A lot has been written about the publishing industry and the role of new technology. My view is that the system is broken. No longer is a publisher needed to stump up huge amounts of cash and expertise to get books into bookshops. Technology and social media has given writers the ability to bring their own books to the market without the help of publishers. It is now possible for a writer to make their book available to a worldwide audience, at a very low cost, and hundreds (if not thousands) of ‘fans’ can buy that book without a mainstream publisher ever being involved.
I recently spoke to an industry insider about this very topic and he said, “What they [publishers] really want is for social media and self-publishing to go away and for things to be like they were 10+ years ago.” This is great news for the writer. I truly believe we are on the edge of a revolution. We are seeing a shift in publishing power away from the big publishers and into the hands of readers and writers. However, publishers will still have a role to play, though this will be more editorial. However, it seems that Amazon are the only people that can really see what is happening.
This week Amazon released AmazonEncore.
AmazonEncore is a new program whereby Amazon will use information such as customer reviews on Amazon.com to identify exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate. Amazon will then partner with the authors to re-introduce their books to readers through marketing support and distribution into multiple channels and formats…What?!? Amazon will use the most sophisticated model of reader’s book buying habits ever known to man to identify books that have been overlooked by the mainstream publishers! And by this they mean self published books.
And!?! Amazon will put the weight of their worldwide business behind promoting these books to a wider market.
My God they get it!