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“Is Amazon Changing the Novel?” asks Parul Sehgal in November’s edition of The New Yorker.


In a fascinating, and often insightful piece, Parul Sehgal, a staff writer at The New Yorker who previously worked as a book critic for the New York Times, asks a fair question: is Amazon Changing the Novel?


After running the reader through a brief history of the heady days of the so-called “triple-deckers” of Victorian ubiquity, she points out that according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon controlled almost three-quarters of new-adult-book sales online and almost half of all new-book sales in 2019.


As we frequently tell both our authors, and all new enquirers for publication, unless you have a readily accessible and amenable group of followers, you will need to get sales on Amazon to get anywhere.



Whether you love it or loathe it, Amazon is the world’s biggest book store and if you don’t get your listing, keywords and presentation right you are just not going to sell many books. Whether your novel is any good or not, time will decide, but whether you sell many or not initially, Amazon’s algorithm will decide.


There are plenty of extremely good, brilliantly written, clever novels listed on Amazon in positions like 1,889,123rd most popular; conversely there are appallingly badly written meanderings about nothing that sell daily in double digits. Parul Sehgal’s piece goes on to talk about Kindle Direct Publishing (“KDP”) and how that has been a real game changer. All in all, the article is well worth a full read for anyone interested in publishing trends. You can get it at the link below:


https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/11/01/is-amazon-changing-the-novel-everything-and-less


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