Today I have had to call time on Goggle. The book publisher which grew out of the ashes of Incwriters started initially in 2010 as online poetry readings before graduating into eBooks. Back then we were full of hope but a insidious thing has occurred with eBooks, something that was meant to be a revolution in publishing akin to the printing press has given online retailers a strangle hold over prices. This strangle hold is often friendly, normally in the spirit of tips on how to be competitive or how they will increase your royalties but the results are the same, somewhere out of the dark a boxing glove wrapped in barbed wire is going to hit you in the jaw. I am angry I have had to call time on Goggle, I loved it but as prices get lower online, and more and more publishers and self-publishers get sucked into playing the game of ‘devaluation’ I cannot in all conscience pay the poets and writers on Goggle any less. I will not devalue them or their work, I will not devalue myself or swim against a tide that seems to be hell bent on crashing onto the rocks. It seems a large part of my life has just slipped away, Incwriters along with Goggle has been 15 years of my life committed to raising the profiles of poets and writers, I have enjoyed every moment of it from the successes to the bickering, to the revolution that has been played out on social media. At present, I don’t know what future poetry and fiction have in eBooks but I know they have a future on the web. You can see the full Goggle statement below:
When Goggle was established three years ago the dawn of the eBook promised new exciting ways in which poets and writers could connect with readers on a growing platform of mobile devices. Three years later, this has sadly resulted in the continued price slashing of eBooks by retailers to attract an ever increasing shrinking market. This means that many publishers across the world today can’t afford to even print low cost eBooks. Over the last year we have seen this in play with Amazon. Self-publishing on Amazon, along with those publishers competing to stay on Amazon sales lists, has meant that Goggle as a business model has become unsustainable. We are swimming against a tide that has devalued the art of publishing, devalued the work of poets and writers, and resulted in small and large publishers unable to take risks on new or established voices. There are still plenty of fine fiction publishers out there working to stay in the market and we applaud them but sadly the same cannot be said of poetry. We have always been proud to promote new and established voices in poetry and fiction but there has now come a point, as publishers, where we know we cannot win in an eBook market proliferated and controlled by online retailers who dictate the prices. We have seen this in play over the last year as we have been forced further and further down the sales lists competing not on quality but on price. In the end, we can only predict that eBooks will become devalued further, royalties will dwindle and publishers will not be able to cover their overhead costs. We have arrived at the latter already and we do not want to see our poets and writers royalties dwindle to nothing. It is with a sad heart that we announce at the end of August 2014, Goggle will cease trading. This means all eBooks on Amazon will be taken down, the blog and Facebook page will cease operation. We want to thank everyone involved in the journey over the last three years, we want to thank our poets and writers for believing in us, we want to thank our editors who have worked so closely with us and we want to thank the readers who brought our eBooks. Thank you.