I am a member of the Authors Guild and an indie published author, which means I don’t have an agent, a giant publisher, or a cushy advance and royalty agreement. There is a crisis in the publishing industry, and Amazon is a big part of that; however, well-established (i.e. wealthy) authors writing letters to the DOJ whining about having their profits hit by book pricing at Amazon.com? while sitting back and taking their exorbitant book advances, cashing the checks, and then collecting royalties after the books meet their contractual quotas for royalty payments is tantamount to Tesla filing an antitrust complaint against Toyota or GM because they can’t get their share in the market.
The book publishing industry is in the midst of a change. No longer do a handful of HUGE publishers and agents act as gatekeepers keeping the riffraff out of the market by being sole judge and jury over authors’ lives. Yes, Amazon is big and powerful, but they are giving a voice to so many turned away by the big publishing houses.
There are a lot of great eBook publishing platforms that are making it possible for the unknown voices of writers to be heard as well. Platforms like Smashwords, Spark, Ingram/Lightningsource, and many, many others who charge an author nothing to put their books out in the market and allow the market to judge the quality of the writing. In the end, that is what authors and readers have been doing since the advent of the printing press and mass media. Allowing readers to decide which books and authors they like and don’t and separating the wheat from the chaff. Does Amazon need to be kept in check? Yes. Is the DOJ going to get into this? NO!
Welcome to the jungle traditional publishers and traditionally published authors, where it is survival of the fittest and finest in writing quality. Where you have to put your money where your mouth is and introduce readers to your writing and gain their respect and following, which in turn sells books – and that’s how you make money (and it’s not easy) in the twenty-first century of publishing. Is this the deathblow for traditional publishers? I don’t think so. I think we will continue to see the consolidation of the big publishing houses through mergers and acquisitions until there are only one or two left, and then there will be a whole new argument about monopoly.