Friday, July 22, 2011
Friday Thought: Why Kindle?
Amazon allows anyone to upload their book for sale via their website, providing it passes a few tests, such as is it pornographic or a hate-filled rant, both of which would disqaulify you. You can then set your own royalty rate and wait for the cash to come in...or not. The beauty of this is, aside from time, there is no cost to the author and it is easy to do.
I looked at other UK book companies and found no similar system, not even in a beta phase or with a restricted use. Nor were there any similar systems in place for Sony's ereader or on B&N's website.
This is a puzzle. In an electronic age, with ebook sales accelerating, why aren't more companies taking this route? By encouraging people to use their website to sell ebooks, Amazon are virtually guaranteeing sales of their Kindle ereader.
I can't help but wonder whether the traditional publishers have got their heads around ebooks or the digital age. Amanda Hocking and a few others have shown what can be done when you sell direct via Kindle. If Waterstones, Barnes & Noble and Sony encourage authors to sell from their websites, as Amazon do, they may make the transition from the current, print dominated age, to the digital age as strong as they are now. If not, they may still survive, but in what state?
It promises to be an interesting few years ahead.