The Authors Who Love Amazon
Amazon has done a service making self-publishing within reach of everyone. But Alana Semuels’s essay, starting with the subtitle (“The e-commerce giant has finally made self-publishing lucrative”), misleads readers about the true state of things. While self-publishing is a great model for some authors, for many others it is not an option. In particular, journalists, nonfiction writers, teachers, and academics need advances in order to write a book, because they have to take time off from work. Only a traditional publisher gives authors money up front to help them research and write.
Amazon self-publishing is not the panacea Semuels suggests. There are apparently more than 3 million self-published titles up at Amazon, and the majority, by my estimate, make very little money. (Amazon conceals its statistics on these points, so nobody really knows.) And Kindle Unlimited is anything but “highly lucrative” for the 99 percent…
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