Great. That’s all we need in America: one more freakin’ monopoly.
But it’s not all bad news, I guess. When trying to weigh all of the factors, it’s difficult to say that all readers or authors are going to like/hate the changes going on in publishing. There are some out there who welcome the changes (these are probably the same ones that thought that the interweb would equal hive thinking and the cure to all of humanity’s ills), but others (namely every publisher in the known world) view the dominance of Amazon as yet another reason that they should have gotten a degree in Botany.
I think authors in general should like it, though. It’s easier to get published and get your words out there. No hook and pitches, no agents, no editors. Just a crappy manuscript with a horrid cover and typos galore. But it’s out there, right? Granted, the big few authors that make a ton of money will still go on making a ton of money. And vanity presses will rise to scrape off what little talent is still left unpublished. But we are getting trained right now to save them from the predators (preditors) by using a model closer to Ken Arnold’s.
Now this might not bode well for readers, either. Now they get to sift through mountains of crap just to find that one little jewel that will fill their hours with reading bliss. And with the easy manipulation of the Amazon ratings system, it’s not going to get easier anytime soon.
However, not all is lost. I personally think that the more the merrier. If it’s easier to get published, then authors can free up their creativity to think about things that wouldn’t normally get published by the big, safe guys. They can try new types of design, story-telling, and conventions that are outside the areas of safe publishing.
Which brings me to my last metaphor for the day. Amazon, with its huge piles of crap that must be sifted through to find a good deal, has now become the Virtual yardsale of books. And everyone loves yardsales, right?