The ongoing war between Amazon and Macmillian, the huge publishing house, continues. Both sides have armies of defenders and detractors. Both are bloodied, Amazon the worst for the moment. Their lawyers surely have no need to worry about being laid off for lack of work any time soon.
It began last Friday, escalated to stratospheric heights over Saturday, raged on Sunday—until 2:22 pm when Amazon retreated to a corner to lick its wounds and try to put on a brave public face with a press release conceding the battle to Macmillan. But no one doubts they will be back. This war is only part of the changing scene in publishing as old models of business are being integrated into new technology.
The lesson I speak of in the title is not Amazon’s or Macmillan’s, but mine. I had been following this as had many writers and industry professionals. Quite a few from the New York Times down to numerous blogs had been writing about it. I did too, and that was my mistake.
BiblioBuffet is not a news service nor any type of news-oriented publication. We don’t seek to write on breaking stories because our weekly deadline does not allow us that luxury. We leave the running after stories to others. Instead, we strive to provide thoughtful reviews and commentary.
But I was so caught up in it and in wondering how this might ultimately play out for readers that I wrote about it anyway. The problem, of course, is that the battles hardly even slowed down. The news continues to pour out, and my piece is already outdated less than twenty-four hours after it was posted.
Mea culpa. I should have forced myself to recognize that fact. Since I didn’t I will take a lesson from it. No. More. Breaking. Stories. An analysis? Fine. But I gotta wait until it’s at least nearing the end. I mean if I wrote a review of Casablanca (my favorite movie) after seeing it the first time but didn’t wait until the end what would the review look like? I shudder to think.
So in this case, the story goes on. And I have learned something. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to have learned it even though I am a bit embarrassed to have learned it on a public stage.