Thursday, 3 April 2008

Historical Fiction - facing a threat?

It seems that Amazon, over in the USA, has decided that in future any POD (Print on demand) book it sells must be printed by its own company. On top of this, it also demands a very substantial discount from the publisher. This is certainly going to put the squeeze on small publishers and by extension, since a great deal of historical fiction is published by such outfits, is likely to reduce the number of historical fiction books coming on to the market. I suspect it may also have an impact on short-run academic works.

I am going to resist the temptation to rant on the subject, but there is definite cause for concern. You may care to check out some of the following links for more detail.

Gillian Polack

Doubtful Muse

Writers Weekly

Amazon's Official Letter

If this development concerns you, please tell anyone you know who is interested in books. Tell Amazon as well!


Lady D. said...

Rant away Brian - I share your sentiments entirely. And I always thought that Amazon was the champion of self-publishers! How naive can I be?! Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

Brian said...

While this only impacts on the US at the moment, I am sure that Amazon, if allowed to get away with it, will spread the practice to the UK and other (relatively) minor markets. My impression is that they just want every last penny at the expense of authors and publishers. The sad thing is that while the likes of Penman and Gregory are unlikely to vanish from the shelves, the authors of more obscure works are probably going to find it all the harder to get published. I want all the hist. fic. I can get, and anything that is likely to reduce the supply is disastrous!