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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Hachette Job...?

A lot of time and effort has been spent over the last week or so discussing the current discussions between Amazon and Hachette with a number of viewpoints being aired, David Gaughran explores the situation on his blog here  from the point of view of the publishing house; Hachette is one of the biggest publishers in the market and Amazon. Mark Coker at Smashwords here considers the impact the outcome may have on independent authors. A main point is the use of the agency model where the publisher sets the price of the book, the model used by Smashwords in agreement with its distribution channels giving the choice of price to the author/publisher.

Distribution while being relatively straightforward with an ebook; downloadable across the Internet it is problematic for print, and RJCrayton offers her thoughts here
along with comment on the Amazon-Hachette discussions.

What the end results will be remains to be seen, but David Gaughran raises another story here; one the media seems determined to shy away from and ties in with the posts on this blog over the past couple of weeks. The role of the recently acquired Vanity arms of the big publishers and their relationship with the authors who turn to them for an outlet.

The stories of countless dreams trampled into the dust abound across the Internet, life's savings drained by aggressive marketing and authors left floundering when the money dries up. David Gaughran, Victoria Strauss and Emily Seuss have chronicled the activities of these companies for years and the biggest; Author Solutions, is now part of Penguin Random House and currently fighting a class action in the Federal Court.

So pervasive is the reach of these companies that while researching the series here at Martyn"s Blog on Self-publishing I read a blog article condemning their practises while the Adsense skyscraper at the side of the screen displayed a direct link to Author Solutions. They pop up in a myriad of places, waiting for the unwary to take the bait, drawing respectability from the host. One reason why Martyn's Blog and my website www.cheekyseagull.co.uk  do not carry adverts.

The Vanity Publishers always leave a mark, but it is not always easy to spot. The minute script attributing copyright at the bottom of the page may be the only clue, but check it carefully. E-BookBuilders ran a checklist on their blog, well worth a look at listing  7 signs of a Vanity Publisher. The traps are carefully laid, the language is seductive and  engaging so be careful what you ask for, you may get it; too late to realise it wasn't what you wanted after all!

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