Entries in j.k. rowling a giant (1)

Tuesday
Mar272012

Harry Potter Now Available as eBooks, With Conditions . . .

While we're here fighting the good fight in the name of small presses everywhere, all the while waving our defiant fists at big publishers who are slowly dying the death due to sticking to outmoded publishing conventions, companies like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble still fly black clouds over our heads. Since they are major players in the book world, Amazon and BN can force small and even large presses to forego certain freedoms in order to benefit from their far-reaching distribution services. Amazon for instance recently launched the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) of which 711 Press is a part, but to have your books quailfy, they have to be exclusively published through Amazon's KDP platform. This is a major concession on the part of the publisher. While it is sweet for the consumer, particularly those who have an Amazon Prime membership, which entitles them to one monthly download of any book in the KOLL, it is sour for the publisher, who is cut off at the knees as concerns distribution on the broader playing field.

711 Press dabbled with this for a time, but we will have to move on, as we have just landed a major distribution deal with a heavy hitter in the eBook market, who will go unnamed until we have finished stuffing our account with them with backlist titles. Essentially, Amazon and BN are giants in this industry, so big that they have faced off against the biggest publishers with various threats, chiefest among them being yanking their books from distribution. Of course this was idle talk as concerns Amazon's standoff with MacMillan, but now comes news of the Harry Potter series' launch into the digital realm. What is surprising, however, is that, giants though they are, J.K. Rowling proves to be even more gargantuan that either company, as she is forcing both Amazon and BN to direct customers to the Pottermore site, where they will be able to enter credit card info and establish accounts that will enable them to purchase Kindle and Nook titles. So gargantuan is J.K. Rowling that she has forced the hand of the two biggest players in the book world, causing them to give up their vaunted infomation gathering positions, which is something eCommerce companies value most of all. Kudos to her!

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a major turning point, where authors and publishers will begin to have more cotrol of their intellectual properties, and stand on the shoulders of these giants rather than underfoot of them.