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22. Know Your Audience

Amazon.com is a predator. They are a huge bullying entity that is out to crush any other entity in bookselling and book publishing. They prey on other stores, publishers, agents, and a bit more clandestinely, authors. The customer may think s/he's getting a deal by saving a couple of bucks on a book now, but the Amazon endgame is to have so much control over the process of putting books in the marketplace that selling at no margin no longer serves their interest, and those “savings” will be a laughable memory and your options for new reading material will be limited to what a monopolistic enterprise thinks will sell. Sometimes they're blatant about this goal — like when they enticed customers to spy on their competitors' pricing and outright promised to undercut them — but more often they just work their long game, slowly driving other businesses into the ground and screwing over everyone in the literary world in their quest for world domination.

Authors and presses make little to no money — sometimes they lose money — on sales of their books through Amazon. Publishers continue to get squeezed every time Amazon thinks it can flex its muscle. It is essentially the worst possible avenue for the actual producers of books — writers, editors, publishers — to earn a living through. And the Kindle is now their biggest weapon.

Go to your locally-owned book store. Or, if you must shop online, there are plenty of non-Amazon options.
May 14, 2012 - 12:58 AM Pac | Link

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