I have been reading along as a lurker on a self publishing listserv, since I would like to do more pattern publishing in the future, and one issue that recently came up is that of Amazon in the publishing world, specifically as it pertains to knit publishing.
First of all, full disclosure: I am a big Amazon user. I tend to be a spendthrift, but I like to emphasize “thrift,” so I enjoy the discounts and the savings on shipping. And as much as I resent the nonstop advertising flashing into my brain when I visit their site, I do get something out of recommendations on occasion. Several books in my collection have come from Amazon and from following their links from other books.
That said, I found the listserv discussion interesting and one main point that I took from it is that many knitting publishers don’t use Amazon at all.
For those who do, they may gain in profits based on the sheer volume that they sell, and they may target the market that only knows how to search through Amazon. But they profit much more from direct sales, and most sell through their own websites.
Another interesting point is that knitting designers who choose not to use Amazon or whose books are out of print may still find their books for sale through the Marketplace, by independent sellers who may ask upwards of $100. Most of us are aware that some of Alice Starmore’s books are out of print, and people are asking over $300 for copies of some of her titles. While some people would never dream of spending this money, some people really want the book!
But a word to the wise: shop around before you pay anyone $300!
I can’t vouch for the availabililty of Ms. Starmore’s books, although Amazon does have some titles, but I found at least two other authors’ books at Halcyon.com that Amazon does NOT have, and for which Marketplace sellers were asking over $100.
And if you believe in supporting the people who do this work, rather than the corporations, buy titles directly from their websites. Here are a few titles to get you started.
I don’t own any of these, so if you do, let me know what you think!
Where do you buy your knitting books?