy inexpensive e-books of the same things, with most of the price going to the author. Amazon’s got the records for some people (guilty look) going back quite a few years, and I bet I’m not the only one who’d like e-books of things I already have hardcopy of. Especially when I think of how many books our daughter drags along on trips.

    No one is talking about that, though.

  2. That would be a fantastic idea.

    Possibly this could be done by simply offering an increased (but not too much) price for a physical book if it comes bundled with an e-copy . . . or something.

    But I don’t expect either Amazon or the publishers would be keen on letting most of a price increase go to the author.

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