Friday, April 9, 2010

The Future of Publishing?

I just went to a panel on the future of publishing.
After 75 minutes, I'm left with two very specific lessons:

1. The big houses swallowed the little houses and most of them are now owned by hedgefunds who do not know how to manage a bookstore, let alone a publishing print. So your best bet as an author is to go with a smaller independent press because they will really get behind your work - at neither location (big or small) should you plan to make any money at all. So go with the guys that love your book and will promote it.

2. I think we as book buyers should boycott Amazon.
I learned some terrible terrible things about that I'd never known before. Amazon doesn't charge sales tax (ostensibly this means they're able to bring the cost of the book down for the consumer). However, a few states in the last couple years have started to pass legislation demanding that Amazon pay sales tax in their states, due to the serious budget cuts and tax revenue deficits most states are dealing with lately. In response, Amazon now refuses to deal with any smaller, used and antiquarian bookstores that had previously used their site to sell their books. It's really very petty. Think of the amount of money that amazon might make off those mom and pop stores, probably almost nothing, pennies. And they're pulling their access to a larger global consumer base because the states they happen to live and work in have changed their tax laws. It's obnoxious.

And that's just ONE of the things I learned about amazon at the panel.

Anyway, I'd love your thoughts.
I know Amazon has also done some good things (right? haven't they?) for writers and the publishing industry. Making books and publishing more accessible, etc.

I don't know what to think.
And then to make matters worse, as I logged on to post this entry, at the top of Blogger, it said this:

New! Do you link to Amazon in your blog posts? Our Amazon Associates integration makes linking easier, and can even earn you some money! Details here.

Is it a sign?
And if so, of what?

This has been today's dispatch from the front.
Thanks for listening.

For more info here's a starters link
Here is another one


  1. do you mean boycott only book purchases on amazon? or all purchases? b/c they are pervasive. any product now available.

    also, thanks for the depression
    also, 2nd link no worky

  2. so, like, as one of many booksellers whose livelihood is threatened by amazon... i'd like to learn some more of the bad stuff... eh? eh?

  3. I don't buy anything from Amazon - but millions do. All I can do is support local indie bookstores and try to get others to do the same. That's why I am a big fan and supporter of Reading Local. Just curious - why is your blog called Margaret will not blog???

  4. Helen
    Yes, the name needs some explaining.
    My husband is a big blogger, but I always told him that blogging wasn't my thing. I'm sure I said that I would never blog.

    But then, for whatever reason, I decided to just grab a blog title and link it to my website. I still figured I would never blog, so the name seemed appropriate. I don't blog much, but I do like having a venue to occasionally rant. Thanks for listening & responding. And thanks for supporting the local bookstores!