Not kidding, folks.
[This just in from Digital Book World. Click through and read the rest of the sordid, sorry story. I confess that I myself many years ago owned an independent bookstore–before I went to NY and publishing.]
“Bookstore owners already loathe Amazon for gutting the cost of books online and driving so many brick and mortar shops out of business. Now, the online retailer is both beating them and joining them, with the opening of its first physical bookstore in Seattle.
Amazon Books, as the new store is called, will be like any other Main Street bookstore (remember those?), except that Amazon will use the troves of data it collects from its online customers to stock the shelves. That means its book displays will feature real Amazon book reviews, and the store will showcase books that have amassed the most pre-orders online. The books will also come with Amazon’s trademark low price tags.
“It can afford those cut-rate prices, of course, because Amazon Books is as much a bookstore as it is a billboard. Amazon’s not suddenly betting big on the bookstore business, and it certainly doesn’t need the store to be a success in order for Amazon to succeed. It’s better to think of Amazon Books as a giant advertisement. If it makes a little extra money for a $294.7 billion company, all the better. . . . ”