“It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore.” There’s a long piece in the new New Yorker by George Packer about Jeff Bezos and Amazon. I think—putting aside for a second the brutal, anti-union labor conditions in their warehouses, the tax-dodging, the bullying of publishers big and small, the condescending offers to let indies sell their Kindles—this is the most fundamental difference between us and them. (via mcnallyjackson)

[T]he narrative that Amazon wants you to believe—that publishers make books more expensive than they need to be and keep authors from making money—is a lie.

A world where everyone self publishes will mean fewer authors making a living and fewer books that reach their full potential as art. Period.

John Green

Only about $1.25 of the price you pay for a physical book is actually going into the paper, glue, binding, etc. The bulk of the money is going to the production of a quality product - from attracting talented writers with advances to insightful editing, careful copyediting, and marketing to help the book stand out.

When Amazon sells the eBook version of a print book for $9.99 they’re absorbing the loss in order to control the market. But if the publishers all go under, leaving Amazon as the only viable source for books, Amazon will be then forced to create an inferior product to keep prices down. They can’t edit, copyedit, design, and promote books without additional costs. And if you need proof, just look at the eBook originals that Amazon sells now. Typos everywhere, whole books plagiarized off of internet sources, design like reading a Word Document and no way to tell which books will be good because there are just 25 million titles and aside from a few “top 10” lists, no way to discern quality (especially when 5-star ratings on Amazon can be bought).

Meaning that, once the publishers and booksellers do go under, we’ll all be looking at a market full of inferior quality books. Think about a book you really love - one that’s helped you solve problems, or inspired your creativity, or fueled your imagination, or provided hours and hours of entertainment… is that worth only $10 and no more? Think fast, because in a few years, you might not have the choice.

Kris Jansma

(Source: kristopherjansma.squarespace.com)

“Writing takes, among other things, an almost insane amount of stubbornness and work. It’s one of the main things that this novel is about, at its core, and the solution, I’ve found, is to always have trusted friends nearby who can keep pushing you onward.” Kristopher Jansma, (on the upcoming publication of his first novel)
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