And the lemmings march on — by Amanda S. Green

*While I tend to write about the industry while I’m red-hot and frankly upset, and therefore it tends to have more heat than reason, Amanda S. Green tends to research her stuff, THEN write, and her articles are things of beauty.  She normally blogs Tuesdays over at Mad Genius Club, my group-writing-blog, but I asked if I could echo it here and she said sure.*

And The Lemmings March On

by Amanda S. Green

The past 10 days or so have seen lots of chest beating and crying unto the heavens by some members of the publishing community. Oh the gnashing of teeth and the blind leaping onto bandwagons as they roll off the cliff of reason. How easy it has been for these writers to cry against the evil that is Amazon, all the while refusing to look beyond the headlines or even read the headlines to see what is really happening.

Last week IPG (Independent Publishers Group, a book distribution company) announced that Amazon failed to accept new contract terms that would have been so much better for IPG’s clients than the current contract. We were told how Amazon was being the big bully and wanting better terms for itself to the detriment to IPG, its clients (publishers) and therefore writers. Without knowing what these wonderful new terms would be, writers hit social media sites condemning Amazon. How dare Amazon refuse to accept terms that would be better for the other party, for writers?!?

But let’s look at this. First of all, at the time of the announcement, we didn’t know what those so-called wonderful terms were. IPG all-too-conveniently didn’t say what they were. Nor did IPG detail what terms Amazon proposed and it turned down. Then there’s the fact that IPG is the middle-man. Just because terms are better for it, that doesn’t mean they will be better for the publishers using them, much less for the authors. Remember, authors may create the product but we get the smallest amount of the sales price of anyone else in the chain. But I can understand why writers were up in arms after reading the IPG announcement. Amazon was once again trying to screw the publishing industry. Evil Amazon! (yes, the sarcasm meter is on here.)

Then came the announcement that Amazon had removed IPG distributed e-books from its catalog. Oh the cries of outrage became howls. Authors’ fists pumped in the air like workers of old as they marched against the evil regime. How dare Amazon remove their titles! Didn’t Amazon know it was hurting authors by doing so? It had a duty to keep those titles in the catalog and for sale. Bad, Amazon, bad.Facebook was ablaze with authors rallying around the cause. Blogs flogged Amazon for being an evil capitalist machine out for no one but itself. And then SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) entered the fray.

SFWA leadership decided to stand by the few authors who had titles distributed by IPG. They would show their solidarity with the common man, er writer, and take action. They’d show evil Amazon that it can’t push people around. So, without consulting the members-at-large, SWFA leadership decided to redirect all product links on its pages from Amazon to other online stores. The only caveat to that was that if the book was only available through Amazon. In that case, the link would remain.

Solidarity! Solidarity! Solidarity! SWFA and others march unerringly toward the cliffs with the other lemmings.

What everyone seems to have forgotten in all this is that Amazon is not the big evil when it comes to publishing. The problems the industry faces now have their roots in practices that were outdated before Amazon was founded. Business plans have failed to evolve with changing times, changing technologies and changing consumer demands. How quickly these same authors have forgotten how the big box stores like Barnes & Noble came in and wiped out the majority of our neighborhood bookstores. How quickly they then over-expanded until they flooded the market. And now that practice, as well as other poor business decisions, have these big box stores in trouble.

Don’t believe me? Where’s Borders? Where’s Bookstop? Barnes & Noble has been trying to spin off Sterling to become more financially stable. That hasn’t worked so Sterling is no longer on the market. Instead, B&N is once more considering spinning off the Nook division.

But let’s continue. IPG presented Amazon with these wonderful terms for itself and its clients and Amazon had the audacity to decline to sign on the dotted line. Then, gasp, it removed those e-book titles. How dare it?

My question is how dare it not? Amazon no longer had a contractual right to sell the titles. It did the correct thing in removing them. After all, whether you like it or not, Amazon is a company. It has shareholders it has a duty to. That duty is to make money in return for their investment. I know that’s awful in the minds of some, but it is the truth. Just as it is true that IPG is in the business to make money.Even SFWA admits that Amazon has the right to decide who to do business with. But what is telling is that, while admitting that only 4,000 e-book titles or so were involved in the IPG dispute, SFWA was redirecting all links away from Amazon as long as the books weren’t exclusive to Amazon. There is nothing in the SFWA letter to say this is applying to just e-books. No, ALL BOOKS are involved.

But the authors who are beating their breasts and pumping their firsts have no problem with this. You must protect the few at the expense of the many.

The double-standard about this hatred so many in publishing have for Amazon continually amazes me. None of these authors cried “FOUL” when Barnes & Noble, and then other bookstores, announced it wouldn’t sell books published by Amazon. No, they actually applauded the move. After all, how dare Amazon have its own publishing arm. It’s out to kill traditional publishers. It is only enticing authors away and then it will turn on them because Amazon is evil.

I’m not going to say there won’t come a day when Amazon changes the royalty structure for self-published authors or small presses. It very well may. But the responsibility falls to us to be prepared for that day. In the meantime, we’re foolish not to take advantage of the tools available to us and, like it or not, Amazon is one of them.

Another example of the double standard is the deafening silence in the wake of Barclay’s announcement that it will not distribute one of its titles to any online bookseller. Their reasoning, to protest Amazon’s “unfair practices”. So, they don’t like Amazon but will “punish” all online stores.  I’m sure Amazon is quaking in its boots at the removal of one title and will soon capitulate. Yes, I’m rolling my eyes as I type this. But the point is, Barclay is removing the title from a number of venues and yet the authors pounding their chests and pumping their fists are silent. I can only guess their reason is because the evil one was mentioned so they didn’t read any further.

Nor have I heard these same authors condemning Apple for refusing to carry an e-book in iTunes/iBooks because, gasp, it had a link in the back of the book in the references section to an Amazon page. GASP. It linked to a book Apple didn’t carry. Not an e-book, if I remember correctly, but a hard copy. Guess what, boys and girls, Apple doesn’t sell hard copy. Not yet, at any rate. But no one is up in arms about this because, sigh, Amazon is involved.

As I sit here writing this blog this morning, I have the news on. A commercial just aired for a live show later this month at the American Airlines Center. The music in the background is “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables. How appropriate. I see these authors in my mind’s eye marching shoulder to shoulder, fists pumping as they call for solidarity against Amazon. But they aren’t marching toward the guns of their oppressors. No, they are marching toward the edge of the cliff, blindly supporting an industry that, if it doesn’t quickly change its operating model, will soon fall.

And, like it or not, these authors are playing a role in the decline of the industry. How? By doing exactly what they are right now. By getting on their facebook accounts and alienating a very large part of their readership by saying not to buy from Amazon. Guess what, authors, the Kindle still holds a major market share when it comes to e-readers. As long as your publishers continue to insist on putting DRM on your titles, most readers won’t jump through the hoops, hoops that are technically illegal around much of the world, to convert that title bought from B&N or Kobo, etc., to be able to read it on their Kindle.

Guess what else–the reading public doesn’t understand why an e-book should cost as much as a hard copy of the book. No, don’t go spouting the tripe about how it costs the same to make an e-book as it does a hard copy. That dog don’t hunt, especially not when there is a hard copy being produced. You don’t edit the book twice, once for the hard copy and once for the digital version. You don’t make two different covers for it.  I could go on, but I won’t. Why? Because you have dug your heels in, put your head in the sand and are going “lalalalalalalalala” until it’s over.

The time has come for writers to take control of their careers. I’m not saying every writer should self–publish. Why? Because not every writer wants that. Not every writer is capable of doing everything that is needed to self-publish, either because of time constraints, personal preferences, etc. But now is the time for writers to demand accountability from their publishers. That includes demanding to know why publishers are using distributors for e-books to sites like Amazon and B&N where it is simple to publish on your own. Middlemen add costs that publishers will take out of the whole before paying the author. But even more than that, it is time for authors to demand their fair share of royalties on a book. Remember, without the writer, there would be no book.

Wake up and realize that while Amazon isn’t pure, it is still the 800 pound gorilla we need to work with–at least until there is a viable alternative. It is not the beginning and end of all that wrong with the publishing industry. If you want to rail against something, writers, read your contracts and your royalty statements. Ask yourself why publishers are trying to claim digital rights to books when contracts were signed long before e-books were even thought of. Ask yourself how your books can still be on the shelves of physical bookstores more than two years after publication and yet your publisher tells you “it just didn’t catch on with the readers” and declines to pick up your option. Ask yourself why you haven’t earned out more royalties than your advance. Ask yourself why the quality of editing, copy editing and proofreading from your legacy publisher has been declining over the years.

Or, continue gnashing your teeth, beating your chest and pumping your fists in the air as you walk off the cliff, alienating readers and cutting yourself off from what most likely is your largest online market.

Cross-posted to The Naked Truth and here.

41 thoughts on “And the lemmings march on — by Amanda S. Green

    1. Paul, that’s why I thought it important to repeat it today. The fact that none of the doomsayers sees anything wrong with other venues doing the exact same thing they accuse Amazon of doing is beyond me.

  1. Amazon isn’t pure, it is still the 800 pound gorilla we need to work with–at least until there is a viable alternative.

    In a way, I suspect that the perceived lack of viable alternative (get off yer duff, B&N! start hustling, Kobo! pick up the pace, Diesel! hey, Blio, great to meetcha — get movin’!) is part of what fuels the… overreaction. However, I’m baffled that the response is to want to force Amazon to carry things, rather than applauding IPG for pulling out and encouraging IPG to set up a Baen-like webstore for the authors/publishers it services.

    If people-without-a-webstore want to knock Amazon down a few pegs, then the thing to do is to remove one’s books from there, to the point where the customers go elsewhere to find the books. (A rather less potent stand would be to avoid doing the Amazon exclusives. No KDP Select.)

    And Building A Better Webstore (or at least one which is a credible contender, hopefully focusing on something that Amazon isn’t doing quite as well) also helps, of course. (Finding other sources than PayPal, for funding/payment, would be bonus!)

    1. However, I’m baffled that the response is to want to force Amazon to carry things

      That’s because you’re thinking like someone who wants to take power away from Amazon and bring that power to themselves. I don’t really think that’s IPG’s thing. I think this is their thought process:
      – We (IPG) like money.
      – We want to have power – but why work for it? It’s inefficient. We just need weight to force Amazon to submit because…
      – Amazon is the Big Dog in publishing right now. The most successful venue around. This is where the customers are.
      – We just need to lean on Amazon, using the authors, to force them to accept a contract deal beneficial to us.

      I don’t think IPG has any intention of reinventing the wheel. They’re just strapping authors to themselves to make themselves look bigger in hopes they can go up against the 800-lb gorilla and make the 800-lb gorilla back down.

  2. Beth, you may be right. However, my opinion is that they’ve bought into the line given them by publishers that Amazon is behind all their problems. It’s just like how authors got behind the publishers and pushed for Amazon to accept agency pricing. After all, they would get soooo much more in royalties that way. Have they? For the vast majority, no. Why? Because the only books that are coming out at the exorbitant prices as those by the so-called best sellers and the newest hot author.

    As for pulling out and building a better webstore or following the Baen example, there are inherent problems with that as well. The average reader doesn’t know about Baen’s webstore. In fact, they go to Amazon, B&N, etc., looking for the digital version of a book and get frustrated because it isn’t there. So, there is a real question of whether or not an author can get the exposure necessary to bring customers to their webstore.

    As for avoiding doing the KDP Select, well, that’s up to each author. But, from my personal standpoint and based on my personal experience, it is a moneymaker. For my titles that are in the program, the loss of potential sales through other outlets has more than been covered. In fact, by going into the Select program, my sales have increased, not only for the titles in the program but for those not in it.

    With regard to Paypal, sorry, but everyone is jumping onto an issue again without really doing the research. From what I’ve seen and heard, as well as from what I gathered from Kris Rusch’s latest post, Paypal is merely doing what they have been instructed to do by the credit card companies. Just like IPG, Paypal is a middleman. That means it does have certain constraints put on it. Do I like it? No. But I haven’t found a reasonable alternative yet and, until I do, I’m not going to get into a snit and take my toys home, so to speak.

    Seriously, the whole Amazon is evil argument makes no sense. Has it taken business away from brick and mortar stores? Sure. But how much of that business could have been kept if the bookstores had a viable, fluid business plan that let them adapt to changing times? How much of it could have been saved if the publishers, the suppliers of the product, had also had a fluid business plan that adapted to changing times and demands?

    No, the problem is multi-fold and Amazon is not, by any means, the big bad ugly so many make it out to be. Yes, it does things I don’t agree with. Yes, it is–gasp–in business to make money. But authors need to understand one thing if nothing else. Amazon gave us a very valuable tool which too many aren’t using. It lets us see some of our Bookscan numbers, those secret numbers publishers have used to approve or deny new contracts with us for years. Oh how the publishers hated that. Amazon has given us an outlet to bring our work to the readers, work that has to be good despite our editors telling us it wouldn’t sell. Why do I say it’s good? Because we are making money from it.

    Yes, there needs to be an alternative. But we can’t cut our noses off just because the lemmings tell us we should join the march to the cliff.

    1. Well, if enough publishers pulled their ebooks and set up relatively painless ebook-stores themselves, and made a big deal about it… People would learn to look at the publisher of the paperback they want in ebook form, and go there. But that would take money into marketing/advertising, basically.

      And, yeah, every author needs to decide what they’re doing and who they’re exclusive (or not) with. I’m just pointing out that to keep Amazon humble (…*snort*snicker*snrlf*choke*…), the thing isn’t to try to mandate that they carry your stuff! Talk about “oh, throw me in dat briar patch, bre’r Publisher!” The more that Amazon is the go-to place for All Things Book, the more power they have! Everyone who wants Amazon humbled should applaud publishers pulling out!

      I’m not jumping onto the PayPal issue without prior experience — PayPal has a history of throwing its weight around in this sort of thing. They justify it by the credit card company excuse, but they appear to have a history of not bothering to notice Naughty Stuff until some special interest group riles them up. http://dw-news.dreamwidth.org/16590.html explains why that journaling site doesn’t use PayPal anymore. (PayPal was fine with Dreamwidth at first. Just like it was apparently fine with Smashwords for some time! Then all of a sudden it’s OHS NOES U HAS GOTS SEXXORS!) http://dw-biz.dreamwidth.org/7022.html also talks about this, especially in the comments.

      Even long before this, I knew someone who had a merchant account with PayPal, and had nothing but awful to say about their customer support.

      PayPal Needs Competition. I’d love to have similar alternatives that would have to distinguish themselves by things such as customer support, what sort of material they don’t bat an eyelash about, what kinds of work-arounds they could use for “erotic” purchases to minimize chargeback concerns…

      1. (Also, Amazon is evil because they bought Stanza — still the best e-reading app in the iTunes App store — and have pretty much abandoned it. I desperately want SOMEONE to buy Stanza away from them and maintain it! Because, even abandoned, it is still the best e-reading app for people with a million books. Nothing else compares. They haven’t even given Stanza’s features to the Kindle app. *sob*)

        1. Beth, sorry. That dog don’t hunt for me, not when I have iTunes movies I can’t play on my android tablet because iTunes won’t put out an app. At least Amazon has put out an app you can use on your Macs, iPads, and iPods.

          1. Well, when Amazon bought the then top-rated e-reader app in the app-store… And has neglected it to near-death… Without incorporating the really useful features into the Kindle app for everyone to benefit from (Android, etc.)… I think I can be a little ticked, y’know? You should be ticked, too. Stanza is awesome, and they didn’t upgrade Kindle hardly at all after they acquired the teeny little company.

        2. Yeah, Beth you and the rest of the universe. I’m still bitching because smartphone/android tech doesn’t go close to the feature set I use all the time with my antique PDA. Eventually I’ll still have to grit my teeth and retire the PDA.

          That’s life. It happens to everyone, someway or other. Doesn’t make anyone evil because of it.

          1. Kate. What features do you find that android is missing? I have been wanting to play with that platform and perhaps I could implement one of them to get my feet wet.

            1. Offline calendar, address book, notes and lists is probably the big one. My antique PDA is a Clie SJ22, and I use the uber-categorization to organize lists, contacts etc.

              I’ve got a Kindle Fire, and I’ve managed to sort of get Google calendar working kind of the way I want. The contacts app stinks (no categorization, you’ve got to jump through hoops to see more than email), and I had to buy a list management app to get anything out of it.

              I can live with it tying to gmail, but I need that categorization to keep everything manageable. It’s beyond awkward when I’ve got to filter through all the work contacts to find the landlord’s number. And it needs to be offline because I don’t use the tablet (and wouldn’t use a smart phone) connected 100% of the time.

      2. Beth, publishers already have online stores and they aren’t doing anything with them. Ask them to promote one enough to be able to walk away from Amazon, etc., and it will take money, as you said. Where do you think that money is going to come from? I can make a good guess — higher e-book prices without the authors getting nearly the cut they deserve.

        But there’s another problem with this. Most readers, I’d hazard a guess and say the vast majority of them, have no idea who publishes their favorite authors. Frankly, they don’t care who the publisher is as long as they can get a quality product for a reasonable price.

        I’m sorry, as an author, I can’t applaud the pulling out of books from Amazon. Not without a viable alternative already in place and there isn’t one. BN.com is horrible to try to navigate. They don’t offer self-published authors and small presses the same advantages Amazon does.

        I’ll repeat again that I don’t think Amazon is perfect. Far from it, in fact. But it isn’t the villain at the root of the all the problems in the industry. There is more than enough blame to go around, starting with the publishers themselves.

        As for Paypal, again, I’m not saying they are innocent, nor perfect. I’d love another option that is as convenient to use. However, they are a middleman and a lot of what happens is what they are told to do. I recommend you read Kris Rusch’s last post for more on that.

        1. 1: I did read that. 2: PayPal still needs competition and alternatives. Have I said, anywhere, that PayPal should be forced to do business with people? No. I’ve said that I’ve heard their customer support sucks, and that they’ve evidenced a tendency to ignore things that are technically against their policy — till some group with an agenda comes along and whines about Teh Sexxors, and then it’s all, “Ohs noes, that’s against policy.” I feel that the latter is a bait-and-switch; it seems that they’re happy to take their transaction fees from those Sex-Tainted Transactions until someone forces them to take official acknowledgement of where the money’s coming from. But as the EFF said, it’s a contract, not a free speech issue.

          There is a middle ground of not liking some corporate entity, distrusting their probable actions based on past behavior, and wanting there to be alternatives, without running around yelling about the sky falling — and without absolving the Chicken Lemmings of having fuzzy thinking. I just don’t feel like absolving PayPal and Amazon of their imperfections, either.

          1. I agree that Paypal needs competition. It’s just that no one has been able to make it stick. There are one or two alternate services, but you can only use Visa or something… Sigh.

            1. I don’t use Paypal, I use Square. A lot of people are wary of them but I find them to be useful, handy and helpful. Plus, if someone at a con wants to buy my book, I simply attach my credit card reader (they give it to you for free) and swipe their card. Email them a receipt (all from your smartphone) and everybody’s happy. Yeah, there’s a 2.5% processing fee but the money for the book they buy off you goes straight into your account and not some account on Paypal (which charges you more to move it to your own bank account later).

        2. “But there’s another problem with this. Most readers, I’d hazard a guess and say the vast majority of them, have no idea who publishes their favorite authors. Frankly, they don’t care who the publisher is as long as they can get a quality product for a reasonable price.”

          I would tend to agree with this, I happen to know because many of my currently producing favorite authors are published at least in part by Baen. Because the majority of the other major publishers are left-wing radicals that refuse to publish works that don’t conform with thier ideals. This has created a very comfortable niche that Baen has filled and profits from. But for those books acceptable to the majority of major publishers, I frankly would have to go look at my bookshelves to see who publishes them. E-publishers of erotica have probably done better than any other publishers at capitalizing on online stores, not only because it is another niche market so customers look to the publisher but also because many customers would be embarrassed to walk up to the checkout at their local B&N store and stand in line behind their pastors wife, with half a dozen erotic novels in hand.

          So I guess what I am saying is that, publishers can do a much more successful business in their online stores, if it is known that they are the only place where a in demand product is available. However, they can only exploit those niches created by other publishers, if you published mysteries, and refused to let anyone else sell your published product. You would likely see your business wither and die, because there are many other sources of mystery books, and the majority of your potential customer base is both lazy and if not technologically illiterate, at least not fully technologically fluent. So unless you have a superstar author (who probably wouldn’t be a superstar unless previously published and promoted by a less controlling publisher) no customers are going to spend the time trying to find your online store, when they can simply go to amazon and order a years worth of mysteries by any number of other publishers with little effort.

  3. I’m actually glad that I was too busy with other things to glom onto this one, Amanda — though whenever someone mentions Amazon.com behaving badly, I try to look beyond the first “OMG, look what that big, nasty bully is doing again!” sort of reactions and see what is actually going on.

    You’ve done a very good job summing up what’s happening, why there was (at minimum) what seems to be an overreaction at SFWA, and pointing out the inconsistencies you saw with this policy overall — I applaud you for it. (Makes my work easier to see a principled objection rather than a rant, though admittedly, I’m better at the unalloyed rant. ;-))

    1. Barb, I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m better at the unalloyed rant as well. But my rants, when I let them go full tilt tend to scare folks and they look at me funny and start giving me a wide berth. Besides, I figure there’s enough chest beating and fist pumping from the lemmings right now.

  4. It is entirely possible that the SFWA overreacted here, but I hardly think referring to the as lemmings is particularly helpful either.

    1. Tolladay, sorry if you didn’t think the comparison of SFWA leadership to lemmings was particularly helpful. My point was that lemmings from time to time follow the leader right over the cliff. Yes, I know there are scientific reasons for it. But that behavior is very much like what we are seeing right now regarding Amazon and IPG. SFWA leadership was simply following the beating of chests and pumping of fists to condemn Amazon. What made it so bad, in my opinion, was that they did this without consulting their membership and that such action is detrimental to the vast majority of SFWA members.

      1. Amanda, I believe you point was clear. For all I know it might even be correct. I have no dog in this hunt so I cannot say. However, your disdain for those who do not think as you do is also quite clear. I think your argument would be better served if there was more understanding and compassion and less demagoguery.

        At the end of the day the SFWA leadership exists to represent its authors. If you do not think they are best representing you, a pleasant but firm conversation with your representative would probably go a lot further then calling them names on a blog. There is also the option of signing up, and running for office yourself. There is probably no better way to have your views represented. I suspect SFWA would greatly benefit from your passion and your particular POV.

        1. I think the fact that when SFWA didn’t ask all of their members and sided with a mere few really is what the issue is here. SFWA is supposed to represent the interests of “all” of its members, not just those who are directly affected by this. I mean, look at NRP for example. They have members who are SFWA, and they are being punished for using Amazon by having links from their SFWA profile which promoted their books on Amazon removed.

          That’s a bit overkill, in my opinion. You don’t put the world on a diet because a few are obese, do you?

          1. Perhaps I didn’t make my point clear. I have some sympathy with Amanda’s position, and I think large portions of her post are spot on. There some good logic in there, alas it is buried under a redundant and spiteful rhetoric. One can be clear, concise, and to the point without sounding like a politician’s stump speech, and I happen to be of the opinion that such a message when shed of its negative trappings is more powerful and effective.

            1. With respect, tolladay, you have no idea what spiteful rhetoric looks like. And no, you don’t want me to show you. I usually don’t even consider unleashing that except when there’s a particularly obnoxious troll around.

              Oh, and as a paid-up member of SFWA? Their management team is acting like a suicide of lemmings. This isn’t the first time – and it probably won’t be the last time, either. Which is why SFWA is a pretty marginal body.

              (The rest of why has to do with the logistics of herding cats)

              1. I regretfully must protest this anti-lemming rhetoric. Propagating the slanderous lie about lemming mass suicide is hurtful, defamatory, damaging to lemming self-esteem and discriminatory. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming#Misconceptions

                This insensitive blaming of the victim must stop. It is grossly unfair to lemmings to so associate them with authors.

                1. I stand chastised and apologize to all lemmings who may have been insulted by this post. [hangs head and backs away, giggling]

  5. Please excuse this tangential quibble.

    You said, “You don’t edit the book twice, once for the hard copy and once for the digital version.” i could be mistaken, but doesn’t the workflow for a novel split between hard-copy and digital?

    Let’s suppose you get your deathless prose as good as you can, but some typos remain. Then the publisher converts it to a different format for typesetting, and proofers go over galley prints. Mistakes found then become repairs applied to the typesetting file, not into your original Doc. And sadly the fixes don’t propagate to the ePub or Mobi files. Thus we see a higher incidence of typos in ebooks than in paper books as I’ve described here

    Quibble aside, i strongly endorse the main thrust of what you’re saying.

    1. Steve, I think the reason you see the typos is that publishing houses are hiring lower-paid proofers or none at all. Not because they’re proofing electronic instead of paper.

  6. This is a very important post, for a couple of reasons, but one that I’d like to emphasize is based on this:
    “The time has come for writers to take control of their careers. I’m not saying every writer should self–publish. Why? Because not every writer wants that. Not every writer is capable of doing everything that is needed to self-publish, either because of time constraints, personal preferences, etc. But now is the time for writers to demand accountability from their publishers. “

    The time has come for editors to break away from the publishing houses and start up their own shops. Forget about all of the crazy overhead, just work with writers to create good content and then have somebody load it into KDP.
    Keep the PR companies on to do the promotions, and promote the editors too. It’s time for the editors to become rockstars.

    1. Stephen, absolutely! A good editor is worth his weight in gold. It’s time for them to take control of their careers just as it is time for writers to do the same.

  7. Two more alternate payment providers if anyone is looking. I have no experience with either, a friend recommended them.

    moneybookers.com

    alertpay.com

    Wayne

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