Let's say you're depressed by the present state of the publishing industry. You probably look at Amazon as a carnivorous behemoth devouring publishers and authors alike in a manner befitting the Cookie Monster. Or a giant squid getting handsy with a fleet of ships. Whatever imagery works best for you. Well, the horror story that trumps the most Machiavellian schemes attributed to Amazon, at least for me, is the idea that Facebook could become the new hub for book consumers.
Is Facebook a Life Raft for Web Publishers or the New Gatekeeper?
Basically, it posits the notion that book publishers and book sellers may come to rely on Facebook in the way news media has come to subsist on "Likes" and "Shares." Given the rather insidious and dishonest tactics employed by Facebook regarding its Fan Pages, with a miniscule percentage of subscribers actually seeing posts and such on their Timeline, A book wouldn't stand a chance in such a climate.
I mean, have seen the Olympian-caliber stretches authors and publishers have had to go to just to get a modest signal boost via Facebook? The percentage of followers that actually see posts with any regularly is infinitesimal. And with the "protection money" Facebook asks of content providers to raise that percentage, and the relatively small budgets with which writers have to work with, Facebook's influence would make any strong-arm tactics from Amazon appear charming and quaint by contrast.
Amazon may not be a paragon of virtue, but it is a helluva lot more friendly to authors and publishers than Facebook, in my estimation.
Agree? Disagree? Lemme know, and also leave a comment with what books you've discovered lately. Here are a bunch that found their way onto my TBR pile.
The Year I Died Seven Times (Book #6 & Book #7) by Eric Beetner - The serial novel comes to a close this month with the seventh and final installment now out. I think the novel is going to be released as an actual novel next year, but there's no need to wait if you want to read it all now.
Devouring Milo by Tonia Brown - A short novel from Tonia with some new twisted take on werewolves. It's been a while since I read her twisted take on zombies in that weird western of hers, but that was a good'un so I expect more of the same here. And Luke Smith's narration in the audio sample is brooding and creepy.
Dark Screams: Volume One edited by Richard Chizmar and Brian James Freeman - This is a new anthology series coming soon, helmed by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of Cemetery Dance fame, so you know the quality of stories will be top notch.
SuperGhost by Scott Cole - Some more bizarro fiction has found its way onto my TBR pile. "Mad science, giant monsters, and a whole lot of severed limbs ..." Well, sounds like it's off to a good start so far.
The Dark Fantastic by Stanley Ellin - A college professor set to go on a killing spree and a private eye out to stop him. It's set in Brooklyn. Funny, with a wild premise like it, it would be well-suited to Florida in real life considering the craziness that goes on in that state.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King - Stephen King may be rich, but it's the second-hand bookshops that are making the coin when it comes to my buying his books most of the time. Got a copy of this one and dove right in.
The Dark Servant by Matt Manochio - Just in time for Christmas, Manochio's debut novel tackles the Krampus myth with an American backdrop. I actually interviewed him a couple days ago, so you can check that out if you're curious. Just click here.
The Hammer of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert - I wasn't expecting a sequel to The Nine Lives of Dr. Valentine, but it looks like we've got one and it's like finding out you're getting something you never knew you wanted. This time around, the doc has his sights set on some scoundrel journalists. Ooh boy, this oughta be good.
Rough Magick (Gnomesaga Book 1) by Kenny Soward - I was lucky enough to win a paperback copy of this one from Kenny during a little Ragnarok Publications release party. The sequel, Tinkermage, should be released sometime in December too, so this series is officially off and runnin'.
Leytonstone by Stephen Volk - Here's another new one from Spectral Press from a fella that wrote my favorite novella of 2013, Whitstable. I'm not too sure what this book is about, but I fully expect it to hold up with the quality of storytelling I've come to know the guy for.