“Think summer blockbusters over indie films and celebrity titles over new voices,” say LA Timesreporters Dawn C. Chmielewski and Carolyn Kellogg about the future of traditional publishing. This pessimistic projection comes after a federal court ruled in favor of Amazon in a settlement between the mega-company and three major publishers accused of price-fixing and limiting competition.
The judge’s decision has thrown the publishing world into massive upheaval. Literary agent Gary Morris of the David Black Agency declares the decision “essentially handed Amazon a controlling share of the market.” Others fear print books and brick-and-mortar stores will become an anomaly, not the norm. Even the judge who ruled in the case agreed that bookstores and publishing houses would likely suffer due to his decision, but said that violating antitrust laws was not the answer.
The problem with Amazon isn’t just that they are motivated by money. It is a natural goal for most businesses to seek financial success. Achieving this at the expense of literary quality and creative breadth isn’t a legal crime; however, it is morally and artistically bankrupt. Any healthy vision for the future of publishing must include both literary aspirations–
what reader hasn’t experienced a mini-epiphany after reading a stunning passage in a novel?–as well as plans for cultivating new, fresh voices.
What’s the good news? Now that Amazon has a green light to return to its earlier practice of dropping the wholesale price of books to a point below what traditional publishers can afford, those left standing will likely be the companies geared up for the digital revolution. “We’re going through a fundamental transformation here,” James McQuivey, media analyst with Forrester Research says, “the companies in a position to focus on digital distribution are the companies positioned to take over.”
Fortunately, Fuze has been preparing, almost since our inception, for the digital revolution. We are gracefully poised not only to remain standing, but with our reader’s support, to thrive and flourish!
Wednesday, September 26th marks the inauguration of our ebook store direct from the Fuze website! This means readers can avoid all hosting sites, such as Amazon, and purchase and download ebooks directly from us! More information is below.
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