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The issue is one of dilution I think- and isolation. You have an intolerance of any view that suggests that a totally unrestricted market place is anything less than perfect- I get that.

But it's simplistic to deny that the old model of publishing had some positive aspects, as well as many bad ones.

Can a volume trader like Amazon replace an industry that had a vital interest in the preservation of the individual author as an asset? I don't think it can- nor does it want to.

Amazon will not nurture the next generation of writers, support them or promote them. No problem you say- they will nurture, support and promote themselves.

So you would replace internationally coordinated multi media advertising campaigns with one guy sitting in his underwear blogging like a madman in the hope that somebody, somewhere, is paying attention?

Which of the two methods would you choose to promote yourself- if you had that choice to make?

So the end result of the commodification of authors as a bulk product to be harvested might not be a flowering renaissance of exciting new talent- it might be a slow withering of that talent as it struggles against all the odds to be noticed.

I could be wrong of course- I hope I am. But I have yet to become aware of any new best selling writers coming out of the Amazon stable.

One of my favourite bands - they have produced a number of albums, most of which I own - are not supported or nurtured by a third party and follow the internet model in that they have their own record label that puts out their records. As far as I know they still have day jobs. Yet I heard of them and my life is better as a result.

So would you deny them access to the marketplace to sell any records and would you deny me the opportunity to buy those records to avoid 'noise' or 'dilution' in the marketplace?

Would the world be better if these artists were shut out of the marketplace to enable someone else to be 'nurtured'?

Edited by shipbuilder
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That's quite a funny comment coming from a guy whose idea of freedom is that the entire human race prostrate itself before the mighty and irrefutable power of the free market.

You are more of a slave to the idea of an ultimate authority than I will ever be. You believe your destiny is to be the puppet of a price discovery machine.

You must be asserting that forcing people to make trades that they don't want to, provides more freedom then. Next you will be telling us that black is white, along with a pile of reasonable sounding waffle as 'proof'.

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You must have me on ignore then.

No- I missed your post- and you are right and I am wrong- which is excellent news.

http://www.mercurynews.com/books/ci_21313128/self-publishing-or-vanity-press-answer-may-surprise

Apologies to all on the thread- I need to do more research in future before jumping in with both feet. :D

I might even try to sell my own work on line now :o

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You seem to erroneously equate the removal of publishers, with the removal of organisations which help you choose stuff. This is completely false.

Which? charge a tenner a month to see their reviews, yet they still have a working business model, for those who value it.

There are also countless industries where you don't need middle men, but people choose to use them. Brokers exist in many forms and save you the job of searching for stuff, should you not want to.

Additionally, you can still employ publicists, rather than self promote. This is another false assertion you have been peddling on this thread.

Do you really think that people are so stupid that they can't make their own minds up? Do you really think that they are so stupid that they are unable to seek advice services when needed? Do you really think people are so stupid that they are unable to promote their work or find someone to help them promote it?

My fear was that the sheer volume of output would drown everyone- the good and the bad. But I have been proved wrong on that and happy to be so.

I have so far avoided the net as a market due to this prejudice- so a new vista opens up before me.

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No, Amazon is nothing more than a shop window, a facilitator, a middleman - entirely neutral in the whole process, which is their entire point, hence customer reviews. There is no 'model' other than one where you sell someone else's product - hardly radical.

This is like saying that your local bookshop is a parasite, feeding off the efforts of others - ridiculous.

Essentially you seem to prefer a form of protectionism in the market, but bizarrely protection from those who you consider to have inferior work.

What qualifies you to be part of the 'true artist' inner circle that should be protected from the market and carve up sales of art or books, enabling you to have a bigger slice of the pie?

My fear was not of competition from my skilled peers- as you correctly point out- it was those I considered 'inferior' I sought protection from- not as competitors but as a source of noise so loud they would drown me out.

But happily this does not appear to be the case,

My feeling was that the sheer volume of new entrants would bring down the market into chaos- but as has been pointed out to me this is not how it's working out in reality.

For me this is good news as it means that the net may well be a viable source of income in the future.

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Do you have a Paypal account? We should all wish to compensate you for such insight and lucid prose.

You don't think it's funny that a guy who accuses me of a need to submit to authority is convinced that we must all submit ourselves to the free market as the ultimate arbiter of human affairs?

Come on- it is just a little bit funny.

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My fear was not of competition from my skilled peers- as you correctly point out- it was those I considered 'inferior' I sought protection from- not as competitors but as a source of noise so loud they would drown me out.

But happily this does not appear to be the case,

My feeling was that the sheer volume of new entrants would bring down the market into chaos- but as has been pointed out to me this is not how it's working out in reality.

For me this is good news as it means that the net may well be a viable source of income in the future.

If you already have enough appeal to make a living from your painting, my experience suggests that people will not have trouble finding your work. Good luck.

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You must be asserting that forcing people to make trades that they don't want to, provides more freedom then. Next you will be telling us that black is white, along with a pile of reasonable sounding waffle as 'proof'.

No I'm asserting that making trades is not the only way that human beings can interact and make decisions together. Trying to reduce every human interaction to the level of a trade is what psychopaths do.

And claiming that we as species must be led around by the nose by the dictates of the marketplace is as supine a posture in relation to authority as I can imagine- one bordering on masochism in fact.

Those who run around crying 'there is no alternative' have abandoned their autonomy and replaced it with quasi religious humbug.

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Having thought about this some more I realised that the real problem with Amazons model is not simply that it opens the door to huge numbers of wannabe's it's something more basic- it's the fact that what Amazon's model does is disenfranchise the author by commoditizing their output in an 'industrial' way.

This is hilarious. Amazon allows writers to go direct to readers without having to hand 75% of the money to a publisher and 15% of what's left to an agent. If what you write is a 'commodity', then that's your own fault.

It's the difference between a carefully cultivated garden of rare blooms and a massive industrial farm.

'Rare blooms' like, say, '50 shades of grey'?

If their model were genuinely capable of creating new best selling writers, writers who could make a living from their work- then I would have no issue. But what I see is a silo effect where the writer is confined to an online ghetto in which he can maybe generate some sales, some degree of popularity- but never enough to reach the 'escape velocity' required to become a full time professional.

I'm rolling on the floor here. Amazon has allowed more writers to make a living from writing than at any time in the last few decades. You don't need to be a 'best seller' to make a living from writing any more, you just need a few thousand fans who'll buy everything you write... because, you know, now you get to keep most of the money. I know a couple of dozen writers online who struggled for years to get publishers to buy their books and now make a living from them because they're no longer restricted by your 'cultivated garden of rare blooms'.

Do you really think you're more likely to make a living when you're getting 18% of the cover price of an e-book or when you're getting 70%? And that's if you're lucky and get a decent contract; there was a recent scandal when a major romance publisher was found to be paying its 'cultivated' writers less than 5% royalties on their books, which is now a major court case by the writers against the glorious 'cultivated garden' publisher.

As I said in a previous post- Amazon is basically a content aggregator - it will not in itself nurture new content, that is not it's business model.

Amazon is an intermediary which connects buyers and sellers. They want as much stuff as possible for sale so they can find a seller for any buyer, no matter how arcane that buyer's taste may be. It has more content than you'll find in any physical book store.

Has Amazon's online publishing route yet produced a single new best selling writer? Or even one we might all have heard of? No.

You just proved you don't know anything about the subject, but you keep posting about it anyway. Not only has Amazon 'produced' writers who've made millions of dollars from their books, but a number of previously 'best-selling' trade-published writers are making substantially more from self-publishing than they did when their publisher was keeping most of the money.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

Interesting stuff but remember a lot of the big sellers are basically writing very graphic violence or porn, including the woman referred to in the link who has cynically - and cleverly - combined vampires and porn. People can make $33,000 a month but it's writing porn. I guess it depends how much you hate your job. Another one I know of writes crime books but they are very graphic and full of rape and so on. I don't want to write about rapes much either. Amazon is a force for good in a way but I'm hearing wonderpup as well. It seems to be becoming flooded with salacious porn and violence serials pumped out at 5000 words a day, and this is creating a lot of "noise". Ah well.

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Wow, a conversion on wonderpup's part. I agree with someone else's assertion that if you have a rep offline, you'll probably do OK online - and probably without too much work. In fact, there may already be communities discussing and recommending your work. Hire someone to help if you can't face doing promotion online yourself. But don't buy Grant Shapps' bot.

As others have said there are now many more writers chugging along making a quiet living thanks to Amazon. See the Writer's Cafe at Kindleboards for details. There are also a few massive stars making a ton from it.

Rosso is right - there is a lot of trash being written to satisfy the baser human instincts. Thankfully, rather than swamping everything though - it's in its own ghetto. There is a lot of vampire porn coming out - but it doesn't tend to swamp other categories. If you aren't looking for it - you'll rarely come across outside of the occasional bestseller. Clearly, there's a demand though. Just like there is for vending machines that sell used underwear from school girls or the penny dreadfuls of old. Neither is a market I'm interested in satisfying.

I also agree that Amazon isn't a benign or even neutral party in this game. I've posted something like the following before. Amazon have a history of screwing over the smaller guy. Changes to their terms and conditions can kill your income overnight. Authors would do well not to rely on Amazon for their livelihood. I read too many stories of people giving up day jobs. They are in danger of being seriously burned someday I think especially as Amazon seem to be gaining a near monopoly in this area. Programmes like Kindle Select only enhance the lock in.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat
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No I'm asserting that making trades is not the only way that human beings can interact and make decisions together. Trying to reduce every human interaction to the level of a trade is what psychopaths do.

And claiming that we as species must be led around by the nose by the dictates of the marketplace is as supine a posture in relation to authority as I can imagine- one bordering on masochism in fact.

Those who run around crying 'there is no alternative' have abandoned their autonomy and replaced it with quasi religious humbug.

You're suggesting that force is needed to stop people from making mutually agreeable trades which you don't like (ie. you want a non-free market).

How people market themselves, choose what to buy and so forth is up to them. Whether they choose to take advice or not is also up to them. The same is true for any trade they may make, including something as simple as giving someone a cuddle now, in the hope of receiving a smile later.

You really should give yourself a shake over this free market hatred. You seem to have built it up as some sort of anthropomorphised enemy in your head, then continue to attack it, with illogical barbs. Free trade is just a form of free association.

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Not just FMG, BHP and RIO too and I wouldn't be surprised if Gina announces soon that Roy Hill is on hold ;)

I heard Ginas speech on the radio today about how Australia is becoming too expensive for mining operations in light of Africans working for $2 a day.Apparently she wants some kind of special economic zone in the north of Australia with lower taxes or whatever.Anyhow when she was spruiking Africa she forgot to mention that every few years when a new nationalist government comes in mining operations are often nationalised , one reason why i will never invest in companies with African operations.Actually i have 10,000 in Focus Minerals a mid tier gold producer with all their mines near Coolgardie I'm hoping for a nice run up soon.

Edited by Ruffneck
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I heard Ginas speech on the radio today about how Australia is becoming too expensive for mining operations in light of Africans working for $2 a day.Apparently she wants some kind of special economic zone in the north of Australia with lower taxes or whatever.Anyhow when she was spruiking Africa she forgot to mention that every few years when a new nationalist government comes in mining operations are often nationalised , one reason why i will never invest in companies with African operations.Actually i have 10,000 in Focus Minerals a mid tier gold producer with all their mines near Coolgardie I'm hoping for a nice run up soon.

I've been looking at FML as well. Price is low at the moment as well, down a huge amount from a year ago. What makes you think they're about to go up? I see they started a run up in May but it came to nothing.

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I work in IT for an energy company and they've put out to tender for most of the IT.

That's everything from help desk, desktop support to applications support, DBA's, etc...

Luckily for the last 2 years i've moved out of "Build & Run" and i'm more in the "Planning" area (I get to play with all the new stuff) but it's looking almost certain we'll almost all get outsourced or sacked.

Should know more about November time. Yikes!

If it does go pear shaped, the one thing i'll really miss is the 5 minute commute. It's the main reason i've stayed around so long (10 years after 14 years of freelancing all over the place).

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I heard Ginas speech on the radio today about how Australia is becoming too expensive for mining operations in light of Africans working for $2 a day.Apparently she wants some kind of special economic zone in the north of Australia with lower taxes or whatever.Anyhow when she was spruiking Africa she forgot to mention that every few years when a new nationalist government comes in mining operations are often nationalised , one reason why i will never invest in companies with African operations.Actually i have 10,000 in Focus Minerals a mid tier gold producer with all their mines near Coolgardie I'm hoping for a nice run up soon.

Costs would be a lot lower in the mining sector if it actually accepted that people from other parts of the Country (Citizens or Permies) have relevant transferable skills. I know a guy in Adelaide, Mechanical engineer with 20 plus years in large manufacturing plants. 100 applications to all the large and mid tier miners and not a single interview. Instead the mines just enter bidding wars for people with 3/5 years mining experience. I also know a British guy who is an electrician and worked in refinerys and offshore (north sea) but none of this is relevant for doing electrical work on the mines......

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The same is true for any trade they may make, including something as simple as giving someone a cuddle now, in the hope of receiving a smile later.

But even you would place a limit on trade I think.

For example if I wish to breed puppies and sell them I suspect you would agree with this trade- but if I were to breed babies and sell them I think you would disagree with this trade- but why?

To explain why you are forced to introduce a different type of 'value' -one that cannot be expressed in terms of trade but must be expressed in terms of ideas like 'fairness' or 'justice' or 'liberty'.

So I'm not saying that trade is bad- I'm saying that trade is not everything and that all values cannot be reduced to price tags of one sort or another.

Anyone who argues that we-as a species-should hand over the responsibility for all the choices we make to the free market is insisting that we abandon free will and say 'we are not capable of governing ourselves- so the market must govern for us'.

Because this is the implicit idea that lies behind the free market fundamentalist's position- they have no faith in themselves or anyone else to do the right thing and so want to hand the whole show over to market- and that really is an example of people who want to submit to an outside authority- they want the market to run their lives so they don't have to.

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But even you would place a limit on trade I think.

For example if I wish to breed puppies and sell them I suspect you would agree with this trade- but if I were to breed babies and sell them I think you would disagree with this trade- but why?

Because they would gone bust and being ostracised ? :-p

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I've been looking at FML as well. Price is low at the moment as well, down a huge amount from a year ago. What makes you think they're about to go up? I see they started a run up in May but it came to nothing.

Well they are already up 35% on their low in May of 3.1 cents but pretty much all gold miners had a bad time while the gold price stagnated.

They should be able to lower the cost per ounce and i am also predicting the gold price will continue to go higher.They also have all their mines in one stable area of one country which limits the possibility of issues.

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