Boycotting Amazon’s bookstore might mean, at least initially, that you’ll have pay a little more for books, or you’ll wait a little longer to get them, but it will also mean you’ll be more likely to enjoy the books you do purchase.
As Amazon’s dominance approaches that of true monopoly, the influence of all other booksellers is virtually eliminated. As a result, the discoverability of books is driven by a revenue-maximizing-algorithm rather than curated by a caring human being who knows both books and their readers.
Exploiting their monopolistic power Amazon has become 100% vertically integrated—controlling every aspect of a book’s production all the way to its sale to the reader. As a result, Amazon exerts enormous control over authors and publishers. This directly controls the books readers have available to them. Increased pressure is placed upon every book’s profitability, and potentially great books are not produced as riskier books can not be supported under Amazon’s business model.
Amazon’s treatment of books as loss leader and exploiting 3rd party vendors who often sell remaindered, review, or even pirated or stolen copies of books allows readers to enjoy low priced books. It is unreasonable to assume that these discounts will continue once Amazon’s competition has been completely eliminated. Border is gone, B&N, is in decline, and sales by independent bookstores are paltry compared to total book sales. Amazon already owns the sale of books on the world wide web. In fact, Amazon sells 43% if everything sold on the web!
The problems are far more complex and profound that I have presented above. Please consider reviewing these articles that touch on different aspects on why Amazon’s dominance is bad of all of us, not just for those of us who care about the importance of books.
- Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
- Amazon’s Taking Another Bite of the Publishing Pie (The Authors Guild)
The Authors Guild is deeply disturbed by Amazon’s new policy of allowing third-party book resellers to claim featured status in the “buy boxes” on Amazon.
- Amazon targets authors and marketers for alleged abuse of Kindle Direct Publishing system (GeekWire)
Amazon has filed arbitration demands against several book authors, publishers and marketers, alleging that they abused the Kindle Direct Publishing system to artificially inflate their profits and sales rankings.
- Amazon Will Be the Fifth Largest Bookstore Chain (Publishers Weekly)
A combination of bookstore attrition and its own startup efforts will make Amazon Books the fifth largest general bookstore chain in the U.S. based on the number of outlets.
Boycotting Amazon’s bookstore is one small way we can have an effect. We can no longer wait for Amazon’s monopoly to be broken up by ur government. Too much damage has been done already.
Would you consider helping to organize, or joining an effort, to a boycott the buying of books from Amazon to reverse their control of the book industry so they we can enjoy better books and more of the profit they generate?
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