If the book business were a big yellow school bus, the driver would be a bald fellow wearing a wide grin.
More even than before, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the wheel, while publishers and authors hang on for a rough ride. In particular, speculation about the end game in Amazon’s e-book sales battle with Hachette centers on the impact for authors – a group that Amazon has said the publisher is using as “human shields” in this price war. Following announcement of its Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service, in fact, the Amazon-related headaches and car sickness have only gotten worse.
“I think subscription has always been the direction Amazon wanted to move in for e-books. It is the way we get all our content on our devices these days, why should books be different?” according to Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
“While the major publishers and big name authors are waging this public battle over terms of sale for individual e-books, I would strongly caution that observers not overlook the vital role subscription models are going to play going forward,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Don’t get caught up fighting over the past— and traditional e-book sales, I personally believe, are the past.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.