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Amazon's $1 million secret

Amazon’s $1 million secret
At a time when independent publishing is struggling to survive, in part due to the influence of Amazon, recipients say that these grants offer crucial — if ironic — life support. Sometimes the grants pad out thin margins of survival, and make it possible for worthy programs to maintain their tiny staffs. And there’s no question the grants support legitimately important work: Literature in translation, international poetry, smart criticism, youth literacy efforts.

“It’s the bully on the playground handing you a lollipop,” says Shirin Yim Bridges, publisher of Goosebottom Books in San Francisco, which has not received a grant from Amazon. “I mean, what do you do?”

Author faces six figure legal bill after unfavourable Amazon reviews case is struck out

Author faces six figure legal bill after unfavourable Amazon reviews case is struck out
An author who tried to sue a father of three from the West Midlands over comments made in a series of unfavourable reviews on Amazon is facing a six figure legal bill after a judge struck out his case.

The judge ruled that although a small portion of Mr Jones’ words might be deemed libellous by a jury if it went to a full trial, there was little point pursuing that avenue because the potential damages would be slight compared to court costs and time.

Amazon, B&N make concessions for Potter ebooks

Amazon.com Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc unveiled Harry Potter e-books on Tuesday in deals that suggest the companies made big concessions with author J.K. Rowling for electronic access to the hit series.

Amazon said it struck a distribution deal with J.K. Rowling's new website pottermore.com.

Amazon customers can search for the Harry Potter e-books in the company's Kindle Store, but will be directed to the Pottermore Shop to register and buy them, then add the titles to their Kindle library, the company said.

Full article

Commentary by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin about Amazon not being able to sell Potter ebooks directly.

What Did Amazon Ever Do For Us?

What Did Amazon Ever Do For Us?

We don't aim to list the errors or poor presentation issues we saw but clearly there is a huge gap the approach to selling and the perception of what the consumer may want to know. Amazon were the only ones to list all the renditions (ebook,hardback etc) on the same page and link to these individual options. They were the only ones to give us a sample of the book and even a promotional video. They, as you would expect won on price, but also clearly stated the RRP, saving and sale price. There was even disparity between the various offers as to what the ebook RRP actually is, which in the eyes of a consumer may be very confusing. Within seconds we had it downloaded our copy.

Will Kindle's Free Samples Change the Structures of Plots?

Search-engine optimization reshaped the craft of a good headline. Will Amazon's book promotions have a similar effect on novels?

Full piece at The Atlantic

Amazon buys robot army

If you think independent bookstores hated and feared Amazon yesterday you might want to check with them today. Amazon has just purchased a robot army. See this news story for details.

I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!

(Note: books in picture were not purchased at Amazon.com)

Amazon.com’s plans for world domination hit a slight bump on Tuesday.

For years, the retailer has been telling Wall Street to ignore how little money it was making and focus instead on the fact that it was bringing in more and more customers and keeping them so happy they never went anywhere else for anything.

In Amazon’s fourth-quarter results, however, investors finally glimpsed off in the distance that growth beginning to flatten. Its revenue rose to $17.43 billion, up 35 percent. Most retailers would die happy with such a jump. But for the e-commerce leader, sales were nearly a billion dollars short of what analysts had been expecting.

Full article

Amazon's Hit Man

Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book industry insider—until Amazon called... Amazon's Hit Man

And now this. Amazon could be an unstoppable competitor to big publishing houses. If history is any guide, Bezos, who declined to comment for this story, doesn’t care whether he loses money on books for the larger cause of stocking the Kindle with exclusive content unavailable in Barnes & Noble’s Nook or Apple’s iBookstores. He’s also got almost infinitely deep pockets for spending on advances to top authors. Even more awkwardly for publishers, Amazon is their largest retailer, so they are now in the position of having to compete against an important business partner. On the West Coast people cheerfully call this kind of arrangement coopetition. On the East Coast it’s usually referred to as getting stabbed in the back.

Publishers And Booksellers See A 'Predatory' Amazon

Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.

Publishers have a problem when it comes to discussing Amazon: They may fear its power, but they are also dependent on it, because like it or not, Amazon sells a lot of books. But lately, the grumbling about Amazon has been growing louder, with some in the book industry openly describing Amazon's tactics as "predatory."

Full piece on NPR

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