karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

The semantics of publishing

So, Amazon is an online retailer. If you have an Amazon account, you can buy books, movies, music, small appliances, clothes, jewelry, etc. Amazon also owns CreateSpace, a low cost self-publishing company, and BookSurge, a more expensive self-publishing company (they offer editorial services for a price). And now Amazon has announced their Encore program. Their first release is a YA fantasy called Legacy, by Cayla Kluver, and it was originally publishing by Forsooth Publishing, a small press that appears to have exactly one title, which suggests that it was, in fact self-published, possibly even through CreateSpace or BookSurge.

You can still buy Legacy from Forsooth, or you can buy it from AmazonEncore as a hardcover. All of which suggest to me that Amazon has decided to harvest the cream of the self-published crop, and in doing so has made itself into a publisher. The difference is that a traditional publisher relies on editors to determine what to publish, and Amazon is relying on customer reviews and sales figures. Since reviews can be manipulated, I suspect it's looking more at sales, or at reviews that occur at high enough numbers to make them less suspect.

On a further semantic note, Cayla Kluver is a YA author in every meaning of the term, as she herself is a very young adult; she was sixteen when she wrote the book, and she's eighteen now.

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Tags: self-publishing

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