Tuesday, July 22, 2014

People Need To Calm Down About Amazon

They really do. I'm getting old, and I've seen this before. Trust this doddering old fossil. Amazon is not going to take over the world, run every publishing company out of business, and end up chaining us poor hapless authors to the walls of its dungeon so we can write 23 hours a day under the whips of our overlords. Not gonna happen.

Today I saw someone growling about how a person absolutely HAD TO join up with Amazon's new book sharing service (In which they are imitating Scribd, Oyster, and a bunch of others that are already operating and have been for some time.) The person was of the opinion that if they didn't join Kindle Select and sign up, they would be left behind in the dust. So they decided to go with another sales option than Amazon.

Permit me to reiterate this:
1) They think that Amazon is on the verge of establishing an inescapable monopoly, that there is no hope of anyone escaping Amazon's grip, and that not joining Amazon's new program will destroy their chance for success.
2) Their response to this is to avoid joining Amazon's new program. Instead, they are going to sell their book using one of Amazon's competitors.


Chill, people. This kind of economic shift and rearranging goes on all the time in a free market. Always has, always will. It's not worth worrying over. If Amazon gets out of hand, it's not a problem. New competitors to Amazon are springing up already.

IBM once ruled the computer world with an iron fist. I remember those days. Until Microsoft came along. And Apple. For a time those two behemoths stomped anyone who dared to stick their head up. Then some college kid designed his own operating system. Then some upstart company took a flavor of that operating system, called it Android, and slapped it on some cheap hardware. Now Microsoft is going door to door with a tin cup, begging people not to throw it out in the street and let its children starve.

This kind of constant innovation and shifting of power is a good thing, not a bad one. Seize the day. Or the evening, whichever time zone you happen to be located in. More change means more options. More options means more opportunity for the mavericks like us indie publishers. This is a good thing.

No, I am not in kindle select and have no plans to join. I might do it someday, I might not. I was in the Smashwords version of the loaner program, and had no luck with it. Maybe Amazon's arrangement will work better. But I will wait and see. Meanwhile, I have two books underway, and a third one pending. I am too busy to worry about it.

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