Perks, Pitfalls, and Paradoxes of Amazon Publishing


Nina Shapiro discusses how Amazon has created a new model of publishing, and how this new model will impact the authors. Her article The Perks, Pitfalls, and Paradoxes of Amazon Publishing sheds light on the much controversial change that Amazon has brought to the publishing industry in the past decade.

The article begins with the publishing endeavours of an author, Megan Chance, who was convinced that she had fallen into the “vicious cycle common to the publishing world”. Having signed up with Amazon Publishing, Chance witnessed the Amazon team utilising all their online resources and making her latest book a great sale. But all success comes at a cost, and for Chance, it involves not seeing her books in stores, “sacrificing prestige in the traditional, New York­-based literary world”, and some recognition in the rest of the world, because Amazon’s publishing model is “almost entirely self-contained.” The model that Amazon Publishing created has not won the reputation that it aspired in more than a few ways, but it has proved “surprisingly profitable” for authors who seek self-publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing houses.

However, Shapiro points out that some authors realise the model is not working for them; “… the hurdles to success, especially in the self-publishing market, are getting harder by the day.” Stories of a few more authors with Amazon experience were discussed. With some part of the publishing world starting to call Amazon “monopoly”, some author organisations are even preparing to take it to court while others grow a more supporting voice.

Shapiro describes Amazon Publishing — and what it will achieve — as an unfolding tale. The division now seeks opportunities in not only self-publishing, but also “republishing out-of-print books”, and introducing foreign language books into the English literary world (via translations imprint Amazon Crossing). As Amazon Publishing declares more competition with major publishers, many wonder if “gold rush is over.” As  Bob Mayer, a publishing practitioner and writer, points out: “It’s the best time ever to be an author since there are so many options. But it’s as hard as ever to succeed long term.”

Image Credit: Morgen Schuler for Seattle Weekly 

14 thoughts on “Perks, Pitfalls, and Paradoxes of Amazon Publishing”

  1. It comes down to what’s important to you. I’ve published books with one of Amazon Publishing’s imprints (not self publishing), and I’ve made more than enough money through them to quit my day job, pay off the mortgage on my house, and add a large chunk of cash to my daughter’s college fund. Sure, my books aren’t in stores, and NY publishers don’t know who I am, but who cares? I write for a living, tens of thousands of people buy my books when they come out and they seem to enjoy them. On top of that, I get to set the rules for my life instead of working for others. Not a bad life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey it is possible if you could enable the complete post in the email notifications your followers get? I understand you want to make the readérs click on the link to your site but as a follower i prefer reading the entire post in my mail. Think about it, makes for a better user experience and hardly has any adverse effect on the likes etc..


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