I found this very interesting post this morning on a blog by Derek Haines, and he's given me permission to repost it. www.derekhaines.ch/vandal
Self Publishing – Now It’s War!
If you’re an author, get ready for a very nasty battle ahead. Barnes & Noble’s decision to remove all Amazon published books marks something akin to a declaration of war.
Following hard on the heels of Amazon’s demand for exclusivity with their KDP Select program, it is now becoming clear that self publishing is being used as a tool in a commercial war.
For authors this makes for grim reading as the whole essence of being self published is in being independent. Having to decide on one distribution platform, and therefore one online retailer forebodes badly.
Barnes & Noble announced this week that they would not be selling any titles that had been published by Amazon’s publishing wing — both indie published through their KDP (Kindle Digital Publishing) and CreateSpace platforms, as well as their new publishing imprints. Source
In reading this decision by B&N, it would appear that even ebooks published independently on Smashwords and then distributed to B&N, will be withdrawn from sale if they are also available on Amazon in either Kindle, or paperback format published by Createspace. So where does that leave the authors?
While there are alternatives to Amazon and B&N, the market share of the other online retailers is so small, it is a folly to think that these could supply any worthwhile volume of sales. So as a self publisher or small press, it comes down to a choice of devils. Logically, Amazon, as there is no doubt that they deliver the greatest volume of sales.
While this is a ‘no brainer’, the danger that lies ahead is that it leaves one totally open to changes in Amazon’s publishing terms and conditions, which can and are updated regularly. There is no notification of these changes and unless you visit the page regularly, you won’t know that the rules have changed.
Then, if you do happen to dislike these possible changes in the future, what are the rules regarding moving your book to another retailer? Current KDP Select rules would indicate a period of at least 90 days. But who knows? The only thing that is for sure, is that self publishing authors are about to lose their independence and freedom of choice.
Self publishing has been around for a while now, but ebook publishing is still in its infancy. However, this little infant is turning mega bucks of profit for the likes of Amazon and B&N. This being the case, I expect it is going to get very dirty from here on in.
Here's what I'm finding so interesting. While I can understand both sides, quite honestly, Amazon out sells B&N 10 to 1. I know of a few Indie author friends who were selling like crazy on Amazon, very little on B&N, then sent them a letter telling them. They didn’t get much of a response, sales did pick up somewhat because B&N did a little advertising, but the numbers dipped back down when they failed to continue advertising. If you build, they will come!
My indie pub, The Last Witness is written by my alter-ego K. T. Roberts and listed for $0.99 by all the retailers, but Amazon took it upon themselves to list it for $0.89. It's called competitive pricing, and frankly, I'm disappointed B&N is whining when they could be doing the same thing. It's nothing personal B&N, it's called survival of the fittest.
So here’s another thing. My traditionally published books from Avalon Books, in hard cover is up for pre-order. Amazon has listed it for the normal price, while B&N has discounted it almost $8.00. Is that not doing the same thing as with indie books?
If push comes to shove, it's Amazon hands down. Sorry B&N, but I think it's time to put on your big girl panties and join the competition. This is no time to take your marbles home just because you don't like the way the game is played. Add your own spark to the fire by making it even more competitive.
What do all of you think about Barnes & Nobles boycott against Amazon?