Amazon for Oz

The world’s best known game-changer in online purchases is hitting the Australian shores.

Now any sensible comment by myself on this topic will clearly be conflicted which is why I mention this fact upfront. I write books and publish them on the Amazon platform so I am a client of the giant retailer.

If other markets are anything to go by – and I think they are – the Antipodean independent bookseller in the major cities had better start planning an exit strategy from publishing because the chances are it is going to lose its customer base.

Now a lack of choice in book purchase outlet does not mean there will be a lack of choice of books themselves. That will come when margins for the major publishing houses get squeezed by Amazon’s pricing policies which morph once it picks up market share. This is a function of free markets and in itself is not a criticism of Amazon.

The opportunity for Australian readers to gain access to fresh reading from new writers will come as Amazon acts as a catalyst for independent publishing by writers themselves ie self-publishing. This is where my conflict of interest comes to the fore. I am aware of the arguments that Amazon destroys traditional publishing but I must admit I don’t have much sympathy with traditional publishing. Why? It shunned me for several years leaving me with the option of self-publishing or not getting published at all. Amazon has given me a customer base into which I can sell. I have tried other platforms but at this point in my writing career, Amazon has been more successful for me than the other platforms.

If that situation changes then I shall jump ship or expand my sales reach via different sales platforms but it was the revolution created by Amazon that has enabled me to get to publish my work. And I am happy about that.

Good luck in Oz – I hope the smiley-logoed company only shakes your world for the positive.

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