Just read this article in Publisher's Weekly. If I was a tradtional publisher I think I'd start to get nervous. This has all the feeling of a small snowball rolling down a mountain side turning into a massive avalenche.
I agree, Jon. But I also think it puts a little pressure on the big corporate conglomerates who who own publishing houses. The business plan is changing and I wonder how the bean-counters are going to adjust to this new paradigm.
It's already happening, BR. They're doing whatever they can to attack Amazon's ebook market-share by working deals with Apple and other ebook sellers. Writers who've (prematurely) signed exclusives with Amazon may wish they'd waited a bit if iBooks takes off.
If so, then a new kind of middle-man will emerge because Amazon will eally just be a warehouse.
The way it works now is that you can sign up for some Amazon program on your own website and if people go through that to Amazon to buy the book you get a nickel (or something, I'm not sure how much). Because the tough part will always be getting people to buy a book.
I've asked Daniel about the possibility of setting up something like that here, some kind of Crimepsace Author Bookstore. It would really be a click-through to Amazon or someone like that. What do you think, any interest?
I know nothing about the mechanics, but that sounds like it has potential on the surface. Crimespace has a population that is pre-disposed toward buying books, and a lot of book suggestions get made here. A lot of members might view it as a convenience, and impulse shop.
On the other hand, it would be great if it could be set up so Amazon didn't have exclusivity. The last thing we want is for Crimespace to direct its members to Amazon if Amazon has another snit and takes down the Buy buttons for large numbers of our members.
They wouldn't have to buy out a publisher--they could start their own imprint (Kindle Books, or whatever) and just hire talent away from the big houses. A lot of authors would follow their editors, and others would be drawn to Amazon's favorable royalty structure--although I truly doubt they'll continue to pay that 70% or whatever forever.