FEED THE BEAST (OR ELSE) New York Times, July 13, 2014
“Among the buttons Amazon could push: raise the price, recommend something cheaper, make the book disappear from promotional lists.”
Guys, first the bookstores went down one by one, big and small, the beloved neighborhood bookstores, a staple of American life for centuries–just–disappeared.
[I’d had an independent bookstore for 13 years a long time ago, and watching this broke my heart. They were more than just places to sell and buy books. They were community resources, friendly places .Welcoming settings, browseable, and where one was likely to have the opportunity to engage in a lively, interesting conversation with neighbors and friends,]
Then the relentless amassing, coalescing of leverage and power by online retailers continued, and the weaklings among them were weeded out.
And then and then and then: the victor, emerged, Amazon, which forthwith, to make up for past losses to achieve the “mountaintop,” started squeezing everyone hard, publishers and authors, all “vendors,” and anyway they could. Margins! Their shakey stock price had to be buttressed, Margins! They have to improve them somehow, some way.
So what we are left with? Who is really viable as a purveyor of books in America, who is left standing? Amazon.
Read the article, please. [Link above] For Amazon, it’s about margins. For the rest of us, it’s about something far more important. Books. Choices. Access. The best books, uncensored by “margin” considerations.
Publishers, authors and readers have other things uppermost in their minds. Books. Access.
[take a peek at comments below ;)]