laurierobey: (Default)
From the Passive Guy blog:

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/11/2011/amazon-vs-the-book-trade/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePassiveVoice+%28The+Passive+Voice%29

It’s difficult to find anyone with a significant stake in traditional publishing who has much good to say about indie authors and Amazon.

None of these folks ever seem to slam Nook, however. It’s as if the Amazon critics share a secret knowledge that if Seattle suddenly disappeared, all the Nooks would go away and charming little bookstores would sprout everywhere like daisies in the spring.

PG thinks Kindles and Nooks and iPads and Kobos will be the salvation of books. Given the increasing prices of paper books from major publishers over the last twenty years, without inexpensive readers and ebooks, books sold for reading pleasure would be in a long period of decline. Paper books were losing the battle with the web before the first Kindle popped out of a factory in Taiwan in 2007.

In 1995, the American Booksellers Association had 5,500 members. In 2002, it had 2,191 members. In 2010, that number was 1,410.

“Here’s the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies” (Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006).

Passive Guy understands the floodgate sentiments, but doesn’t buy them. These worries always seem to reflect a subconscious fear that readers are too stupid or helpless to find the books they want to read if a tasteful gatekeeper isn’t around to dole them out like mints sitting on doilies.

The floodgates have been open for anyone who wants to publish a blog for years and somehow blog readers seem to find what they want to read. Does anyone think shutting down all blogs is a step forward for readers or writers?

Regardless of anyone’s sentiments, Amazon is not going away. Should Seattle suddenly disappear, a dozen would-be Amazons would sprout overnight, each more aggressive than the next on pricing.

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