Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Who Tells You What To Read?

“Nobody tells me what to read. I make my own decisions.”

Sure, so do I, but how do I know about the books so I can choose from the selection?

Of course, the traditional production of books has agents, editors, and marketing folks making decisions before you get a selection of books from which to choose.

And now, there are also self-published authors being enabled to add to the possible choices

So, who “helps” you decide what to read?


Bookstore clerks?

WebSite writers?

Social Media?

Just you, prowling the swiftly-vanishing bookstores?

How about Amazon?

And, how about Amazon eliminating the agents, editors, and marketing folks?

In a recent article in the The New York Times, Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal, we have this:

“’Everyone’s afraid of Amazon’, said Richard Curtis, a longtime agent who is also an e-book publisher. ‘If you’re a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you’re a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you’re an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out.'”

From Dystel & Goderich, a literary agency, in their article, “Moneyball, Amazon and the end of publishing as we know it”, we have:

“In this week’s death watch, the publishing business is going the way of the Edsel.  E-books have won.  Traditional publishers don’t know what to do with themselves or their lists.

“Agents are unnecessary.  Anarchy reigns among authors.   And, oh, yeah, Amazon is getting closer to world domination (tricky bastards).  There is no leadership.  The darkness is encroaching.  The center cannot hold!”

And, in an article from The Atlantic, What Would Happen if Amazon Ruled Publishing?, we have:

“When one company holds the keys to the kingdom for what content consumers can see on its device, it has a lot of power as to what kind of information reaches people. For example, Apple can kill off an app that criticizes Apple. If Amazon consolidates its power in the publishing industry, what would become of a book criticizing Amazon?”


Is it going to be Amazon (plus a possible few other, smaller giants) “keeping the gate” between the Author and Reader?

I imagine, even with the outlandish success of ebooks, Amazon would still publish ink on paper Maybe?

What are your thoughts and feelings??
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6 responses to “Who Tells You What To Read?

  1. cmmarcum October 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Amazon and Kindle rock, okay. Are they big enough to brainwash the world? Well, not yet, but someday, maybe. Am I a devotee? Totally. I’ve even got a gizmo that will convert DC to AC from a solar panel or a car battery. If Armageddon comes, I may starve, but by golly I’ll be able to read until the last minute. Bookstores? Dusty relics of the past with screaming children, cell phone yakkers and forgettable, over educated, snotty salespeople.

    Can Amazon keep the people content forever? No. No one has ever done that before.


    • Alexander M Zoltai October 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      As Always, C. M., you provide us with your unique and straight-up opinions.

      This is even one I can agree with :-)


      • cmmarcum October 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

        Which just goes to show you–two writers of different nature and style can still be friends. Where I am blunt and overt, you are subtle and provocative at the same time. There are many words heard yet unwritten in your work.


        • Alexander M Zoltai October 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

          Wow, C. M., you make me *Blush* :-)

          In fact, your words, “There are many words heard yet unwritten in your work.”, are now a blog-post-prompt for me………


  2. Tomas October 22, 2011 at 9:38 am

    When we move through the gates, the authors and the readers exchange their parts.


    • Alexander M Zoltai October 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm


      If I understand you correctly, you’ve put in just a few words what it took me many posts on this blog to say :-)

      Thank you !!


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