Sramana Mitra has a great post at Forbes, "My Adventure With Amazon," about her experience with Amazon's BookSurge. BookSurge is their new publishing subsidiary and it will be interesting to observe how they will disrupt the traditional publishing channels.
Sramana's has a prior article, "How Amazon Could Change Publishing," that examines how they could disintermediate the old guard of publishing. She explains:
Retailers take almost 50%. The agent takes 15% to 20%. The publisher gets squeezed--it's cause for huge celebration if they make 20%.
"On a book that costs $24.95, the author gets at most $1 to $1.50," says Eileen Gittins, chief executive of Blurb, an online print-on-demand publisher of photography books.
Wow. A buck a book. I thought about writing a book in the coming year, but these economics suck and might not be worth my time if there wasn't an alternative. It seems it would be wise for someone like me to go with Amazon's BookSurge. The economics have to make sense for a person with a day job to suffer from less sleep and an angry wife to write a book :) More from Sramana, "Amazon: Will It Kindle Vertical Integration?"
Also Sramana's book, ENTREPRENEUR JOURNEYS, is out today. The book's synopsis:
"Through all the ups and downs of the past twenty-five years, technology entrepreneurs have learned to navigate opportunities and market windows and bring to bear new companies. Many have fallen by the wayside, but others have thrived and grown into successful business leaders. In ENTREPRENEUR JOURNEYS, Volume One (Amazon’s BookSurge; October 1, 2008; $16.95 paperback), serial entrepreneur and Forbes columnist Sramana Mitra offers the rare seat at the table with some of these fascinating entrepreneurs providing an intimate look at how to build a thriving business. As one entrepreneur speaks with another, readers gain access to case studies—conversations really—exploring the alleys of entrepreneurship in a way that only an experienced strategist like Mitra can probe and extract. Her synthesis of key learnings and incisive analysis add great depth to her discussions with:
* Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO of AdventNet, and Jerry Rawls, co-founder and CEO of Finisar, on bootstrapping
* Steve Hafner, co-founder and CEO of Kayak, Gautam Godhwani, founder and CEO of SimplyHired, and Russ Fradin, co-founder and CEO of Adify, on taking on giants
* Philippe Courtot, Chairman and CEO of Qualys, and Steve Singh, Chairman and CEO of Concur, on disrupting business models
* Marcos Galperin, co-founder and CEO of MercadoLibre, and Edward Fields, founder and CEO of HotChalk, on addressing unmet market needs
* Hans Peter Michelet, Executive Chairman of Energy Recovery Incorporated (ERI), Carol Realini, founder and CEO of Obopay, and Harish Hande co-founder and Managing Director of SELCO, on tackling planet scale problems"