Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Amazon, Please show libraries how it is done

Open Letter to
Pretty simple: just use Amazon Prime, charge a little more, and merge your lending program into it. You are going to have to pull the restriction of exclusivity, but that will be worth it due to increased revenues. As part of the Amazon Prime membership, the member can lend their books a fixed number of times to other Prime members. Yes, there are some wrinkles that require ironing, but the bottom line will be that you will solve many of the problems posed by the traditional book publishing and distribution industry (the ones that you have not addressed already).  You will have delivered the message to libraries that have refused to change with technology at the same pace that technology and business have evolved. Libraries have had enough time, from the catbird's seat, to watch everything unfold. 

Here Are Your Statistics
Maximize Your Medicare is currently the 15,000 ranked book, after 8 months, ranks consistently in the top 3 of Medicare/Medicaid books on, and Health Insurance categories. Here is how dominant you are. Print outsells ebook 75%/25%, which makes sense given the fact that it is a non-fiction book. 87% of all print books sold are directly from 94% of all ebooks are sold directly through It isn't as if the book is unavailable: the book is available via Ingram, Baker&Taylor, Baker&Taylor's Axis360, Kobo, Apple's iBookstore, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, Sony, IndieBound, i.e., on order at virtually every place that sells books using the dominant book distribution channels. In addition, indie bookstores have had access to a free offer from me to display a store copy, instead of the many, many unsold copies of I Love My Cat on their shelves.
All you need to do: require that be the only ebook lending distribution channel, and the answer will be yes. You can easily calculate the price that you will compensate me.  I highly suspect that will be the case from many others. 

Then, Call the Big 6
Once this catches on, then you will deal with the largest book publishers, on your terms, which will be hugely in your favor. Don't worry, the largest book publishers and the book publishing industry will be in the same place, adhering to age-old business practices that you have been punishing with impunity for years. By the way, I strongly doubt that the Big 6 will be attempting to raise prices for access to the their licenses at anything close to the rate that Inferno costs a library. 

Self-Published Authors Everywhere

P.S. If I am wrong, please kindly tell me how, right here. Intellectual honesty requires a respectful difference of opinion and the internet is excellent for that. If you think that I am wrong, I am all ears. That said, don't forget your name. I didn't.

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