Tag Archives: Amazon

The end of publishing as we know it

Almost a year ago, I wrote an article about Googazon, in which I predicted that Google and Amazon would one begin buying up all the major publishing houses until there were only Google and Amazon left to publish books.

This week we have the news that Amazon has bought Marshall Cavendish, a major publisher. Not only that, Amazon has also announced its library, with which it intends to pay authors a Public lending Right from a fund of $6 million.

This truly is the beginning of the end of publishing as we know it and I feel really quite smug that I predicted this almost exactly a year ago. Expect an orgy of purchasing in the next year or two – I should be buying shares or something!

This last year I have rewired my brain into the video world of YouTube. I find writing my blog really rather old-fashioned. Wanting to write something on this subject I found that I really couldn’t be bothered to type anymore. So I bought Dragon dictation for the Mac and and I’m talking all this text into my computer, pretty much flawlessly, with only a couple of minutes training.

Will I ever type again?

Googazon – The end of publishing as we know it!

As a full-time author, it’s hard not to spend large parts of the day contemplating the future of publishing. These are indeed interesting times. Ebooks are finally beginning to make an impact on the public consciousness if not their pocketbooks – yet.

But eBooks are coming, make no mistake about it. Where does that leave me? When I started out, gentlemen publishers were still around. They would make up their mind about a book on the spot and would often have the contract in the post the next day. Now that’s what I call doing business! It was fun, but things changed.

As each of my publishers were bought out, I tended to follow my editors, as that was where my loyalties lay. They moved, the publishers they moved to were taken over, and again they moved on until there was nowhere left to move on to.

All the little publishers became parts of the giants until there are now really only a handful of mega corporate trade and general publishers left. New publishers start out with the intention of selling out when they can.

So what will happen next?

I recently had a vision of a possible future. You could say that Google and Amazon are making the edges between distributers and publishers a bit fuzzy – Google with Youtube and Google Books, Amazon with the Kindle. These two organisations will soon realise that distribution is not enough if the other begins to own the rights to the content.

When these two go head to head, there is going to be a bloodbath! The rights to all the copyrighted content in the world will be bought up as they slog it out, buying up publishers and their rights.

Of course there is also Apple sitting quietly on the sidelines… they are sitting on a huge mountain of cash. The ipad and the iStore are brilliant distribution systems waiting to be fully exploited. How soon before Apple, Google or Amazon make their first bid to buy Pearson or Hachette? Not long, I predict.

And what stupid politician is going to stand in the way of the juggernauts, holding their hands up and blathering about monopoly? None.

What do you reckon?