Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Amazon is a Radically New Kind of Monopoly

Recommended Posts

I really wish I had the funding to determine the percentage of books, written by Black writers, that are sold, often exclusively, by Amazon. My conservative estimate would be at least 75%, but I would not be surprised if it were 90%.


We know;


  • By the fall of 2016, the share of online shoppers bypassing search engines and heading straight to Amazon had grown to 55 percent.
  • Captures nearly $1 of every $2 that Americans spend online.
  • Hosts a substantial portion of the largest websites
  • Ships and sells products at a loss until competition is eliminated (the capital markets facilitate this, which also prevents the emergence new potentially better competition. it is Ma Bell all over again)
  • Benefits from enormous, unnecessary, tax benefits
  • Producers compelled to sell on Amazon resulting in lower profits, sales, and/or higher prices
  • Will manufacture 3rd party products they sell selling well then bury the original producers products on their store
  • Sell bootleg products 


The New York Times recently reported:


“In Amazon’s bookstore, the unruly behavior has been widespread, aided by print-on-demand technology. Booksellers that seem to have no verifiable existence outside Amazon offer $10 books for $100 or even $1,000 on the site, raising suspicions of algorithms run wild or even money-laundering. The problem of fake reviews is so bad that the F.T.C. has already gotten involved.”


Despite all of this and more people generally like Amazon.  I also wish I had the time and money to explain to people Amazon's monopolies results in less profit for book sellers, publishers, and authors.  Why readers see less diversity in reading material despite more books being produced than ever before and more. Nothing any individual can do alone will stop Amazon's domination


In my corner of the world I am spending the time and energy to divorce myself from Amazon. It is not something I can do over night, because they are so firmly entrenched in the business of Black books -- indeed they own this business -- but I plan to do it. I have to do it. I'm also trying to help authors understand this as well, but authors are often more enamored of Amazon than the general public. 


Amazon poses a much larger threat the business of Black books and independent businesses than Google does.



  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Troy , I really enjoy Amazon! I'm an Amazon associate.  I like its gadgets and how  they showcase the many different ways to market products. I like its ease of use. I like media content streaming and availability of some films, television shows and sometimes music - BUT I would never sell a book on Amazon ever again!

And full disclosure, I do promote amazon books on my websites, I do my best not buy books from the site either.  Amazon is a master of information and I locate the book there and if I find that the author isn't selling it.   I'll buy straight from the publisher.  Amazon is usually the last place I will buy books and here's why.  It is NO secret that  Amazon monetized its business on books - it was their entry into the marketplace.  It was never going to NOT "giveaway" books.  So any author that can't see or understand that, isn't very good at business.  And unfortunately that is what Amazon counts on.    Thank you Troy. Keep up the good work. I hope you post or link this in readingblack.com  too.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mel Hopkins said:

I do promote amazon books on my websites


I do too.  I've been an Amazon affiliate for almost 18 years and have collected payment from them every period since that time.  But here is the thing. Amazon pushes the ebooks that they publish while encouraging authors to give away ebooks for free (even though these authors paid Amazon to publisher their books) or to sell them very cheaply purportedly to build an audience. 


Last year Amazon halved the commission they paid affiliates for book sales dropping commission from potentially 8.5 percent to 4%!  This is a dramatic decrease to go from earning 8% on a $24 book to 4% on a 99 cent ebook.  Amazon also reduced the duration of their cookie and other thing that radically reduced commission affiliates can earn.  Sure I still earn money from commissions but the amount of far less that it was a decade ago despite a lot more visitors. Of course if book sellers make less money so do publishers and authors


As a result, I have little incentive to sell books as an Amazon affiliate.  The only reason I bother with them now as that readers want to buy their book from Amazon. But as I said I need to rid myself of Amazon.  


Also the big publishers are not in the business of selling books directly to consumers.  Though given Amazon's dominance this part of the business model may change; in much the same way as we see producers of video content, HBO, CBS, Amazon, Netflix, etc selling directly to the consumer with their streaming services.


18 minutes ago, Mel Hopkins said:

I hope you post or link this in readingblack.com


If I repost this on readingblack.com Google will give me the smackdown for posting the same content on multiple pages.  I'm working with a couple of author's right now to work out a way to sell book directly from AALBC and even other platforms such that the transaction or transparent and commissions can be paid.  This will allow everyone to make money.


The reality is that this need have a concrete solution then I'll post on #readingblack which I have not shown any love lately.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Big Five Publishing House – Direct to Consumer SALES
Penguin Random House https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/faqs/#shopping (YES)
HarperCollins Publishers https://www.harpercollins.com/corporate/customer-service/ecommerce-faqs/ (YES)
Simon Schuster https://www.simonandschuster.com/c/help-shopping#checking-your-order-status (YES)
Hachette https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/  (NOPE)
Holtzbrinck/Macmillan UShttps://www.holtzbrinck.com/  https://us.macmillan.com/ (NOPE)

1 hour ago, Troy said:

The reality is that this need have a concrete solution then I'll post on #readingblack which I have not shown any love lately.

U.O.E.N.O. #readingblack.com  NOMO !!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...