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Booked Again Dept.

The recent business with Amazon and Macmillan has been commented on in many places: Jim Hines and Cat Valente have their takes on it — I was especially annoyed with the way Amazon seems to be trying to spin this as a "database glitch". (Yes, they only meant to remove some Macmillan books and instead yanked all of them. Entirely by mistake. "And then he ran into my knife — seven times!")

What do I think? I think there's no real winner here, unfortunately. Amazon has built a garden of their own that's popular in ways entirely apart from Apple's ecosystem, and they've already felt tension from people trying to buck their model ever so slightly — viz. the way POD books from Lulu aren't carried directly through their system but only offered through resellers. I'm still going to be trying out CreateSpace later this year, both as a way to avoid that and as a trial of their service in general, but nothing says that's going to be the last stop on this bus. (And, for the sake of further disclosure, my site uses Amazon as an affiliate link partner, although I'm fairly sure most anyone who's been here for more than two seconds can tell.)

For me, e-books right now are an exotic tertiary technology. I plan on having plenty of dead trees surrounding me in my office for a good long time — not just because of the DRM, or the various mutually incompatible formats, or the fragility of the devices themselves (oh snap son you got caught in the rain!), or the fact that reading anything of length on an e-book is like watching Lawrence of Arabia on a jetBlue flight ... it's all of those things at once. This internecine warfare between publisher and distribution channel is just another headache on top of the existing chills, fever and muscle pains.

Tags: books business publishing technology

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Previous: Padded Out Dept.

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2010/01/30 13:29.

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