Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Prime lending library apocalypse

You can't be someone in the indie writing world without stating an opinion on Amazon's Prime lending library, which allows writers millions of readers for very little money. Amazon is asking for exclusivity for those books that indie authors opt into the program, with a $500,000 monthly earmarked for payment, based on number of checkouts.

I don't know why everyone automatically assumes this is a monstrous exploitation of authors. Every single maneuver Amazon does is always met with rampant paranoia in the indie community, the giant lifting its boot-heel. But the reality is that every one of those moves have ended up with more money for more authors than at any time in history.

What if, instead of Amazon pouring champagne on the heads of starving writers, they actually say "This has worked out better than planned and we're upping the outlay to $12 million for 2012"? They didn't go into this without some risk. Why does everyone assume the worst when Amazon single-handedly created the indie market and gave us a huge audience and untold millions of dollars?

And this is inevitable. Publishers should have done it five years ago and then they wouldn't be whining about Amazon. Sure, I am an Amazon homer, but after 15 years of writing, Amazon is the first entity that I felt any sort of true partnership with. Yes, the warm fuzzy of the megacorporation. I'm in.


  1. Hi Scott -
    Just wanted to say that I am hedging my bets. Who knows - there are some books that they teach about in English Literature classes that were first found in lending libraries...

    So who knows. ;-)

  2. Hedge both ways, Cyn! There are opportunities in both directions.