Amazon's New Netflix for E-books: What About the Authors?

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Amazon.com is reportedly working with publishers on a new e-book subscription service -- what's being described as Netflix for books. People are starting to suggest that this could change the entire book industry. Let's be honest, as readers it sounds pretty rocking. But what does Amazon's new plan mean for authors? Author Catherynne Valente shares some of her concerns.

Amazon would like to offer a Netflix-like subscription to unlimited ebooks for its Prime members. Business sites are all over the publishing companies to comply -- after all, what’s a little monopoly between friends?

But as an author this stinks to high heaven. You know, that place where Borders is chilling on a cloud and crying into its celestial beer.

See, there’s no mention of author benefit -- everyone is talking about the publishers and how they need to get with the times. But how, exactly, would we be compensated for this? Since it’s for their Prime members, who as Netflix has seen, would howl over a price hike, it’s possible this will just be lumped in, wrecking ebook sales and contributing further to the idea that the ideal cost for a book is $0.00. Not to mention the number this does on libraries.

stack of books amazon kindle

Image Credit: Kate Ter Haar

Read more from The Year of the Unlimited Free Ebooks Brought to You By Amazon.com at Catherynne M Valente

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