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(The New York Times)   One Publisher To Rule Them All, and in the monopoly bind them   (nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Publishing, Imprint, Mass media, sale of the company, Publication, Small press, biggest book publisher, Penguin Random House  
•       •       •

2168 clicks; posted to Business » and Entertainment » on 26 Nov 2020 at 2:51 PM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



37 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-11-26 12:59:35 PM  
I started working in professional publishing (legal treatises) almost 30 years ago. At the time there were, relatively speaking, many similar sized competitors. I'm no long sure who is left as an independent but almost all have been bought up and merged into a duopoly with a few smaller, spunky but insignificant competitors on the national level (local is another matter).

In one way it is quite logical. A pre-internet business model just won't work today in my field for many reasons. But competing titles after a merger will leave one book and it's voice silenced for it's more profitable new step-sibling. But that is not the real issue.

With few competitors there is less reason for products to excel. There is so little competition that areas that have an expensive labor cost center (talented employees, experts in their subject matters). I've seen many little guys come up with a better method only to see them simply be assimilated (the Borg should have used cash).

T.Roosevelt's anti-trust busters would have a field day today.
 
2020-11-26 1:30:28 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.
 
2020-11-26 2:52:10 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.


Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.
 
2020-11-26 2:53:59 PM  

koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.


So publish through amazon. I mean you have seen how much the "old timers" whine about the upstart whos "destroying their way of existance" havnt you?
 
2020-11-26 2:59:56 PM  
I thought we didn't care about mergers and monopolies in the US anymore???

We pretty much any through
Except those where it's a political agenda
 
2020-11-26 3:15:26 PM  

lifeslammer: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

So publish through amazon. I mean you have seen how much the "old timers" whine about the upstart whos "destroying their way of existance" havnt you?


Cool I'll just get that Amazon Advance program where they cut you a check 6 months before the next book is released so you have something to live on. Oh wait.
 
2020-11-26 3:56:49 PM  
Kodak had a monopoly on film processing at the end. Price fixing only works when someone wants to buy your product.
 
2020-11-26 4:00:37 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image image 480x480]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.


Wanna know how I know you don't understand the publishing industry?
 
2020-11-26 4:03:32 PM  

koder: lifeslammer: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

So publish through amazon. I mean you have seen how much the "old timers" whine about the upstart whos "destroying their way of existance" havnt you?

Cool I'll just get that Amazon Advance program where they cut you a check 6 months before the next book is released so you have something to live on. Oh wait.


Amazon has advanced beyond that. Now they'll refund the book on Audible indefinitely. Thousands of reads, no royalties.
http://file770.com/how-audibles-retur​n​s-policy-exploits-writers/
 
2020-11-26 4:03:34 PM  

koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.


If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...
 
2020-11-26 4:09:20 PM  
Great. Now my robo-erotic septilogy will never see the light of day.
 
2020-11-26 4:35:16 PM  
Nothing of value and all that...
 
2020-11-26 4:40:34 PM  
Subby, I don't know how many publishers the western world needs, just as I don't know how many gas stations my city needs. All I ask is that freedom of entry into the publishing world be maintained.

If Chuck Tingle can get his work published, I see no real reason for concern that there may be some undiscovered genius being blackballed from his chance at fame and fortune by Big Book.
 
2020-11-26 5:40:16 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image image 480x480]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.


As soon as publishers allow ebooks on any platform, with constant support, I will agree digital will kill books.

I put book extinction up there with autonomous cars and unanimous adoption of electric and the death of ICE vehicles. Something I will not live long enough to have to deal with.

Not because it isn't possible, but those rare earth metals are as infinite in existence as petroleum. We better get mich better at recycling e-waste soon.
 
2020-11-26 5:57:52 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...


How do you plan to handle promotions and purchases?

Just going to rely on word-of-mouth and a Paypal account?
 
2020-11-26 6:54:25 PM  

indy_kid: Giant Clown Shoe: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...

How do you plan to handle promotions and purchases?

Just going to rely on word-of-mouth and a Paypal account?


you sound old
 
2020-11-26 7:17:13 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: indy_kid: Giant Clown Shoe: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...

How do you plan to handle promotions and purchases?

Just going to rely on word-of-mouth and a Paypal account?

you sound old


Go get a list of recent best sellers and show us how well the self-publishers are doing.
 
2020-11-26 7:48:58 PM  
I really hate that the one thing Shadowrun got right is megacorps.
 
2020-11-26 8:18:25 PM  

TommyDeuce: I really hate that the one thing Shadowrun got right is megacorps.


Shadowrun was a blatant ripoff of Cyberpunk 2020, but with magic, elves, and no self-respect.
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size
 
2020-11-26 8:22:07 PM  
And...how long before Bezos sucks up this fish to merge with KDP and Thomas and Mercer?
 
2020-11-26 9:25:37 PM  
Pro: an author will only get one rejection slip for his submission
Con: one and done!
 
2020-11-26 10:13:30 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: indy_kid: Giant Clown Shoe: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...

How do you plan to handle promotions and purchases?

Just going to rely on word-of-mouth and a Paypal account?

you sound old


Very old. But, see, it applies to them personally, so now it's a problem.
 
2020-11-26 10:14:37 PM  

jaytkay: Giant Clown Shoe: indy_kid: Giant Clown Shoe: koder: Giant Clown Shoe: [Fark user image 480x480] [View Full Size image _x_]

We survived a monopoly in the abacus industry and will survive a monopoly in this soon to be obsolete industry, also.

Except the Abacus industry didn't have to worry about corporate censorship.

If only current technology allowed broad dissemination of information and self publishing. If only...

How do you plan to handle promotions and purchases?

Just going to rely on word-of-mouth and a Paypal account?

you sound old

Go get a list of recent best sellers and show us how well the self-publishers are doing.


Other than you, and an ever decreasing demographic, who does that or cares?
 
2020-11-26 10:29:00 PM  
It's fine. They're just coiling into a neat little bundle for Disney to buy next year.
 
2020-11-26 10:37:37 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Wrong Hugo Weaving scene, but still
 
2020-11-26 11:46:33 PM  
These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.
 
2020-11-27 12:00:02 AM  
Just when was going to publish my autobiography.  It would have given Chuck Tingle a run for his money, other than not being that gay, and not involving dinosaur sex.
 
2020-11-27 12:17:55 AM  

Ashraiel: These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.


I've been assured this isn't possible.
 
2020-11-27 12:42:43 AM  

Giant Clown Shoe: Ashraiel: These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.

I've been assured this isn't possible.


For a lot of people? It might not be.

I'm fortunate that because of my day job I have graphic design and video editing skills. My Etsy store does really well (I'm in the top 1% of US stores) and gives me a platform outside of Amazon to sell my books directly to people, meaning I keep more of the money.

It costs me $25k for everything from the editing services, to printing 1500 hardcovers of each book, to getting them into a distribution system so people can buy them from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel or wherever else, but these places take an insane cut. My hardcover cover price is $27, and each book is about $7 to print.

Amazon takes 56% of the cover price, so in the end selling a hardcover through them nets me almost the same as an ebook.

Selling that same book on Etsy? They only take 5% and I make about $20 a book back.

I also have a Patreon page, and the monthly income from that helps cover marketing expenses and pays down the initial cost per book so that as I move actual books, it's pure profit.

The other indie authors I know? Don't have an already successful storefront with customers to market directly to. Their only option is through Amazon's publishing program because they can't go elsewhere without selling their creative rights to a publisher.

They have to pay other people to do their graphic design, marketing materials, book trailers, websites, etc. 

I'm insanely lucky I have the skills to do all that myself, experience with marketing, and a built-in audience and it is *STILL* ungodly hard.

The link to my author website is in my profile--on my Patreon I break out all the costs per book and talk pretty frankly about the struggle to make it back--but my books are mine, I kept all my creative and intellectual rights, and I don't think I'll ever regret that.
 
2020-11-27 1:24:02 AM  
One of the few things I wished the internet hadn't changed for the worse is the book business, specifically bookstores. Amazon's search algorithm in no way is equal to just roaming through a bookstore to find what you want or to discover something interesting and new. It's too bad that book publishing is consolidating into monopolies.
 
2020-11-27 4:24:44 AM  
If only there was a system by which writers would be paid by the number of reads.

Oh wait, the Canadian library system does that. You ge ta flat royalty for every book in a public or school library beyond the third book, plus royalties for each time your book is signed out, including online.

Our libraries are actually very busy places. Our library books circulate a lot, book paper and digital.

/Yup, paid for sitting on shelves, because some people read on the library instead of checking out
//There is no excuse for shiathole countries that don't pay authors
///Trilogy of shashies brings in the big library bucks
 
2020-11-27 8:11:16 AM  
America loves monopolies.
 
2020-11-27 8:18:32 AM  

Ashraiel: Giant Clown Shoe: Ashraiel: These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.

I've been assured this isn't possible.

For a lot of people? It might not be.

I'm fortunate that because of my day job I have graphic design and video editing skills. My Etsy store does really well (I'm in the top 1% of US stores) and gives me a platform outside of Amazon to sell my books directly to people, meaning I keep more of the money.

It costs me $25k for everything from the editing services, to printing 1500 hardcovers of each book, to getting them into a distribution system so people can buy them from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel or wherever else, but these places take an insane cut. My hardcover cover price is $27, and each book is about $7 to print.

Amazon takes 56% of the cover price, so in the end selling a hardcover through them nets me almost the same as an ebook.

Selling that same book on Etsy? They only take 5% and I make about $20 a book back.

I also have a Patreon page, and the monthly income from that helps cover marketing expenses and pays down the initial cost per book so that as I move actual books, it's pure profit.

The other indie authors I know? Don't have an already successful storefront with customers to market directly to. Their only option is through Amazon's publishing program because they can't go elsewhere without selling their creative rights to a publisher.

They have to pay other people to do their graphic design, marketing materials, book trailers, websites, etc. 

I'm insanely lucky I have the skills to do all that myself, experience with marketing, and a built-in audience and it is *STILL* ungodly hard.

The link to my author website is in my profile--on my Patreon I break out all the costs per book and talk pretty frankly about the struggle to make it back--but my books are mine, I kept all my creative and intellectual rights, and I don't think I'll ever regret that.


Ah, but you being lucky in your circumstances that allow you to self-publish means anyone can do it!

\this is what capitalists actually believe
 
2020-11-27 9:00:45 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Ah, but you being lucky in your circumstances that allow you to self-publish means anyone can do it!

\this is what capitalists actually believe


Don't you know, publishing is more balanced, more accessible and less censored when writers have to go through big business gatekeepers to disseminate their work widely.

Elderly people in this thread have told us so. 

/it's like someone in the late 80s telling us no one will be able is distribute images unless we prop up/ rely on Kodak, Fuji and Polaroid
//rearrange your big print publishing deck chairs bc they'll be limited doing small batch artisan runs within 2 generations
 
2020-11-27 9:02:35 AM  

Ashraiel: Giant Clown Shoe: Ashraiel: These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.

I've been assured this isn't possible.

For a lot of people? It might not be.

I'm fortunate that because of my day job I have graphic design and video editing skills. My Etsy store does really well (I'm in the top 1% of US stores) and gives me a platform outside of Amazon to sell my books directly to people, meaning I keep more of the money.

It costs me $25k for everything from the editing services, to printing 1500 hardcovers of each book, to getting them into a distribution system so people can buy them from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel or wherever else, but these places take an insane cut. My hardcover cover price is $27, and each book is about $7 to print.

Amazon takes 56% of the cover price, so in the end selling a hardcover through them nets me almost the same as an ebook.

Selling that same book on Etsy? They only take 5% and I make about $20 a book back.

I also have a Patreon page, and the monthly income from that helps cover marketing expenses and pays down the initial cost per book so that as I move actual books, it's pure profit.

The other indie authors I know? Don't have an already successful storefront with customers to market directly to. Their only option is through Amazon's publishing program because they can't go elsewhere without selling their creative rights to a publisher.

They have to pay other people to do their graphic design, marketing materials, book trailers, websites, etc. 

I'm insanely lucky I have the skills to do all that myself, experience with marketing, and a built-in audience and it is *STILL* ungodly hard.

The link to my author website is in my profile--on my Patreon I break out all the costs per book and talk pretty frankly about the struggle to make it back--but my books are mine, I kept all my creative and intellectual rights, and I don't think I'll ever regret that.


this is great information. thank you.

my wife is a voracious reader and will be trying out your wares. I'll find you on etsy.
 
2020-11-27 10:47:51 AM  
sad. monopolies? publishers aren't know for paying royalties willing, cheerfully destroying producers (Look up the origin of sunday comics), having banks try to censor products (ask paypal) and moving to countries where royalties don't exist. (Twain, canada, 1890's)
now we have orphan works (sterilized net-scrapings, file serial numbers off) amazon mono, and the killing off of all opponents (in ack, legal and paperworks)

no e-text books yet; ask the next busload how many e-read books.

I am STILL waiting for comics to take over the world.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-27 5:57:42 PM  

Giant Clown Shoe: Ashraiel: Giant Clown Shoe: Ashraiel: These kinds of articles make me so glad I published independently, no matter how farking hard it is to go it alone at times.

I've been assured this isn't possible.

For a lot of people? It might not be.

I'm fortunate that because of my day job I have graphic design and video editing skills. My Etsy store does really well (I'm in the top 1% of US stores) and gives me a platform outside of Amazon to sell my books directly to people, meaning I keep more of the money.

It costs me $25k for everything from the editing services, to printing 1500 hardcovers of each book, to getting them into a distribution system so people can buy them from Amazon or Barnes & Nobel or wherever else, but these places take an insane cut. My hardcover cover price is $27, and each book is about $7 to print.

Amazon takes 56% of the cover price, so in the end selling a hardcover through them nets me almost the same as an ebook.

Selling that same book on Etsy? They only take 5% and I make about $20 a book back.

I also have a Patreon page, and the monthly income from that helps cover marketing expenses and pays down the initial cost per book so that as I move actual books, it's pure profit.

The other indie authors I know? Don't have an already successful storefront with customers to market directly to. Their only option is through Amazon's publishing program because they can't go elsewhere without selling their creative rights to a publisher.

They have to pay other people to do their graphic design, marketing materials, book trailers, websites, etc. 

I'm insanely lucky I have the skills to do all that myself, experience with marketing, and a built-in audience and it is *STILL* ungodly hard.

The link to my author website is in my profile--on my Patreon I break out all the costs per book and talk pretty frankly about the struggle to make it back--but my books are mine, I kept all my creative and intellectual rights, and I don't think I'll ever regret th ...


That's very kind of you both :)  If she writes, I'm happy to answer questions on publishing, too!
 
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