Sat 19 September 2020
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The Window is Closing
The basic shapes of the markets of the publishing world online are being settled

People, it's time, and past time.

The basic shapes of the markets of the publishing world online are being settled; the DoJ action in the US; Google's decision to drop the provision of ebook sales for small bookshops as part of its ebook program; the arrival of serious indie-published bestsellers; the creation of an indie Alliance of Independent Authors (apparently the SoA rejected the idea of taking indie published authors); the removal of DRM from Tor ebooks; and the beginning of ebook lending - there are fewer and fewer blank spaces on the map. The easy moment to do something new is coming to an end. That's not to say that things aren't going to change, just that making them do so will be much harder, and anyone without a single immovable point – call it a platform – will have a very hard road to travel. Maybe too hard.

And let's do that again in slow motion... the beginning of ebook lending.

Once again, Amazon is staking out a new market, creating a new way of consuming books, and once again the company is doing so unopposed by the publishing industry. Why is there not already a Penguin Library App? Where is the Harper Collins "All You Can Read" Book Buffet? It's been five years since the Kindle showed the world that ebooks were a real product, two since Apple rewrote the rules with the iPad. The Kindle is on its fourth generation, fifth if you count the Fire. The third iPad is out. It's not as if there hasn't been time to get something done.

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