According to this article Kindle owns 67% of the ebook market. BN 20% and everyone else gets to divy up the slaughterhouse sweepings. Amazon created its own publishing arm and stuck Larry Kirshbaum at the helm so they're very serious about being a player in the publishing world.
Okay class. What's my reaction?
a) This is horrible. Amazon is a retailer. What do they know about finding great literature, squiring it through the publication process and bringing a terrific product to the reader?
b) This is neither horrible nor terrific. Bezos has an oversized ego, let him lose his shirt on this gambit. Why expect will he do any better than the Sick Six who are struggling to stay afloat now?
c) Bravo! Kick 'em where it hurts!
I fully expect this publishing venture to work. I would love to see it work. We need a new model for publishing now although I am not convinced...what's that song, is it The Who "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"?
The point for us, as writers, as creators of this content these bigwigs diddle with like commodities in a game of Monopoly, is that the way we're treated changes. We want greater input, greater control and a greater share of the income. We would also prefer to be treated with courtesy rather than as cash cows.
So while people are either wringing their hands over this next new thing to hit the publishing industry or applauding the brash move of Jeff Bezos, let's just try to remember one freaking thing--there's no publishing "industry" without writers.