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As dedicated as I am to the craft of writing, I also feel very ambivalent about all the accoutrements that go around being a writer and being published. People forget that this is all a very recent invention, that authors have to do this dog and pony show. -Eugene Thacker: Author, Editor, Poet, Professor

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Smashwords: 2018 Book Industry Predictions

Smashwords: 2018 Book Industry Predictions:

winter is the time to write and consider
Someone figured out how to herd the cats.

A single mousetailer (amazon) has cornered the market for mice.  All the cats run there.

...
4.  Kobo's sales will falter - Kobo, an internationally-focused mid-sized ebook retailer, has been one of the strongest performers in the ebook space over the last four years.  While other retailers slipped and lost market share, Kobo was the little engine that could.  They were smart to get into the business of powering other retailer's ebook stores, and partnering up with indie brick and mortar stores.  Kobo has also had great success supporting indie authors, whose books now account for a sizable percentage of their store's sales.  Yet I don't see how they'll be able to keep their customers long term when they're competing against a retailer that has over 1 million indie ebooks locked up and inaccessible to Kobo's customers.

15.  Calls will grow in the US for antitrust action against Amazon
- This was one of my long shot predictions from last year, and I'm bringing it back because I think it's becoming a growing inevitability.
The US government so far has shown no inclination to restore faircompetition to publishing.  In fact, their bone-headed decision a couple years ago to charge publishers and Apple with pricing collusion only played into Amazon's hands.  But now that Amazon is aggressively disrupting other industries, from grocery and consumer retail to healthcare and transportation, I've got to imagine that the CEOs of the largest most powerful publicly traded companies in the US are going to start directing their lobbyists in Washington, DC to put some controls on Amazon.   If the European Union can make some progress bringing these powerful platforms to heel, it might give DC the backbone it needs.

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