A recent article in Publishers Weekly titled, Amazon’s Impact on Publishing? It’s Complicated, raised more questions than answers, something that shouldn’t be too surprising to any of us. After all, arguing about the impact of any seemingly behemoth establishment on the book industry is nothing new. As the article points out - and stated by one of the panelists for this topic - it wasn’t that long ago that many on all sides of the publishing industry were bemoaning Barnes & Noble’s impact on indie bookstores. Some still do.
Here’s the link to the article:
Rewind to twenty years ago – or even less – and many authors were doing everything they could to support indie bookstores out of solidarity if nothing else, but few of these authors shunned the chain bookstores – like B&N – because at the end of the day, an author’s biggest challenge is making sure their book(s) sell. Even in the day of electronic this and that, this fact has not changed. How it’s tracked and the tools to achieve it have certainly changed but the need to sell their work to become established and attract not only readers but publishers is still at the heart of the journey for most authors.
Just tell me you never check your Amazon ranking!
Certainly, it seems to be one of the easiest times in publishing history to become a published author, just look at all that is available on Amazon’s website that is self-published. However, it’s also one of the most challenging times to be a published author, just look at all that is available on Amazon’s website (and other sites) period.
One thing that hasn’t changed – at least in my humble opinion (or should I write IMHO to be with it?) is that reviews and good publicity still make a huge difference for an author. If there is one thing that can make that huge difference for a writer is someone or some reviewer touting an author’s book(s). This is the ultimate in word-of-mouth advertising. Oprah’s Book Club anyone?
So, in the end, in many ways, authors are where they’ve always been – struggling to write a good book, struggling to get it published and struggling to gain readers and get it sold.
Brings to mind the saying, “What’s old is new again.”