There is a huge debate right now about e-books. Apple and the five publishers are being accused of colluding over e-book prices. The U.S. Justice Department is suing Apple and two other publishers for that reason and it turns out that Amazon.com may benefit from it. Amazon.com felt like Apple and the publishers were trying to eliminate competition among e-book sellers. Amazon is known for charging lower prices for some of the top-selling e-books.
I think eventually the authors, publication companies, consumers, and platform companies will find some kind of middle ground. What I did find interesting was a letter that Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos sent out to investors.
I am emphasizing the self-service nature of these platforms because it?s important for a reason I think is somewhat non-obvious: even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there?s no expert gatekeeper ready to say ?that will never work!? And guess what ? many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity.
Bezos seems to be right when it comes to helping out publishers that might not have been heard of without the Kindle self-service platform. From the letter to investors, here is what Theresa Ragan, KDP author known for best sellers such as “Abducted,” had to say:
?Amazon has made it possible for authors like me to get their work in front of readers and has changed my life. In a little over a year, I have sold nearly 250,000 books through the Kindle and have traded in old dreams for bigger and better ones. Four of my books have hit the Top 100 Kindle Best Sellers List. Also, I have been approached by agents, foreign sales people, and two movie producers, and have received mentions in the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and PC Magazine, and was recently interviewed by USA Today. Mostly, I am excited that all writers now have the opportunity to get their work in front of readers without jumping through insurmountable hoops. Writers have more options and readers have more choices. The publishing world is changing fast, and I plan to enjoy every minute of the ride.?
More power to authors like Ragan.