Don’t let me get me
I’m my own worst enemy
It’s bad when you annoy yourself
Don’t wanna be my friend no more
I wanna be somebody else
Amazon is not the problem with publishing any more that cars are the problem with accidents, shovels cause holes, or Google causes porn. True, without cars there would be fewer accidents, without shovels, holes would likely be shallower and there would be fewer of them, and without Google, internet porn would be harder to find, and regular smut would still be found at 7-11 with a brown paper wrapper around the cover.
Amazon is just a retailer who provides tools. Authors use those tools. They use them for a variety of reasons, including accessibility, cost, and convenience. The model is good, the plan solid, if now seemingly a bit large and over-reaching. The reason authors abandoned the tools of traditional publishing, agents, and the old gatekeepers is they were broken.
If you have two rakes in your shed, once broken, and one that works, you grab the one that works. Eventually, you just throw the old one away if you don’t fix it, or salvage the handle for another garden tool. Either way, you don’t continue to use it.
There will be other tools after Amazon. They were first, they were fast, and they showed an unbending support for indie authors. So far the competition is (at the moment) just not able to keep up. At some point someone will, though, but that’s not the bad part.
The bad part is the most proficient gate keepers, the ones who ran the publishing world for years are the very best equipped to reform the industry. They have the brand names, the personnel, the tools. But they won’t. Because they are their own worst enemy. The giant ship, though it could be turned by a tiny rudder in the open sea, sits in port, unable or unwilling to move.
A ship is safe in port, for a while, but that’s not what ships are for. And those ships that move get the attention. The ones that sit still get turned into museums. So every time I hear an indie book store or an author rail against the evil big guy Amazon, I remember the words: “It is far more valuable to realize one fault in yourself, than one thousand in another.”
So whatever the future of publishing holds, wherever authors meet readers, whoever comes after Amazon, don’t let me get me. Let me focus on my job: writing more. Writing better books. Putting them out there. Marketing responsibly, and with a global view.
Whatever the faults of those around me, the only ones I can work on are my own.