Have publishers not heard the old adage that if you stop banging your head on the wall, the pain will stop too?
They’ve got the Department of Justice after them for colluding on price fixing, they’ve got feedback from authors and readers alike who leave comments and write blogs and are now even leaving one star reviews on Amazon and other places simply because the ebook is priced to high and they refuse to buy it. Nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the author. No, the one star is to let the publisher know the price is too high. That’s a head-banger on two levels, though, because a one star review affects the author’s rankings and publishers don’t even bat an eye. I doubt they even read the reviews and care even less for the author’s reaction to seeing her book plunge to the bottom of the ratings heap.
I suspect they don’t care, period. They don’t listen to the bloggers and posters. They certainly don’t listen to the authors. They just bang their heads on the wall and wail and moan over their falling sales and the evils of Amazon taking over the world.
Have they done anything about it? Have they thought about competing instead of just whining?
Have they thought of negotiating better royalties to keep their bestselling authors from jumping ship and testing the waters of self publishing? Nooooo.
Have they *lowered* (gasp) the price of ebooks so they at least match the price of the same book in paperback? Noooooooo.
Has it occurred to them yet that without any authors they will have no company? No product? What if, Big Six, every author currently under contract did not sign another one. What if they honored the current contract then turned to self publishing? I have this vision of a multi-storey glass office tower in Manhattan, filled with editors, art directors, marketing folk all sitting at their desks looking around at the guy next to them who has nothing to do either but shoot paperclips down the empty halls.
It ain’t Amazon’s fault, people. It’s your own damn short-sighted pig-headedness. With us, you carry on. Without us, you fail. You want to stop the pain? Stop banging your head on the wall wailing about something that has nothing to do with why you’re growing increasingly unpopular. You’ve had a great run of about three, four centuries of calling all the shots and paying your most valuable commodity the lowest percentage on the totem pole. But guess what. The authors are getting smarter and more secure in their independence every day. They see the math. They get the checks in the mail every month. They connect with the reading public in more ways than were dreamed of ten years ago, even five years ago. The readers are getting savvy too. They aren’t going to pay $14.99 for an ebook that costs the publisher next to nothing to produce and gives them a 70% profit. (with only 12.5% of that going to the author) Pffffffffft.
Give the authors the respect they are owed.
Give the readers the respect they deserve.