From author Shawn Lamb:
Everyone knows the turmoil Amazon caused in December 2011 with its Amazon App Day and then starting the Kindle Select Program and putting out a blanket invitation to self-published authors to join. But what may have slipped noticed is an article in from the UK on the Mail Online. The article shows that Amazon’s cutthroat pricing practices are crossing the Pond. Around the same time Amazon was putting pressure on American Retailers and causing outrage here among U.S. Senators and the DOJ, it sent out emails to its Amazon Affiliates in the UK about matching Amazon’s prices or else be dropped. It caused such a stir that the British Government is launching an investigation into predator practices of Amazon.
Now, this might sound like some company overreaching – except for the next article, which gives insight into why Amazon is suddenly on the move and more aggressive in pushing for dominance. This article found in Business Week is titled “Amazon’s Hit-Man“. Amazon hired one of the most influential publishing insiders in the business, Larry Kishbaum, and did so with one goal, to take down the Big Six!
. . . .
This leads to the third article from the NY Times, The Bookstore’s Last Stand, with the subtitle, Barnes & Noble is in the fight of its life – with Amazon!
. . . .
Can you image life without a bookstore? Every aspiring writer and published authors’ aim is to get into the brick-and-mortar stores; to be asked for a book signing, to hold the final paperback or hardcover edition of their labor of love. Borders, B. Dalton and others have already closed. Barnes & Noble has over 700 stores nationwide, if it falls, game, set and match to Amazon. What then? Where will Amazon go to have its paperback and hardcover books put on the shelf? Wal-Mart, Costco? Not likely. Books-A-Million is hiding behind B&N’s shield, once B&N is gone, BAM won’t stand a chance. This makes B&N the Last Bastion for Books.
The implications from these 3 articles is staggering when one stops to consider where the future of publishing is heading. Yes, the current system and Big Six need to clean up their act, but do we – authors and readers – need them to be totally wiped out and only 1 left standing?
. . . .
What are you doing to help B&N – or any bookstore – to stay in business? Do you frequent a bookstore for purchases (not just comparing prices) or go straight to Amazon for all your reading and publishing needs via e-books?
Link to the rest at All-on Writing
Can Passive Guy imagine life without a bookstore? No. That’s why he’s happy to have Amazon.
Barnes & Noble? You mean the puzzle/game/toy store? You mean the Barnes & Noble all the literati were trashing when it was putting Meg Ryan and all the other perky indie bookstore owners out of business a few years ago? Why has Barnes & Noble all of a sudden become the bookstore-that-must-be-saved? Did Meg Ryan buy one?
For PG, Amazon is a far better bookstore than his local Barnes & Noble or the carbon copy that’s 15 miles away or 25 miles away.
1. Prices are better on Amazon.
2. Recommendations and reviews are far better on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, you walk in the door and see advertisements – tables that big publishers paid Barnes & Noble to cover with books the publisher specified. At Amazon, you see books that are selling well in their genre, including books by indie authors. (Did PG mention prices?) At Amazon, PG sees intelligent recommendations based on what he’s purchased recently. The last time PG received an intelligent recommendation in Barnes & Noble was 1999 or maybe 1997. (He doesn’t actually remember but thinks there was an intelligent recommendation some time during that decade. Meg Ryan looked much better back then too, before all that plastic surgery gone bad.)
3. Amazon actually has books PG wants in stock. If he likes one book by an author, he can find lots of other books by the same author, even if they were published more than a year ago.
4. Ebooks. PG is pretty much done reading physical books. This isn’t a big dogmatic attitude. Herds of physical books still occupy Casa PG. But PG just enjoys the reading experience more on his Kindle. The last time PG checked, Barnes & Noble doesn’t carry Kindle ebooks.
A couple of random points:
“Yes, the current system and Big Six need to clean up their act.”
The Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas need to clean up their act, too. PG isn’t sure whether they’ll beat Los Big Publishing to the cleaning up stage or not.
“Every aspiring writer and published authors’ aim is to get into the brick-and-mortar stores; to be asked for a book signing.”
Of the published authors PG knows on a face-to-face basis and has seen at book signings in brick-and-mortar stores, approximately 99% hate the experience and find it a huge waste of time.
When PG and Mrs. PG show up in the bookstore for a mercy visit, the expression on the friend/author’s face is about what it would be if they were serving hard time in Leavenworth and we appeared with cookies and an escape plan.