Saturday, July 18, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blog-athon Day 34 -- Hot Links Saturday

Top 5 Publishing Links for the Week

Leading Authors Call for Government Probe of Amazon "Damaging" Power 

Authors Guild Calls for DOJ Probe of Amazon 

From an author and economics major, let me just day this--Amazon is not a monopoly. NOT. Amazon is a ruthless competitor. Amazon has positioned itself to be dominant force in the market--for sure! But damaging? Only if you're a bookseller that hasn't figured out a business model to beat Amazon's. It's certainly not damaging to the CONSUMER--and that's what the government cares about. Period. Point blank. 

If other booksellers offered cheaper books and free two day shipping (with a membership), I might consider using them. But the fact that Amazon has become this enormous e-marketplace and a convenience for those among us who hate shopping in stores anymore, doesn't make it a monopoly--it's just ruthless good business. 

These people leading the call for this probe do not speak for me as a consumer or as an author. 

A New Editing Tool for Indie Authors -- IBM's Walton Tone Analyzer 

I never met a writing tool I didn't like. This one looks to be in a similar vein as AutoCrit and ProWriting Aid--the difference is that it analyzes for "Tone" (angry versus cheerful). Apparently, you can try out it's powers with a link in the article. I'll be doing that later. 

Putting an end to Book Returns? 

Now THIS is a critical topic for indie and traditional published authors with books in bookstores. This is some of that ugly business of bookselling that many authors know too little about. It has a huge impact on author royalties and can significantly increase the cost of publishing. For all the booksellers' whining about Amazon -- I don't think there is another industry in the world that gets to operate with as little risk as the book publishing industry. 

Returns are gold for the publisher. Let's say a bookstore orders 100 books for an initial order and they can only sell 10. With the current return policy, they can send back the 90 they don't sell to the publisher and get their money back. Yes. That's like going to a restaurant ordering a steak, eating 3/4 of it and then getting your money back for the 1/4 you didn't eat (well, not exactly but the principle is the same). 

In what other industry do they do that? None. Not the record industry (correction they do too--so this gripe is for them too). Not the clothing industry. Not the food industry. If you over buy an item then to get rid of them--you have to have a sale! You can't send them back to the manufacturer and say "Oopsie! Ordered too many!" That's why they have the clearance table in TJ Maxx. 

Anyway, cutting returns would probably reduce the size of initial orders because it would make bookstores order more accurately. BUT, it would help eliminate other issues. 

This is a good article for those currently published and those looking to get their books in stores in the future. A must read. 

No Shortcuts to Succeeding in Self-Publishing

No kidding! An interesting article from a self published author. Not super insightful but a reminder that this is a hard business!! 

8 Places Where Successful Authors Write

Road trip!! Who's with me??? I could use some writing mojo! Manhattan is a great place to start. 

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