Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Amazon's doing well - heave half a brick at it

Recently, indignation at and vilification of Amazon has reached surprising levels; a member of the American Booksellers Association referred to it as 'the great Satan', an immoderate term more frequently used by Al-Qaeda to describe America. This article poses the question, does Jeff Bezos understand what he is doing? (For those in doubt, going by the evidence, the answer is Yes.) Scott Turow ranted here - doomed, we're all doomed! And for sheer batty bigotry, you can always rely on the membership at AbsoluteWrite.

These are but a tiny sample of the outraged huffing and puffing going on in the publishing industry about Amazon. One feels their energy would be better used in making their businesses more efficient and author- and reader-friendly in order to compete.

Here is the man himself in extracts from an interview. Note, no horns.


  1. Well said!

    Isn't this the case in most situations where one company/person is doing better than yours/you? We tend to cry foul, stirring up propaganda and slinging mud, and the big, bad enemy continues to win. I've seen it with authors, too. They spend so much time and energy trying to disparage the NYT Bestseller because they cannot get their own books sold.

    I wish they all took your advice and redirected their energy into more productive pursuits.

  2. They're just jealous. And upset that this one company has turned the publishing world upside down by breaking all their stuffy old rules.

  3. I suppose the alternative to having a go at Amazon is for the publishers to admit their failings:

    1. Maintaining too high overheads
    2. Too often publishing the wrong books
    3. Ignoring the digital revolution until it was forced upon them
    4. Hanging on to outmoded business practices such as the returns system
    5. Offering such a bad deal to authors that Amazon's KDP terms shine by comparison
    6. Not bothering much with promoting mid-list authors
    7. Allowing agents to select the material on which their living depends - a false economy if ever I saw one
    8. Overcharging their customers
    9. Forgetting that authors are essential to their business
    10. Generally being complacent beyond belief.