Serdar brought up the point that in a way, publishers brought the Amazon mess on themselves because they resisted e-book technology. I think he had a brilliant insight, and want to expand on it further.
Let’s take a look at the whole Kindle idea. In many ways it’s a bare-bones thing (at least before the Tablet), a black-and-white-display (however with cool e-Ink), simple delivery, basic formatting. The Kindle is impressive as a unified system, but except for that e-ink, it doesn’t seem that innovative, from file format to the menu
But what Amazon did is string the links together in a chain that worked. They pushed it, they stuck buy it, they evolved it. I myself used to think the Kindle sounded ridiculous, now I own one. The Nook sounded like a runner-up, and now I not only hear great things, I have a friend who can’t put her’s down.
The iPad? Yeah. Some issues but the big lawsuit shows Apple was big enough to talk with . . .
Of course each “link” chain should be obvious, but the Publishers didn’t follow that.
All those publishers had money. They had technology. They had allies in book chains. They had people talking about eBooks and playing with formats.
They didn’t do anything. They left it to Amazon and Apple and Barnes and Noble. The Publishers avoided or dodged, didn’t take risks, and by and large let everyone else into the mobile space.
An alliance of publishers could have rallied around ePub. It could have backed a new device. It could have done all sorts of things. It didn’t exist and it didn’t happen.
Now what? I’ve launched books on my own, and the only reason to have a publisher is the marketing advantage (and there’s several small and mids for that). So many are exploring e-books. EVERYONE has to be on Kindle, and B&N is coming from behind (which I need to address in my own books).
It’s going to get wild, isn’t it? Maybe people thinking of working for traditional publishing need to be thinking outside the box . . .