Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Lack of Enlightened Self-Interest on the Sidelines of Amazon–Hachette debate.

I have been blogging less and less on my New Libri blog here (as is obvious to the one or two readers I have).

One reason is simply time, the other is from a publishing perspective I have less and less to say. It has been said, by others, better than I.

One recent blog entry caught my eye.

I have commented on Mike before and received a lot of blow back from indie authors, who think everything he says should be ignored because he has been in the industry for so long. A logical fallacy at best (ad hominem). A lack of enlightened self interest at worst.

Many of the authors and micro-publishers who blast me for blasting Amazon seem to be forgetting the point raised by Mike and by some Facebook posts I made myself as the Amazon – Hachette battle (not really war) heated up. The point being the complete lack of statistical understanding shown by Amazon (or at least pretending to not understand) in the elasticity of demand with books.

Every successful and partially successful Amazon author should be supporting Hachette out of purely selfish reasons. With even a moribund (as many eBook centric authors like to think) publishing industry hanging on the indie author at Amazon has an advantage. ONLY IF big publishers hang on will the elasticity model that Amazon touts hold up. So all you lovers of Amazon publishing, pray (or whatever you do) for Hachette to hold on. Then YOU can discount your book and make money. Stop pretending to be altruistic! Be an enlightened sefl-interested Machiavellian!

The TOTAL number of books ACTUALLY READ (and pretty much sold) in the U.S. is fundamentally flat. The TOTAL NUMBER is inelastic. It is NOT like the paperback boom, as that coincided with an explosion of college education and even higher high school graduation rates. It is completely disingenuous of Amazon to link the two.

So, Indie authors selling on Amazon, cheer on Hachette, so you can continue to experience SOME elasticity within the domain.

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