So I’ve grown tired of this whole conflict and I wanted to walk away with one final thought on the subject.
Hachette, with their great big T-Rex named James Patterson and the other massive authors they control, have created a ton of confusion and negativity about what Amazon actually does. Logic and sense no longer factor into disputes, true power now lies not in truth but in the ability to gather support on social media. Even if they win this victory, however, Hachette is not going to last forever. That’s the beautiful thing about evolution; things change.
If you listen to the way some of these big authors, publishers and editors talk about self-publishing, you’d think we were all rats and mice, scurrying around underfoot, dirty little creatures with no refinement and talent other than to spread bad literature like the plague. They want you to believe that you NEED these people to choose a good book for you, to place it in an overpriced book store or airport, without their corporate oversight you might read something. . dangerous, or unfinished. Which I guess is fine for some people; just like some people like boring, sanitary, missionary sex. For the rest of us though, the grit and the dirt is where the good stuff is. Anyone can buy J.K. Rowling’s new book, but finding a secret gem on Amazon and turning your friends on to it is SO much more fun, isn’t it?
Amazon has provided a forest for the mammals, a place where they can grow and evolve. As much as the Hachette dinosaurs will rage (and they will rage, they spent $100,000 on tuition to get an English degree they are going to do everything in their power to remain relevant), they are a dying breed. It no longer matters who your agent or publisher is, when a great cover can sell a book to anyone in the world at any time. WOOL by Hugh Howey had terrible covers but guess what? The work was so good it found an audience anyway.
For years these New York based publishers were the top of the heap. They decided what books went out to bookstores, which authors got rich and famous and which books were best for you. We’ve seen it in all the movies; the cocktail parties, the awkward authors and corporate suits all mingling, talking about books without understanding how stories shape our culture.
GOT reference coming up. Hachette is the Hound, protecting the marketable authors for a fat reward, only to find the Aunt is dead and now they have run into an opponent they cannot beat. Emotions run high on both sides, we can’t really predict what will happen to Amazon, maybe they will become the villain eventually. But I can tell you the future of traditional publishing and Hachette:
They will die alone, begging for death as they bleed out, slowly and miserably. Readers will keep on reading, writers will keep on writing and a whole lot of English Majors are going to have to look for work outside of New York. I look forward to seeing them suffer. Mammals are such adaptable creatures, aren’t they? Dinosaurs, not so much.