Will a Netflix-Styled Library Kill Literature?
We've already seen the giant shift from print publications to the digital world. How the eBook killed the paperback. We've also seen how Amazon's implication of eBooks and other various other ways have cut royalties to writers.
But now there's this.
Due to, in my opinion, the strength of iBooks and nook books, Amazon has seen a significant drop in the owners and users of Kindles. Like Apple and Barnes and Noble, they are reaching out to maintain their dominance on the publishing world.
Take note on how they reshaped self-publishing.
But their new technique does not benefit writers in the same way Amazon publishing has.
Amazon plans on releasing a tablet - like everyone else - that may feature a Netflix-styled library for consumers.
At first, I was thought this was a great idea to promote more reading and exposure for writers. However, I thought about it another way: Is this great for readers and terrible for writers?
I sure think it is.
It's no lie that writers need to make a little dough to keep in the game. And most successful writers rely upon payments to make writer their day-job.
But ever since the digital shift, a surplus of writers have entered the field, which is a "good thing", but it has also weakened the gates. It's a double-edge battle-ax. On one hand, some writers were stigmatized or didn't have the "selling" product, but capitalized on the digital shift and established a name for themselves. On the other hand, many writers with little to no creativity are being published, which is nothing new when we think of Paris Hilton and Tyra Banks releasing their books - and at the same time never hearing of The New York Times Bestseller List, The Washington Post, multitudes of authors,Pulitzer, or Random House, Inc.
All that aside, the incorporation of books into a digital library with a subscription fee could be detrimental to writing. First off, it writes off (no pun intended) books as a work of art.
Writing: It's an art. It's a craft. And there's no argument in between.
Maybe writers have done this to themselves. Think film for a moment. A lot of money goes into a movie, which requires it to make the dollars back. So they become formulaic and crowd-pleasers. And in much the same manner, the capitalistic mindset of America has a allowed for publishers to acquire novels based on the same principles. They're expensive to produce, so they have to be money-makers.
But how far do we take it?
We make the universe of ideas into a small, crowded pond. Sure, no problem. But then we "iTunes" novels? Make one-hit wonders?
What I mean to say is, will books be written by authors the same way the music industry is pushing artists with a few hit songs, to make a few bucks, and then move on to the next? Sounds like vanity publishing will be in full form here soon.
Perhaps this is good for readers, but bad for writers. But both need each other. No one wants watered-down literature. And writers who truly value what they do won't climb on-board this product that will rip the art straight out of storytelling.
Not to mention subscriptions are cheap. Netflix used to be just $8.99 when I subscribed. Movies have the theater, DVDs, TV replays, Netflix, etc. For writing, it's just the tangible form of the story. Movie options are a whole 'nother ballgame.
This won't work with readers or writers or publishers. It's scary even.
3.) Writers will get screwed on the royalties.
2.) Print might become irrelevant.
1.) We will more see one-hit wonders in literature. Writing will be devalued.
And Amazon's defense is that Kindle only makesup 10% of the market, which is 90% bullshit.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.