April 13, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Who is the real digital villain: Amazon or Publishers?

1 min read

“In big publishers when a writer starts to make money they call a meeting and work out what went wrong,” says a writer at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

On the face of it, it is a surprising exchange. The monopolistic Amazon is hailed as the authors’ champion, while publishers are narrow-minded, money-grabbing fiends who deserve everything that comes to them. The event, Being a Writer in the Digital Age at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is descending into the publishing equivalent of a debate on who the most evil bad-ass between Voldemort and Sauron.

But maybe the authors have a point. The writers in question here are Catherine Czerkawska and Maggie Craig. Thanks to self-publishing through ebooks they have found new audiences and income. Before the Kindle however, they were at the mercy of publishing houses. Both are scathing about their experiences.

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