Amazon and Publishing – A Postscript

I thought this was another valid and interesting follow up to George Packer’s piece in the New Yorker.

It doesn’t bode well that open discourse about the publishing industry and Amazon’s place in it is practically impossible. I think it leads to a lot of guesswork and assumptions on both sides. It also makes it easier to paint publishers or Amazon as the devil, depending on whose side you’re on.

I’d rather have information. Real information. Not parcelled out, carefully sanitized and vague figures. Not bullshit and mirrors. And certainly not assumptive guesswork that conveniently reflects what the person presenting it wants you to buy into. But we can’t get any of that when many of the players involved insist on being the man behind the curtain that we must pay no attention to.

Because the decisions I have to make as a writer shouldn’t be based on what indie authors want, or what traditional publishers want, or what Amazon wants. It should be based on what I want. And I can’t make those decisions in room full of people shouting half-truths at each other.

Most importantly, I shouldn’t have to. We’re all adults here. Can’t we act like it, just a little?

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