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Nostra
12-27-2010, 11:21 PM
I had no idea where to put this, so after looking at the forum descriptors for twenty minutes I decided to just post it here, hehe. If it's in the wrong place I'm sorry, but I really couldn't figure out where else it would fit (or well, I figured it could kind of fit in some of the forums, but a bit awkwardly).

At any rate, I read this article about Amazon, in short it reads about how Amazon have bulldozed their way into the bookmarket and it seems to link it with the super book stores of USA and how they, apparently, forced publishers to accept higher discounts.

I found it interesting and worth discussing, so here I am sharing the link. What do you think? How much truth is there to it, how much weight should you lend it etc. ?

There are 8 pages so it is a bit long, I am still reading so my comments will have to wait until I'm finished... that is if anyone else found it at all interesting, hehe.

[Link deleted by Silver King, as it leads to an advertisement before the article can be read, if ever.]

(http://www.alternet.org/books/149124/is_amazon_evil_?page=1)

brainstorm77
12-28-2010, 12:21 AM
I didn't, hehe.

Caitlin Black
12-28-2010, 12:40 AM
I would've put this in Novels.

Also, I don't care enough to click that link. I'm of the mind that as long as I can still buy books, I don't care what the companies selling them are up to (except censoring... grrr...). I know - I'm a writer, so I should care whether I'm getting a good publishing deal.

To be honest though, I don't expect to make a living from writing. So it's hard for me to get outraged at all the stories of writers getting undercut. I mean, I feel sorry for those writers, but I'm not about to start a petition or refuse to buy from so-and-so or whatever...

Maryn
12-28-2010, 02:42 AM
Amazon has some business practices which are neither author- nor buyer-friendly. For instance, people who bought and paid for an ebook which Amazon later decided violated its standards find that book deleted from the reader, with no warning and no reimbursement.

It's been discussed at some length here, but I need to start dinner rather than hunt threads. Somebody help?

Maryn, who needs to wash pots and pans first, ugh

brainstorm77
12-28-2010, 02:46 AM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199175 This is one thread that touched on it. I'm sure there are many others but I'm just to lazt to search for them.

mario_c
12-28-2010, 02:51 AM
There's also a thread about their filmmaking contest in SS&S (I said my peace in there :D) and the internet in general is abuzz with the "Scamazon" controversy. But I had a conversation with an author who said their POD service charges the author as much as 85 or 90 percent of the book sale price per copy! Are they kidding? Is this true? Is that what paper book publishers do as well? Is there another industry where that kind of lousy margins would be tolerated? Hey, maybe I'm naive...

Button
12-28-2010, 04:53 AM
I clicked on the article to read it, but up popped the biggest advertisement ever that I couldn't get around.

I closed it without reading it.

At any rate, companies like Amazon are huge. Really freakin' huge. Like Disney or Wal-mart. With the probably hundreds of thousands of people who work for places like this, there's bound to be one bad CEO/manager/Customer Service Rep/Janitor who had a bad day/week/fortnight and didn't return a call/foreclosed on a home/signed the wrong paper.

There's always room for improvement, big or small. Start with your own universe/s. :D

Bmwhtly
12-28-2010, 06:04 AM
For instance, people who bought and paid for an ebook which Amazon later decided violated its standards find that book deleted from the reader, with no warning and no reimbursement.I'm sorry Maryn, but I'm fairly sure that sentence doesn't make sense.

Silver King
12-28-2010, 06:38 AM
I clicked on the article to read it, but up popped the biggest advertisement ever that I couldn't get around.

I closed it without reading it....
The same thing happened to me, so I've deleted the link in the OP.

I'm sorry Maryn, but I'm fairly sure that sentence doesn't make sense.
I think she meant that Amazon has been known to delete books from e-readers without warning or reimbursement to their customers.

benbradley
12-28-2010, 07:03 AM
I run NoScript on FireFox, and it showed the article for me. But I google some of the text and this is the same article, hopefully without too many grody javascript-driven popup ads (I don't know because I don't need to turn on anything to see it):
http://bostonreview.net/BR35.6/roychoudhuri.php

And I was able to parse Maryn's sentence to make sense out of it just fine. :D

aruna
12-28-2010, 01:56 PM
I'm sorry Maryn, but I'm fairly sure that sentence doesn't make sense.




And I was able to parse Maryn's sentence to make sense out of it just fine. :D

Me too.

I think this is really a Roundtable thread.

benbradley
12-28-2010, 10:56 PM
I would've put this in Novels.

Also, I don't care enough to click that link. I'm of the mind that as long as I can still buy books, I don't care what the companies selling them are up to (except censoring... grrr...). I know - I'm a writer, so I should care whether I'm getting a good publishing deal.

To be honest though, I don't expect to make a living from writing. So it's hard for me to get outraged at all the stories of writers getting undercut. I mean, I feel sorry for those writers, but I'm not about to start a petition or refuse to buy from so-and-so or whatever...
The article talks about not just writers but also publishers being squeezed by Amazon's practices, and not It goes into several aspects of Amazon's practices - as it appears to have a near-monopoly on books, especially e-books, its actions have a substantial effect on the publishing industry. The $9.95 "standard" e-book price was set by Amazon, not the publishers, and the article mentions Macmillan renegotiating for a higher price (while Amazon had turned off the "Buy" button on Macmillin's books). Smaller publishers aren't in a position to renegotiate their e-book selling price as sold through Amazon, and they may decide not to sell e-books through Amazon (and/or they may go out of business because they're not making enough money on Amazon e-book sales), thus limiting what's available to READERS, not just on Amazon, but anywhere.

The article also talks about the "top ten" book price wars that I recall from the previous year or two (2008, 2009) of Christmas sales:

Many in the publishing community mock Amazon as the “Wal-Mart of books,” but it’s important to remember that Wal-Mart is also the Wal-Mart of books. Last year, Target, Amazon, and Wal-Mart fought a price war over a handful of new hardcover bestsellers. Books with $25 and $35 retail prices were being offered for nine dollars or less.


In response to the price war, the ABA wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ), requesting that it investigate possible “illegal predatory pricing.” David Gernert, a literary agent who represents the novelist John Grisham and was quoted in the ABA letter, told The New York Times: “If readers come to believe that the value of a new book is $10, publishing as we know it is over. If you can buy Stephen King’s new novel or John Grisham’s Ford County, for $10, why would you buy a brilliant first novel for $25?” People who tend to read Grisham and King aren’t necessarily reaching for a brilliant first novel, but Gernert’s point still has some force: devaluing the books produced by an industry already squeezed to the brink is not likely to benefit the reader in the end.
I know what to do!

I'll hire writers from India and China to write novels that I'll then publish in the USA, they'll write for less money!

Sarah Madara
12-29-2010, 01:16 AM
I read an article on Holly Lisle's website a while back about how the mega-chains (brick & mortar, that is) are wiping out midlist authors left and right by "ordering to the net." I don't know how valid the article was, and I'm sure a lot of people on here understand this issue far better than I do. Anyway, I wondered if Amazon is actually a solution to that problem, since sell-through isn't influenced by shelf space. Hope that makes some kind of sense.

I'm not happy with the way digital rights work in general, so I can't single out any one corporation as evil when it comes to digital.

Just deleted a huge rant about DRM and I will end here before I end up writing it all again...

Button
12-29-2010, 01:44 AM
Sarah,

Times have changed plenty. :) eBook authors, who maybe would have been midlist writers if it wasn't for limited shelf space, are able to publish their books and be read.

Read Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. It talks about how the Internet is actually making it easier for garage bands and self published folks to make a living. :)

benbradley
12-29-2010, 03:28 AM
Sarah,

Times have changed plenty. :) eBook authors, who maybe would have been midlist writers if it wasn't for limited shelf space, are able to publish their books and be read.
Is this just theoretical, or is it actually happening now? I want to see the figures. How many copies are being sold, what's their income, etc? I'm doubtful, especially for a robust meaning of "be read."

Read Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. It talks about how the Internet is actually making it easier for garage bands and self published folks to make a living. :)
I dunno, does that include self-published novelists?

I haven't read the book, but it seems that the "long tail" things, the many products that are each bought by few buyers, are less likely to be independently produced items and more likely to be previously (commercially) published items that people want to experience again (books, movies, commercial music [iTunes], TV series). That's the kind of thing I see being sold at Fry's, especially old TV series on DVD.

I understand many or most midlist authors barely make a living at their writing if that, and I can't imagine more than a very small percentage of them matching their mainstream-publisher publishing-contract sales and income with those from smaller e-publishers, and especially not with independently-published (self-published) sales.

bettielee
12-29-2010, 04:25 AM
I'm a little disapointed there isn't a poll.....

brainstorm77
12-29-2010, 04:31 AM
Stripper pole!

mario_c
12-29-2010, 10:12 AM
I'm not getting on that thing. :eek:

benbradley
12-29-2010, 11:00 PM
Yeah,this is definitely in the wrong forum ... so much for any attempt at serious conversation.

:popcorn:

brainstorm77
12-29-2010, 11:04 PM
:e2moon:

ETA: Request to have it moved.

bettielee
12-30-2010, 01:01 AM
oh my gosh, there's somewhere more ridiculous than office party this thing can go?!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-30-2010, 01:10 AM
Ummm... yeah. I don't know where it belongs, either. But carry on and if someplace occurs to us, we'll boot it into someone else's tennis court. Or not. :shrug:

benbradley
12-30-2010, 01:25 AM
We could all get Really Upset over all these Evil Corporations, and it end up in TIO...

bettielee
12-30-2010, 01:41 AM
Yeah,this is definitely in the wrong forum ... so much for any attempt at serious conversation.

:popcorn:
I apologizes, Ben. I has no tact! :) But I would like to point out I haven't posted any Richard Armitage pictures for absolutely no reason, so I should get some points for that.

I don't know where they would be added on to, but... I should get somthing.

brainstorm77
12-30-2010, 02:35 AM
^ She lost her tact on the stripper pole.:roll:

Silver King
12-30-2010, 03:59 AM
The thread is fine in this room. It's really not worth moving to another forum since I've removed the link in the original post, which struck me as somewhat spammy and annoying. In addition, the OP hasn't returned since starting this discussion, and we've had similar threads about Amazon in other rooms in the past.

BeatrixKiddo
12-30-2010, 04:00 AM
It's been discussed at some length here, but I need to start dinner rather than hunt threads. Somebody help?

Maryn, who needs to wash pots and pans first, ugh


Pffft, dinner, dishes, ...now? Where are your priorities? ;)

Maryn, prefers cooking over hunting for Amazon discussion threads.

brainstorm77
12-30-2010, 04:01 AM
The thread is fine in this room. It's really not worth moving to another forum since I've removed the link in the original post, which struck me as somewhat spammy and annoying. In addition, the OP hasn't returned since starting this discussion, and we've had similar threads about Amazon in other rooms in the past.

Popcorn Fishy? :evil

bettielee
12-30-2010, 11:31 AM
^ She lost her tact on the stripper pole.:roll:

Who knew they hadn't greased it in awhile.... bad stripper pole maintenance. pft....

gingerwoman
01-22-2011, 03:32 AM
The same thing happened to me, so I've deleted the link in the OP.

I think she meant that Amazon has been known to delete books from e-readers without warning or reimbursement to their customers.
Was that the Pedophile's Guide book?

aruna
01-22-2011, 11:56 AM
Was that the Pedophile's Guide book?

I think he's referring to the great Amazon vs Macmillan bout. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jan/31/amazon-shelves-macmillan-titles)