The 2018 publishing realities are no surprise to any of us who have been working and keeping track of sales, books, and so on. Traditional publishers believe they’ve whipped the self-publishing problem. But though there is some stability, they are ignoring many key facts.
Mike Shatzkin gives us some insight
Here’s a quote from today’s post. He sees tradpub missing the elephant in the dining room—Amazon
One “tell” is that Amazon doesn’t believe ebook sales are reducing, they see them growing. Part of that is that Kindle is taking market share from all the other ebook platforms (except possibly Apple iBooks, at the moment). Part of that is that Kindle has titles nobody else has, as some self-publishing entities just use the dominant platform and skip the rest. Part of that is that Kindle doesn’t just sell ebooks; it provides subscription access through Kindle Unlimited that in the aggregate logs a lot of eyeball hours. And almost no big publisher commercial content is included in Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon dominates the 2018 publishing realities
Surprise, surprise! The only thing that concerns me here is that Amazon’s near-monopoly is completely beyond any control or input. I mentioned in my last post that Kindle is becoming the sole source for Amazon for self-publishers. I know Draft2Digital now distributes to Amazon, and they are a real help to us. But the market for self-published books outside of Amazon is small and growing smaller.
This puts us in a precarious position. Witness the recent troubles experienced by Christian authors in Amazon. Any Amazon ads with Christian content are bounced by Amazon. They seem to categorize it almost as hate speech. All that matters to Bezos is increased sales and a larger market position. That shows me that all genre and author groups are there at the whim of Jeff. That’s not a comfortable place to be.