Ok, so I met with some good friends last evening who are sorta, kinda, in the business, in one way or another. Of course, more discussion helps the conversation re Amazon-Hachette, as it’s become known, and ebook prices and author royalties. I should clarify my own position, or rather how plan to position myself and why. In my previous posts, I indicated I plan to self publish via an ebook platform for my first book, hopefully out this fall. Most likely, it will be with Amazon but that does not mean I won’t also choose other ebook platforms in addition to Amazon. However, my choice does not necessarily mean that I approve of Amazon’s position.
I do believe an author, or an artist, or a musician, or a singer, should be paid a majority percentage for his or her work. Why? Because the author has put in the time and effort, the creativity, the hard work, the hours on the keyboard, etc. to produce his book. He should not receive less than 51%. After all, if not for the author, not one publisher, agent, editor, and ebook peddler, would be in business.
I do believe, for the most part, in the free enterprise system. Which means the maker of a product or service should be allowed to set the price at whatever he, she, or they thing the market will bare. I think it is unfair for Amazon, who merely acts as a middle man, has any business dictating what prices a seller can or should set. Does the etail giant even make anything?
On the other hand, authors have more than one choice available to them so one does not need to sell a book via Amazon. I could argue that the proliferation of self published ebooks has added to the slush pile, saturating the Amazon platform with less than quality work. Let’s face it, some singers should not sing, some painters should not paint, and some authors should not write. This is where agents and editors act as sort of quality gate keepers in my opinion. Ensuring at least a decent minimum standard for readers. This is how it is for first time drivers, accountants, doctors, pilots, dentists, other technical positions and professions, and professionals. Our society needs minimum standards to achieve, to compete, and to excel. Why lower that standard?
I still plan to go the ebook route for my first book, however, I intend to pitch my second book to an agent and go both routes. For me, signing with an agent and hopefully a publisher, would be a sort of validation for my work, that and any resultant sales that follow. Besides, there is no reason I cannot do both.