Check out this Seattle Weekly article about Amazon.
It includes interviews with Seattle area authors Robert Dugoni, Megan Chance, and Greg Bear about the challenges of getting published. All three are very hard working and determined authors. I’ve heard Robert and Megan speak many times at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Summer Conference. Greg Bear was the keynote speaker at the same conference a few years ago.
A few takeaways and thoughts:
* Wow, the book industry has totally changed in the seven years since the Kindle came out in 2007. It will change even more in the years ahead, but not in a predictable way. As Greg Bear points out, what is publishable in the e-book format is different from what was possible in the traditional world.
* Amazon’s transformation of the book business has been pretty hit and miss, and has been marked by several failures along the way.
* Amazon Publishing may be shunned by bookstores, but it has a huge advantage in e-books where Amazon is putting its marketing focus behind its own authors. This is making it more difficult on self-published authors and indie presses, like my publisher, Champagne.
* Even if you get a traditional book contract, it’s hard to get the next one.
* E-books have created more opportunities for writers than the traditional publishing business, but it still isn’t easy to establish a readership.
I don’t normally read the Seattle Weekly. I found out about this article from my daily e-mail from PW Daily, which is a free Publishers Weekly e-newsletter. I recommend all serious writers to subscribe to this newsletter so they can better understand the publishing business.