Monday, April 16, 2012
IS AMAZON HELPING DISSOLVE WRITER PROFILING?
Yes, one of the ways Amazon has attracted so many readers is by offering low prices, but there's another reason why they have maintained their dominance in the market--Diversity. Amazon is completely agnostic when they recommend a book to their readers. They don't distinguish between an indie writer and a traditionally published writer. To them, it's simply a matter of offering the best possible chance for the reader to enjoy their next read. You can't do that on Barnes and Noble's site. If you don't have a deal with the big 6 publishers, the chance of an indie author getting their book read on B&N are reduced dramatically. I can bore you with statistics, but I've interviewed enough writers to know this is a real occurrence.
So how does this effect the industry? Simple. The lines between indie authors and traditionally published authors are fading and Amazon is the reason. There was a time when all indie writers were self-published because they had no choice. They couldn't get an agent or a publisher, so they were relegated to the indie route. Now, that has changed. There are so many writers choosing to go indie instead of using a publisher that readers can't tell the difference anymore. And since readers can't tell, Amazon gives them the choice to decide which book they might like best. Isn't that capitalism at it's finest?
Why doesn't Barnes and Noble do this? Boy, I wish I knew. I could throw all kinds of conspiracy theories out there, but the honest answer is--who knows? If they're not in bed with the Big 6 publishers, they're certainly in the bathroom slipping on a negligee. I'd like to have more options to offer my readers, but the reality is, Amazon takes good care of their writers, no matter their denomination. And more importantly, they take care of their readers. And that's good, because I'm one of their best customers. I'm a reader.