Here’s some advice to self-published authors: “Beyond Kindle: build your own distribution network” rather than depend on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and third party outsourcing for retailing forever.
The article gives a comparative example of how musicians depended on Myspace ten years ago – until Facebook overtook it. Today, many musicians and composers prefer Bandcamp to Amazon to sell their DVD’s, CD’s or mpeg files.
Most authors and indie filmmakers build their own cookie cutter sites to sell their product, and usually include a blog. I’m unusual in offering so many blogs and manuscripts “free” (for those who don’t want to pay). Some people don’t like that. “It’s free.” Like the public library. You can’t compete with that.
This means offering Paypal (which I actually do) and credit cards yourself (which I don’t yet do, but may soon) and negotiating all the PII and SSL issues. The article doesn’t talk about whether authors need https for the non-commercial parts of their sites, but that’s a coming thing.
The big concern seems to be that no site, however popular now, can be counted on to last forever, or to remain as accommodating to newbies forever, even with disk space for entries of negligible cost. As a business matter, “it’s free” can’t last forever, and at some point anything has to start paying its own way in life