Line of scrimmage: The interwebz

Macmillan to Amazon: Do it my way.

Amazon to Macmillan: Fuck you.

Macmillan has in its power to say, “No, fuck YOU!” to Amazon and make it stick, and newsflash: It ain’t with the indie bookstores. This is what you do, Macmillan:

Get yourself a team of programmers. Give them 36 hours. Have them put your entire catalog into an online store, both print and electronic. Exploit the Tor online store to its limits.

Print: Sell for just above wholesale and offer free shipping.

Electronic: Strip your DRM from your existing ebooks and feverishly convert your back catalog. Sell them at the wholesale mass market paperback price.

Marketing: Take out ads in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal announcing your bookstore and flip Amazon off publicly, and at the same time exploit the fact that Amazon has just seared your name into the minds of the reading public.

Your weapon: Your entire catalog.

Goal: Cut the Gordian knot that is the distribution system that has just bitchslapped you and turn a healthier profit.

You could conceivably break Amazon’s back if you succeed (and you WOULD), and other publishers decide to come with you.

I would give just about anything to see something so daring happen in publishing.

Here’s the catch: You’d have to start thinking of readers as your customers.

You know, the people who actually spend the money.

UPDATE: Oh. My. Goodness. Amazon caves. WTF? Yeah, that boy ain’t right.

There is no such thing as royalties

…in self-publishing.

Self-publishers do not “earn royalties.”

Stop thinking in terms of royalties.

It’s called “profit.” There is overhead. There are COGS. There is revenue.

Why? Self-publishers manufacture a product*; they have not licensed a product.

Sales – COGS = gross profit.

Gross profit – overhead = net profit (aka ka-ching)

There are no royalties.

Royalties do not exist.

Say it with me now: Self-publishers do not earn royalties; they have profit. Now put all that “royalties” BS out of your head.

And Amazon? I know you know this, but you use the term deliberately to blur the lines between your retail business and your POD service. You know very good and well you don’t pay royalties. You give us a rebate on our rental fee for your stalls, you know, like at a flea market.

*A lot of authors don’t like having their babies compared to widgets. A lot of authors don’t like having books compared to babies. My books are my babies. They are also my widgets.