I’ve been seeing a curious fear-reaction on a number of blogs, comments, in articles and news. All to the news that Amazon is opening up more imprints, furthering their steps from book seller to also book publisher.
And the comments to the Indies, who are happily selling their wares without any publishers but themselves? “Yeah the percentages are great right now, but what happens when Amazon changes the terms/drops royalties/kicks out Indies/(insert fear here).”
You know what? One day I’m going to die. So is everyone else.
But that doesn’t stop me from living!
As with any other aspect of life, you deal with what you have now, plan for the future with the information you have available NOW, try to make informed and good decisions… and then you move forward.
Fear is a dangerous place to make good business decisions (or life decisions). Yes, Amazon is big. Yes, they can do big damage if they choose to. Yes, an individual author means nothing.
But like in life, if there is a change we’ll have to adapt or die. So will everyone else.
Time to take the fear out of it.
Diversify! Why sell only through Amazon? There is no reason not to also distribute ebooks through Barnes & Noble, Kobo (and all their affiliate stores), Diesel, Sony (and all their affiliate stores), Smashwords (so many affiliate stores!), XinXii, Omnilit, and so many others. That doesn’t including selling off your own website, if you want to go through the hassle of setting one up.
We really have no control with any of the other online retailers, either, but at least by having the ebooks available in so many places we’re not allowing Amazon to have a monopoly in our ebook availability. This not only helps us with sales and finding new readers, but it also helps balance out the business moves Amazon makes.
The best any of us can do is take the situation and make the most of it. Fortunately there are a lot of avenues to sell ebooks right now. We can list and sell right NOW for very nice terms.
The only big sales avenue I’m opting out of at the moment is Google until their royalties, interface, and contract terms improve. As an individual author/publisher my opting out is pretty much the only influence I have. On any company.
Put away the fear and live!
Or, to turn this into a writing analogy:
Put away the fear and write and sell!