I originally wanted to write a post in “Defense of Erotica” in response to the current PayPal shenanigans. However, I want to change my attitude a bit. Lately, Ive been thinking about us “Indie Authors” and how dependent we are on the current infrastructure. In fact, the exact publishing and payment systems we sustain are also our direct competition. I’m sure that played a role in Bookstrand’s decision to axe it’s Indie Publishing pages. We can’t be confident we won’t see more of the same. The self-published writer can create work that rivals large publishing houses. So, I think we’re seeing the beginning of a clampdown, as traditional publishing tries it’s best to close the gates. In order to prevent the flood of savage self-publishers from overwhelming them.
It doesn't take a genius to see the way the tide is turning. It’s obvious that things could easily become more difficult for independent authors. Right now there are only two distribution channels of considerable worth, Amazon and B&N. (Smashwords isn't terrible, but they've proven they are very dependent on outside vendors).
So if we’re actually indies and this is indeed a revolution doesn’t it make sense to focus our eyes on the next prize: Distribution and Payment. Right now we’re subject to the whim of the distributors. One change in policy at Amazon could grind the current e-publishing wave to a halt. And for a variety of reasons this would be a tragedy. For the first time in history authors can sell their work unfettered by big publishing. Not only that, they can keep a majority of the profit for themselves.
The principal force powering this transformation is Amazon. That is worrisome. Amazon is rapidly developing it’s own publishing imprints. What happens if or when they decide to favor in-house writers over indies?
If indie authors are to become self-sufficient we need to start thinking about distribution. How can we deliver our work unfettered by corporate interests? Is such a thing even possible?
Right now we indies must deal with Amazon or B&N to be successful. Even further, we must make sure our books are compliant to rules set down by the leading credit card companies and PayPal. As we’ve seen any one of these entities can affect our livelihoods with a tersely written email.
So the big question to ask is are there alternatives? If not, can we make those alternatives ourselves?
Tech Crunch Article: