By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
From December 15, 2011
Part of my series of columns on publishing, Writing on the Ether, appearing Thursdays at JaneFriedman.com
A Christmas Nightmare
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Bezosius, that all the world should be axed.
Taxed. Did I say axed? How silly of me. We ran out of axes when the Governor of Self-Publica ordered his Konwrath-ful followers to cut their agents in half.
Where were we? Right. And behold, all Prime members went each unto his or her own local bookstore, toting a price-check scanning app.
And there were in the same country traditional publishers abiding in the field, keeping watch over their hardbacks by night. Because Peter Meyers‘ new Breaking the Page had yet to be published. And, lo, the Archangel Android came upon them, and the glory of Seattle shone ’round about them.
And they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For behold I bring you tidings of 99-cent specials, 32 cents of which will go to the author unless she just flat-out gives away her life’s work in our KDP Select program for Kindle Lending. Which shall bring to all readers tidings of great joy—just as soon as you stop whining about what’s being done to you and start doing what you need to do, as Don Linn hath spake.
“And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find a copy of Christina Katz‘s amply tweeted The Writer’s Workout wrapped in Amazon gift paper and lying in a manger. Not laying. Lying. The Lord wants you to use the language correctly and so does Porter.”
“What’s with the manger?” the publishers asked in six-part harmony.
And the angel said unto them, “Do I look like a wise man to you?”
And suddenly there was with the angel a Multitude of the Self-Published Authors, praising Bezos and singing:
When your backlist’s been sold
But your camel’s too old,
Then the booksellers rejoiced and returned unto their quaint independent corner stores to hand-sell all that they’d seen and heard, opening new sections of gaudy fiction for Vampire Fans Who Don’t Mind Typos because those things were selling like hotcakes online, right?
When in time the great star had come to stand over the whole business in Preoccupied Bethlehem, there were no more than two or three sentences uttered daily that didn’t include the holy word “Amazon.”
And Ginger Clark kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.