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March 5, 2014
COMMENT OF THE DAY: Marketing and advertising is a bitch. Commentary about the Howey report I talked about in February has gone viral. While I put in my two cents about the issue already, I am hearing from other places like Huffington Post and Publishing Perspectives that the worry has expanded into outside venues.
Today I learned that the Los Angeles Times Book Fair has decided to partner with Amazon to display books from the fair on the Amazon site as an affiliate. This not only insults and denigrates all the independent book stores that use the Fair as both exhibitors and sponsors, it makes Amazon the favored nation in terms of book sales. Up to now, I had thought that the Fair honored the contributions of all vendors who participated, and even though many of the legacy publishers spend thousands of dollars to exhibit at the fair, no one of them has ever gained any clear dominance over the rest. The Fair had always welcomed all comers regardless of size and number of books. But now, Amazon will gain an unfair advantage over its competitors by driving all sales of the books onto its site and shutting everyone else out.
I was thinking about getting a booth there myself this year, and planned to submit my application form, when I heard this. Now, I have found other fairs in my area which more accurately represent the diversity of the book world, but I will not be participating in the "main event", thanks to the organizers' boneheaded move. Amazon is my enemy, as far as I am concerned; just as it is the enemy of those book stores forced to close as a result of Amazon's heavy discounting of prices and its clever if destructive tactics, which in essence marginalize independent authors like me. So I will not be going. Apart from my blog, you will not see me doing anything but rebutting arguments that affiliating with Amazon is a good thing, since it is not.
Much of my publishing schedule has been destroyed by this situation. As a consequence of both the severe weather affecting sales and a lack of incentive to publish during the winter, I will be publishing everything several months later than anticipated because I'm not in any hurry to finish anything on time. After all, writing is not a race and I refuse to rush anything. I had hoped to finish Swords of The Dragon's Blood by the end of March; now it is pushed into April, and I hope to have it published before WonderCon, when I will want to have the book available at my table.
I am waiting on reviews for three of my books, and hope to use them to help me market my catalog, but all this is slow going. I think I may not have anything up to date until early 2015 at this rate. ♦
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