The Middle Man

At first I liked the fact that readers could find every one of my books on the shelf at one place. I liked the way Amazon bought directly from the publisher, cutting out Ingram book distributor, which had become a monopoly. But I always wondered how Amazon could sell books so cheap. Now that they’ve put other booksellers out of business and are getting into publishing themselves, Amazon can begin to eliminate less-than-best-selling inventory.

Amazon no longer carries as many older titles. They offer more used books now than new books, which cuts the author out of royalties.  (And Bezos is now investing in the space exploration business with a view to sending “trillions” of workers beyond the moons of Jupiter so that Earth can be “zoned residential” for elites.) It’s time to squeeze out this creepy middle man. Why didn’t we do this sooner?

    • Try going to the publisher’s website. When you think about it, wasn’t the point of an Internet search engine to connect producers directly with customers, authors/publishers with readers? We picture the Internet as a web, right? Not a bottleneck. Instead of connecting people and small groups with each other, the Internet has helped create the Most Monstrous Middle Man ever to exist. That’s why Dactyl Review no longer links titles to Amazon. Instead we link to the publisher’s or the author’s websites. If this wasn’t an option, we linked to Better World Books, a non-profit online bookstore that isn’t Amazon.
    • Never sell your soul to Amazon.  Governor Cuomo of New York recently announced that, in order to get Amazon to move to Queens, he would change his name from Andrew to Amazon. (I’m not kidding.)
    •  Support literary fiction authors by giving Dactyl Review a tax-deductible donation. Just click here. Because.
    • Don’t buy used books by living authors. Until there is a way to tip the author when you check out, the author will lose royalties every time a book is resold or shared. Because of this, authors are pressured to write a new book every couple of years, and after the new book is out three short months, and copies start hitting the used book market on Amazon, the publisher, booksellers and reviewers stop all PR for the book. Dactyl Review is the exception.
    • Subscribe to Dactyl Review and become part of our community. Good books need good readers and good reviewers. The best reviewers are other authors working in the same genre.

Special thanks to contributing editor/author U.R. Bowie for keeping the ship afloat, and to long-time reviewer/author Charles Holdefer for keeping the faith. Sadly, we did not get many nominees this year for our annual prize. The nominees so far are The Surprising Place by Malinda McCollum, Alice and the Time Machine by Victor Fet, A Decent Woman by Eleanor Parker Sapia, and Citadel by Jack Remick, all good books, well reviewed, but unless we get at least a dozen nominees and more support for the award before December 31, 2018, all entries for this year will be saved for considered next year instead.  If you’re a literary fiction writer, review a great book this year for some good review Karma.

-V. N. Alexander, Editor, Dactyl Review


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