The Amazon Wars

A friend of mine, self-published, approached a local small bookseller about carrying her book.  The bookseller thought it was a good fit for her store–a cozy mystery with local color.  She checked whether it was available on Ingrams, then frowned.  “Oh, dear.” She said.  “You published with Amazon.  We can’t carry it.”  More and more this has become the case with the large booksellers like Barnes and Noble as well as the small independent ones.  In an effort to combat Amazon’s ever growing monopoly of the market share, have banded together and decided not to carry books published through Amazon publishing–CreateSpace.  Now I have to ask, who ultimately looses in this publishing war?  Does Amazon even notice or care if their CreateSpace published books are not carried in small book stores?  I think not.  More sales for them if the book can’t be found elsewhere.  Do the book stores win?  Probably not, because they are going up against a giant.  And who really loses?  It is the Indy writer, who must make hard decisions about who to go with when publishing, and the reader, who may not find the desired book in stores.  I understand that the publishing world is going through a metamorphosis unlike anything since the advent of the printing press, but let’s not punish the Indy writer who is just trying to put a unique product out there, one that the commercially-minded traditional publishers won’t touch, and one that has a readership clamoring for it, because they want something new and daring.  I understand the booksellers, trying to survive again the tidal wave of Amazon, but I also understand that there is enough market share out there for a good story, more than enough to go around.  Don’t sacrifice the Indy writer on the altar of your business model bookstores!



Filed under Book Review

4 responses to “The Amazon Wars

  1. I don’t know what the answer is to the Amazon threat. I see why booksellers are fighting back but as you say, it’s the writers and readers that suffer in the end. I always feel hypocritical, because I buy 90% of my books from Amazon, though I worry about their growing monopoly…

  2. This could all be a case of the booksellers possibly cutting off their nose to spite their face. It is possible that the booksellers may have to find some compromise with Amazon so that nobody loses out. What form that compromise would come in, I certainly can’t be sure. Like Fiction Fan I buy a lot of my books from Amazon and the my other source is second hand bookshops.

  3. Oh dear – Amazon will be the only winner here, I fear, as the lone writer must surely need to think about shifting volumes. To keep some body imagery going, this looks like a case of shooting self in foot by local booksellers

    At this rate (noseless, footless) the indy’s are going to be further damaged

  4. Agree with your comments. Clearly it is a David and Goliath set-up, but in this case, if David brings down the giant, a lot of little people are going to be crushed with it. I like Amazon. They do a lot really well. Are they getting too big?…not sure. I do know that the Indy writers in this scenario are the ones threatened, however (because I doubt this tactic will take down Amazon one bit. )

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