Traditional Books Light the Kindle Fire
Does that seem crazy obvious to you? Maybe–but think about what it means. People buy e-readers to read, at least initially, bestsellers like The Hunger Games Trilogy, Game of Thrones, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It’s the big and the beloved books that drive e-reader sales. Books that have been acquired, edited, designed, published and promoted by traditional houses.
Think about that the next time you see an ad for an e-reader–I do.
Much as I support self-publishing in some cases, I must ask: how many people, do you think, purchase e-readers to read self-published books by unknown, unvetted authors? Very, very few.
Yet article after article, comment after comment, continue to laud Amazon’s ease of publication, high royalties and low prices as welcome signs of the increased obsolescence of traditional houses. Could Amazon exist without traditional houses? Would you buy their e-readers without the traditionally published books that fill them?
Traditional houses can thrive without Amazon or other e-readers; great books would continue to be published, sold and distributed.
If Amazon succeeds in its reported quest to drive traditional houses–and bricks and mortar bookstores–out of business through practices like predatory pricing, and convincing bookstore customers to purchase books on Amazon while they’re standing in the bookstore–where, I wonder, will the books popular enough to drive machine sales come from? All self-published without curation? Amazon’s own publishing divisions? How will that monopolistic environment encourage a diversity of ideas?
Just asking. Please weigh in (and if I may boldly request, without vitriol).