Why The Publishing Price “Fight” Is Totally Unnecessary

Too much focus on “the number” here.

$4.99, $15.99, heck $99.99 … so what? The market of readers won’t buy something they do not value in e-format. The traditional publishing companies, if they don’t realize that, and are too hung up on the “price” … will suffer a greater loss as competition “prices” them out of the market.

But this price argument turns these books into commodities if that’s the only argument being made, though. Are books commodities? I hope not.

I hope they have some value beyond price alone.

But the reader (like me) will determine that. I don’t make that decision based on the format of the book, though. I make that decision based on content value in the book. The author themselves doesn’t play much of a role, unless it is an author that has earned my trust and hard earned money.

Do you want your books to become Milk at the grocery store?

But in the end, when we realize the market (readers) has likely already spoken, and that is why Amazon is setting the price at $9.99 or lower (because it understands the digital market better than any company I’ve seen thus far) … we can realize this “fight for prices” has already been “won.”

Traditional publishing companies are in quicksand right now, the more they fight, the more they sink. And I hope Mr. Preston and his friends all realize that THEY do not set the market, the market sets the market.

If they think they are something special, they’re about to get a serious wake up call. There is WAY too much content available, competing for the limited attention of the readers.

The way I see it, content (supply) is high, and reader attention (demand) is low … therefor the price will go down. Basic economics. The platform (Amazon and e-readers etc…) only accelerates the price race to the bottom (IF books are thought of as a commodity).

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What Life Is And What Life Isn’t

Life is…

  • That funny sign or moment that you and your family talk about for hours in one day.
  • Looking up in the sky and wondering “How small am I?”
  • Getting lost while driving somewhere, and finding something even more exciting.
  • The look on your kid’s face when they realize your wisdom helped them “connect the dots.”
  • The first cup of coffee in the morning, on the back deck, on a crisp Fall morning … in silence.
  • Noticing that someone placed three turtles in the pond you walk by every morning.
  • Noticing three more baby turtles a few months later.
  • Opening your Twitter account and coming to the realization that it’s just a tool, nothing more, so “meh.”
  • Just slowing down for the first time in your life to realize that you’ve already been given all the gifts you need.
  • Your son or daughter’s first sports championship … and the look on their face when they’ve won.
  • Thinking.
  • Reflecting.
  • Thanking.
  • Writing.
  • Drawing.
  • Sharing.
  • Reading.
  • Pursuing a thought-experiment in the attempt to solve a bigger world problem.
  • Writing a book in the attempt to help people improve their lives.
  • Realizing you have too much useless stuff.
  • Realizing why you have so much useless stuff, and the impact it’s had on your life.
  • Getting rid of that useless stuff.
  • Realizing you’re not alone, that other people have the same fears, faults, and pretty much the same life as you do.
  • Realizing that since you’re not alone, you can do whatever you want to improve the situation after reading this post.
  • Realizing that life isn’t handed to you on some silver platter, and you are the only one who can impact your life in any meaningful way.
  • Realizing you’re in fact distracted by the links included in this post.
  • Realizing that some (not all) of our technology is completely useless and only there to pull money out of your wallet.
  • Realizing this list is not complete, but that anyone reading this post can complete their own list of what life is.

What life isn’t…

  • The stuff you own.
  • The competition behind the stuff you own.
  • Beating the “Jones’es”.
  • How successful you are.
  • What you look like.
  • About trying to look like “that model in the magazine” (male OR female).
  • Buying the latest purse.
  • Buying the latest wallet.
  • About having the biggest house.
  • Creating an economic system that benefits only you and a select group of others in your wealth or political class.
  • Your opinion “winning.”
  • Greed.
  • Selfishness.
  • Envy.
  • 80 hour workweeks.
  • 60 hour workweeks.
  • Having your kids being raised at daycare all their lives.
  • “Sacrificing” any part of your limited life in the name of some mega-corporation that really won’t give a shit that you did sacrifice.
  • “Trolling” in the sense of the online world.
  • Spamming.
  • Being insecure about yourself.
  • Policing each other with the intent of catching people doing something wrong (which biases your judgment of their doing).
  • Damage to the environment.
  • The latest “fashion trend” which is designed to get you to spend your money on a schedule (nothing more).
  • Upgrading to the latest gadget for no reason other than to be the “first” with it.
  • Scamming other people out of their hard-earned money.
  • Endless, mindless consumption.
  • Remaining a mindless drone.
  • About continuing to think about the superficial.
  • The endless pursuit of perfection.
  • Money.
  • Only choosing A or B.
  • About being a dick.
  • About failing to make personal changes as a result of reading the 2nd part of this big list.

Well, that covers the stuff I’ve thought about for the last couple years.  Will add more as it comes up.

Please, if you’ve found this post to be helpful, share it with others using the buttons below…

The Enormity Of It All

Life is enormous.

There are trillions of stars, 644 million websites on the Internet, 350 million (or so) people in the United States, 6 (or so) million people in my home State of Washington … and on, and on…

That’s just some numbers.

Have you ever thought about the enormity of your own life?  You come from billions of years of evolution, and LIVE 80 or so years on this pale blue dot.  We can think, empathize, create, suffer, be happy … and die.

We can touch other people emotionally and physically.

Does any of that amaze you?  All of it should.

When you understand all of the cells, atoms, pieces, and processes that make up just one of anything … it should amaze you.

All of it, working in harmony, every day (hopefully we don’t destroy it).

But don’t worry, you don’t have time for any of this … do you?

You’ve got 24 hour shipping, emails, your smartphone, texts, Tweets, and all of the meaningless stuff you have in storage to sort through (again).

You don’t have to worry about the enormity of it all.  But, I hope I had you thinking about it, at least for a little bit.

Actually, I hope you’ll take some time to take the enormity of all of the important stuff in, whatever that means to you.

Then just breath, take 3 more minutes, and watch this:

 

Now you can go back to your regular life, but I hope you’ll see it differently.

Deleted

So, I deleted my Google Plus account today.

I loved connecting with people using the tool, but I’m focusing my future efforts on the tools that have worked for me the best (LinkedIn and Twitter).

Also, I feel that Google’s “deal” is changing, and I didn’t find as much value as I had in the past (exchanging my data in this capacity for use of their “free” service).

Time for me to move on.

You can still connect with me using Twitter and LinkedIn (and, actually, on Medium too, where I write at times).

One Prediction About The Future Of Publishing

Although it doesn’t matter much, I’m publishing this prediction about the future of publishing here…

MY PREDICTION:  Within the next 20 years, Amazon will not have the strong hold on the retailing of books, because authors will each become their own, best distribution channel(s) for their books.

Publishing overall will decentralize.

Digital won’t be the only format, print will still exist, but because of the availability of digital, authors will distribute their titles from their own website “empires”…

That is, one website per title with purchasing carts and content contained within.  Perhaps even publishing full product funnels centered around the book title (DVD, video, online courses, extended material etc…).

All of these, linked back to the author.

This is why Amazon won’t ever get to a point where they will lower their royalty rate by an extraordinary amount (as some trad. publishing executives surmise).

Because Amazon once again will have stronger and stronger authors to compete with, in higher and higher number on an individual basis.

Decentralization, a concept that seems like a foreign language to most institutional, industrial age businesses … continues in spite of their little hissy fits.

We live in a digital, technological age where only “molding the clay” of the trend can happen.

We aren’t going to replace the trend any time soon.