As many of you may know, the U.S. Department of Justice is suing to block a merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. If the merger goes through, it is likely that the “Big Five Publishers” will become “Primo Behemoth Publisher” with three small “Fight-for-Their-Lives” publishers. The two potentially merging companies control fifty percent of the top 100 selling books. Most of the remaining fifty percent will go to the three remaining publishers, leaving little room for smaller publishing houses to get their needed best sellers. These are the publishers that are more likely to take a chance on an unknown writer. This is where debut authors hone their craft to produce one after another fine work in their genre, rather than a one-hit-wonder.
The famous author Stephen King, who is published by Simon & Schuster, is testifying against the merger because he believes it will hurt the indie publishers and thus many debut authors.
Many self-publishing authors hope to be picked up later by a literary agent and major publisher. The merger could make that more difficult. That is not my goal although having someone else do all the marketing would be very nice. It would satisfy me to sell a few books as an indie author to subsidize my retirement by doing something I love. After so many years of having a job to pay the bills separate from my artistic endeavors, it would be nice to make money doing my art.