There’s been a conspiracy in the publishing industry over the past hundred years, and it’s finally coming to an end.
Publishers, authors, agents, publicists, marketers, and just about everyone else involved in the publishing industry has been participating in a massive group effort to screw over readers and charge them as much as possible (“It’s the American Dream!” chant the conspirators).
Amazon came around and decided they would give readers a better deal.
And, of course, today just about everyone in the industry hates Amazon. Why? Because they won’t screw readers like everyone else (“Seriously Amazon, can’t you just raise your prices a little bit?” the conspirators beg).
In a recent New York Times article, this sentiment was shared in a quote by self-published author H.M. Ward:
“Your rabid romance reader who was buying $100 worth of books a week and funneling $5,200 into Amazon per year is now generating less than $120 a year.”
In my opinion, anyone who complains that they’re now charging the customer $120 instead of $5,200 is out of their frickin’ mind not very customer-friendly.
And that’s precisely why readers need Amazon. Because, let’s be honest here. If it wasn’t for Amazon, readers would still be getting f*!@&$ hard by the publishing industry.
Kindle Unlimited (KU) is better for readers because they get to save a lot of money. The purpose of a business is to provide value to their customers.
Businesses like Amazon that provide more value by offering more products and services at better prices win. But it’s not just Amazon that wins – it’s everyone who buys books anywhere in the world.
Without Amazon, we’d still be paying $24.99 for eBooks (WTF?) and burning millions of gallons of gasoline driving to bookstores. Businesses like Amazon that do a better job at serving their customers are good for everyone. They’re better for the customer (the readers), the economy and the environment (there, I said it).
Since everyone hates Kindle Unlimited so much, I guess we should start hating libraries, too. “How dare you educate people for free, you scoundrel librarians? We shall put a hex on you!” cry the conspirators.
If Amazon hadn’t launched Kindle Unlimited, some other startup would have taken over the industry with a cheap eBook subscription service.
It’s the inevitable stride of progress in a digital world. Amazon has done with eBooks what Netflix did with movies. Except, they weren’t even the first to do it. Oyster and Scribd came first. If Amazon hadn’t started KU, in a few years we’d probably all be buying our eBooks from some startup company in Silicon Valley with a silly name and some billionaire founders who sold out to Google/Yahoo/Facebook.
Here’s the deal, authors. In a world where readers get a better deal, more people read. In a world where more people read, more writers get a chance to write professionally. In a world where more writers get to work, you get to do what you love to do and get paid for it. It’s good for everyone.
Despite Netflix completely disrupting the industry (aka helping customers get a better deal), movie studios and actors are still raking in billions. If [Insert Famous Hollywood Actor) complained about Netflix reducing her royalties, we would all laugh. But when Authors complain about Amazon reducing their royalties (instead of some other startup doing it), everyone picks up a pitchfork.
Don’t worry, Angelina Jolie is going to do just fine despite Netflix giving people movies in a subscription model. Likewise, authors will do just fine in a world with Amazon and Kindle Unlimited, even if you can’t charge all your readers $5,000 a year.
If you want to fleece your customers, I guess you’ll have to find a different industry. I hear there’s a lot of opportunity in pharmaceuticals right now.