Moby was pointing to this piece about an apparently famous agent saying we need to change a few things.
“Real books aren’t going to disappear. The Kindle bestseller list contains contemporary novels of all sorts, but books that appear on the list are thrillers like James Patterson’s, which are sheer entertainment, and also romance novels. These are books that people want to read but don’t necessarily want to have a copy in their library. If you read a book on a Kindle or a Sony Reader, and you decide that you love it and you want a copy of it at home, you can buy it.”
Another issue that concerns her is book pricing: Amazon is breaking the market, she says.
“Amazon prices books at $9.99. Books in hardback cost $30.00, and the stores give a discount and the price goes down to $15.00. Amazon is not regulated the way retail outlets are, so they can do whatever they want.”
So they might wipe out the publishers. Are you fighting them?
“They can definitely wipe out the publishers. The problem is that the publishers need them. Amazon isn’t an easy company to do business with. It’s a very secretive company; they will not share any of their sales data.”
Are signs of the shaky economy already evident in your deals? Is it getting harder to get large advances?
“I think it will start affecting authors’ advances, and I think authors’ advances will become more in line with what their actual sales are. And that’s probably a good thing – we are just selling fewer books. The whole business needs adjustment.”
Altogether, she adds, “Too many books are being published in the states today, and all of them are in hardcover at ridiculous prices.