Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Courting the dragon, or Amazon is devouring the writing industry

First and foremost, my apologies for sucking at posting here when I should. I put myself through a marathon of writing and editing, and gave myself a nasty RA flare up. I'm still not wholly feeling myself, but the show must go on, right?

Have y'all seen the Care and Feeding of an Author meme?
These are all true. Especially for self-pubbed, indie-pubbed, and authors published by smaller companies. Heck, Amazon is a publisher now. Amazon has become such a force in our industry that we have to court the dragon to stay alive. Those likes, shares, and 4 or 5 star reviews add up, and when the numbers are right, the dragon will roll over and display the bounty of in-site promotions and potentially higher sales it has buried under it's belly with the treasure.
By now I think the entire writing world is aware that Amazon bought the titan of reviews website GoodReads. The dragon left the cave, and devoured an entire village. Our blog friend Michelle Zink posted a link to an article about the purchase from a bookseller's point of view. Basically, to stay with our dragon anology, the beast has now become the miner and is digging for it's own gems.

Is Amazon aware of the reviewers who are nasty just because they can be? How will those bits of data affect sales? What about those readers that "rate" books by their interest in reading them even before they're released, or read? At times like this, I instinctually look at the possible negatives.

I'm not sure I've even formulated a full opinion on the issue yet, but I know people say not to tickle the dragon...

Ideas? Opinions? Good move/bad move? Don your armor raise your lance and charge??


  1. That's a really interesting article on data mining. I hadn't read it before. Like you, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. I just hope Amazon does not automatically convert Goodreads reviews to reviews on its cite for the reasons you mentioned. (Did you know Kobo does or did this? I was surprised to find so many reviews on Kobo and then realized they had imported the Goodreads reviews with all the possible negative issues that Godoreads presents.)

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