As an author, I like to focus on creating books. I'd rather not worry too much about selling them. It's a complicated business, and there are people who know much more about it than I do. However, I am clear on one very important thing: My books need to be in bookstores in order for people to buy them. And a second, related thing: If my current books don't sell, it becomes riskier for a publisher to take a chance on anything I write in the future.
Having my books in bookstores seems rather basic. It seems like something I should be able to count on, considering I am published by a well respected New York publisher. But I've come to realize there are thousands of new books published every year by well respected New York publishers, and not all of them get picked up by Borders, Barnes & Noble, or the independents. Even with cute covers, glowing reviews, and fine literary awards, these giants might say no thank you to your book for a variety of reasons. (Rumor has it they wanted Jemma Hartman in paperback, but it was only available in hardcover.)
When people ask me, "Where can I buy your book?" I usually tell them to try their local independent but that they can always order it from Amazon. Because Amazon carries everything. Right? Well, apparently, not anymore.
Amazon and Macmillan are having a little tiff about how to price their Kindle books, and Amazon has just pulled every Macmillan book off its shelf. Including mine. Including tons of best sellers that people will be way more upset about than my two little books.
How this will play out, I have no idea. I understand the principles at stake here. But as an author who wants her books to sell, I have a vested interest in making sure my books are available for purchase. Somewhere! E-books are not going away. I hope someone figures out a solution soon.