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Amazon affecting small press publishing

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  • Amazon affecting small press publishing

    A friend who runs a small press tells me this:

    Don't know how things are for you but Amazon are absolutely killing much of the book business. They'r deep discounting brand new releases by 30% which makes it much harder to get books into the retailers like B&N and Borders who can't possibly compete with that so they're drastically cutting back their back catalog. As if that's not bad enough Amazon are now aggressively encouraging people to buy new books and when they've finished reading them they can put them back up for sale on Amazon for 99 cents. They're turning into a bloody library.

    Our best solution is not to sell to them. So we didn't let them have the science fiction title. We've only sold 1000 copies but we actually made money because there's no discounting. Price is $10. Meanwhile they've started assigning ISBN numbers to old books that never had them (effectively driving people to them for out of print old books), and now as the final straw they just bought a huge Print-on-demand printing company and a large e-book company so they don't have to buy any public domain titles like Shakespeare etc. That old stuff generates about 30% of the sales for publishing houses. By the time they're done they'll be the only game in town.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses


  • #2
    That sounds like Amazon and places like it could drive yet another small business out of business. I don't like the idea of large corporations and franchises owning everything. Nothing is unique anymore. Big companys today unfortunately need to have their hands in everything.

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

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    • #3
      I personally only buy from Barnes & Noble for new books and used books stores for older books, but if not there, ebay as the last result. I have a box of conan doubles which i'll be giving to my local bookstore, the same one where I bought my first used MM and REH books; its kinda my way of saying thanks :D

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      • #4
        I usually try to avoid giving Hyper-links to books via Amazon. Sometimes it's difficult, if you want to give a review and purchase information. It's usually still possible, though.

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        • #5
          I only used Amazon to read the 100s of bad reviews from p-o'd readers on Christopher Paolini's Eragon - ah, I felt so much better afterwards :D

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          • #6
            I tend to check out Amazon for reference and then go to the store and buy the book. But so many people don't have this option, these days.

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              I tend to check out Amazon for reference and then go to the store and buy the book. But so many people don't have this option, these days.
              I do the same as well. I have Firefox browser which enables my searches to be done by yahoo, google, dictionary.com, wikipedia, and amazon. If I see an obscure book refernce it'll work.

              But I don't use it anymore, not after a hacker tried to stiff me out of a grand from my amazon account (which i don't even have)! :(

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              • #8
                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...449827-9183258

                It appears Borders Books (waldenbooks) merged with Amazon.com !

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                • #9
                  It's amazing when you consider only a fraction of the reading population are using The Internet. Despite our usage of it, it isn't ubiquitous yet.
                  The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                    It's amazing when you consider only a fraction of the reading population are using The Internet. Despite our usage of it, it isn't ubiquitous yet.
                    Internet to me equals research for stories, be it book review or another posts, they all learn toward a better grasp or what I want and what should be done to be difffrent :D

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                    • #11
                      Dear all,

                      I've made my feelings about Amazondotscum very well known elsewhere on this Q.&A., so don't need to repeat them here.

                      However, Mike said: "So we didn't let them have the science fiction title. We've only sold 1000 copies but we actually made money because there's no discounting. Price is $10."

                      (Sorry. I don't know how to highlight such things in little white boxes.)

                      What "science fiction title" are we talking about here? Did I miss something?

                      Best,


                      John.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                        I tend to check out Amazon for reference and then go to the store and buy the book. But so many people don't have this option, these days.
                        Too true. Ten years or so ago I would buy everything from my local independent bookshop. They seldom had what I wanted in stock, but I would order it and if it took a month or so to turn up, I would happily wait.

                        Now the only local bookshops are Waterstones and Ottakars, which also never have what I want in stock. However, I would never order from them as I don't think thay they are much better than Amazon when it comes to their affect upon the book trade.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JohnDavey

                          (Sorry. I don't know how to highlight such things in little white boxes.)

                          Literally, quote, unqoute : [ quote ] blah, blah, blah [ /quote ], but without the space between the brackets of course :D

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                          • #14
                            To be the devil's advocate...

                            Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought Amazon was helping the traditional mom & pop retailers with the Amazon Marketplace? It seems to me that they are providing a vehicle for these retailers to reach a broader market than they would otherwise.

                            I've actually bought a few of the EC omnibus editions through Amazon Marketplace, as well as Abebooks.

                            I always hesitate when I hear these types of stories. In many cases, its the physics of the market forces at play. And unless you advocate government involvement, unfortunately there will be victims.

                            But I don't want to come across as insensitive to the issue. I have had friends fall victim to the Home Depot sprawl.

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                            • #15
                              I can only speak about my own experience. I run a tiny print on demand publishing operation that mostly specializes in publishing English translations (or rather, adaptations) of classic French pulp literature.

                              By all means do check out our catalog:
                              http://www.blackcoatpress.com

                              We make very little money, in part because I foolishly repay 50% of my profits to my authors/translators (said profits usually end up being less than the other 50% because of all the incidental expenses), but I don't lose money either, and I'm happy to carry on as a sort of not-unprofitable hobby

                              Without Amazon which accounts for an average of $500 (don't laugh) in sales per month, I don't think I could even be in the game at all. They pay on time, accurately, I haven't had a single problem in 3 years.

                              On the other hand, Borders has ordered a few books from me -- local Borders, but then you're instructed to send the invoice to their HQ -- and they don't pay. Period. So now I politely decline orders from Borders telling the store manager why.

                              I do praise independent bookstores -- I sell to Borderlands, Dreamhaven, Mysterious Bookshops and through Diamond, and they're very nice -- but many more seem to exist on the verge of bankruptcy, and collecting money seems iffy. (One, Metropolis on the East Coast, stiffed me last year.)

                              So from where I sit, if potential readers aren't going to order direct from through the site/internet, then at least I know I get a fair chance through Amazon.

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