During the holiday weekend I stumbled across a post that piqued my attention on Facebook. It led me to the blog of Maya Cross and so then I found the daisy chain of other articles and other names. Here are the articles for your reading pleasure (there are more embedded in them as well):
Daily Mail UK (Amazon)
The forerunner of this controversy is Barnes and Noble with Amazon falling in second. Who is to know if other retailers are doing it? Who knows at this point.
If you are an author this should tick you off.
If you are a reader this should tick you off.
The readers have spoken. It’s the readers who really choose who the bestsellers are and who rises and who falls. They are the real gatekeepers. Everything around publishing is about the reader. That’s why writers write, reviewers write reviews, why books and ereaders exist…
The Big 6 do not determine who succeeds. The NYT does not. USA Today does not. It’s the readers–always has been. So why in the world are retailers (and anyone else who is involved) should be stacking the deck in favor of ANYONE else? Why are they hiding what readers want? Even if Angelina Jolie wrote a book, it still shouldn’t be #1 because someone stacked the deck. That should only happen, if the readers say so by talking about it and buying it.
The common denominator is that these authors are indie. Indie authors have discovered there is a glass ceiling despite the readers have spoken. There is also discrimination of genre. This creates the problem of discovering more readers which is the whole idea behind everything an author does. This is not a traditional vs indie author post. At all. If the shoe was on the other foot, then it still wouldn’t be right. There really isn’t a division among authors–we all do the same thing. We all write something, hammer it as close to perfection as possible, and try to find a readership.
This outrage also has a bit of hypocrisy to it as well (see sources).
The point here is it shouldn’t matter where the book comes from or who made it, if the readers want it, and they say it rocks. They are the ones who choose what they want to read, not Random House or NYT or some invisible elitist group. It’s up to the authors to write it or write something new and try to get it discovered. Everyone else are just middlemen who get the product to the buyer (reader) in a pretty package.
From a business standpoint this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Barnes and Noble has driven another nail into their own coffin by doing this. Neither do we need a monopoly which wouldn’t benefit anyone either. What are we to do? Spread the love. How? Publish and distribute at as many retailers as possible and readers buy at more than one if/whenever they can.
If B&N doesn’t get their act together they may be out of business and it will make Amazon that much closer to world domination (which we don’t need). As long as Amazon has competitors, then it will be in check and be a nice place for authors (their system isn’t perfect). Just another reason why to spread the love.