Jeremy Greenfield’s May 28th article, “How the Amazon-Hachette Fight Could Shape the Future of Ideas” does an excellent job in describing how the current dispute between these two giants is impacting readers and authors. His article emphasizes the possible ramifications when distribution is consolidated to just a small number of organizations and the need for sites like author-to-reader.com where the middlemen are eliminated and writers and readers can connect directly.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking to Jeremy about the current controversy and shared with him my vision for this site. I’m glad to hear that he sees the idea as one worthy for mention and I thank him for providing a link to this site from within his article.
Over the memorial day weekend of 2014 my wife and I were discussing the current state of publishing and what needs to be done to help authors who have historically been powerless when faced with huge corporate players such as Amazon, the big-five publishers, and Barnes and Noble. We concluded that what was necessary was for authors to sell direct to the readers, eliminating the middle men.
This provides for several benefits:
- Authors receive the highest percentage of income from the reader
- A site with high quality content can provide a place for readers to discover new authors
- multiple format DRM free files provides readers the convenience of reading on as many devices as they desire
The most important part of this new initiative is that neither I nor my wife want to take a single cent from the authors for our own gain. Yes, we will collect a modest 5% of each sale to pay for servers, programmers, advertising, and administrative help, but every dollar of that will be paid to someone other than ourselves. The authors will get a full accounting of every dollar spent so they can see exactly where the money was paid out and to ensure complete transparency.
Of course, a site like this is only as good as the authors who make their books available, and it may take some time to populate the site with a wide variety of books, but we are hoping that this idea will grow and take root, as we feel strongly that the best way for authors to survive is to have a direct relationship with their readers. This is hopefully a first step in this direction.