Friday, December 09, 2005

Amazon v. Gotham (or old publishing v. new)

Val Landi has an interesting post on his blog, entitled Amazon v. Gotham. Amazon, in this context, represents the new digital approach to publishing, whereas Gotham = New York = the old, traditional ways of publishing books.

(Sorry if you feel that's all obvious, but there is always someone who is reading these things for the first time. I still remember reading my first issue of the UK pop-music magazine Melody Maker, well over fifty years ago. There was an article by Steve Race about Liberace. And I'd never heard of Liberace; and I got confused by the fact that both men's names ended in --race. And it was obvious that I ought to know who Liberace was, and that I ought to know how to pronounce his name... and so forth. But I didn't know any of those things, and it took me some time to work it all out. So whenever I remember that, I try to bear in mind the new, young reader who is not yet up to speed on all these things bookish.)

Anyway, Val Landi tells me some things about Amazon facilities that I certainly didn't know. I didn't know, for instance, that I could publish a book through the Amazon-owned BookSurge company and market it globally through the Amazon "Buy X Get Y" Bestseller program that allows you to partner your book with a Top 3 New York Times bestseller for $750 per month. Which looks intriguing, to say the least.

The general thrust of Val Landi's piece -- that following the new digital route is the no-brainer, and that someday very very soon a blockbuster will emerge from one of these new worldwide distribution channels -- is a sermon that has been preached here lo these many times. But it is pleasing and encouraging to find it being echoed by someone of Val Landi's experience and background.

By the way, while doing the Times crossword yesterday morning (the easy one, of course), and shortly before reading Val Landi's article, I came across the origin of the Gotham business. And now, thanks to the miracle of the web, you can read about it too.

No comments: