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Amazon's latest antitrust foe: Libraries

Driving the news: The American Library Association said libraries are struggling to acquire ebooks because of an "abuse of market power by dominant firms," as part of a report for the House Judiciary Committee's digital markets investigation that was made public Thursday.

https://www.axios.com/amazon-library-ala-antitrust-ebooks-679e8e4d-97bc-4b91-98dc-353d607e6c...

Amazon caught selling counterfeits of publisher’s computer books—again

Amazon markets the service to publishers as a way to have "100 percent availability of books" internationally, and the company has enrolled a number of publishers. The problem is that Amazon apparently doesn't police whether book content uploaded to CreateSpace actually belongs to the person doing the uploading. As others who sell through Amazon have discovered, Amazon has had a problem with mixing legitimate and counterfeit products in fulfillment warehouses because of how it prepositions product for Prime Delivery.
From Amazon caught selling counterfeits of publisher’s computer books—again | Ars Technica
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The populism of Amazon’s real-world bookstores

Walking around, I half-expected to see SQL queries accompanying some of the displays — “SELECT * FROM books WHERE rating > 4.8 AND pub_year = 2017 ORDER BY number_sold”. Amazon definitely needs to figure out how to get a little weird into their stores, a little of the human touch. Toning down the data talk would help. A more casual typeface might work too — not Comic Sans but perhaps something at least approaching handwritten? They’ve got so so much data about how people buy books…they just need to be more clever about how they slice and dice it. Maybe look for books that exhibit the Napoleon Dynamite Problem? Find people with interesting wishlists?
From The populism of Amazon’s real-world bookstores

Amazon dominates self-publishing in books

A recent report (pdf) from Bowker, the US company that issues International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), shows that self-publishing is growing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of ISBNs from self-published books grew by 375%. From 2014 and 2015 alone, the number grew by 21%. And perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growth is Amazon, whose DIY print business CreateSpace has become far and away the biggest self-publishing platform in the United States.
From Amazon (AMZN) dominates self-publishing in books — Quartz
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How Amazon’s team of old-school book reviewers influences what we read

In a company driven by engineers and run by algorithms and metrics, Amazon’s small group of book editors is an anomaly of sorts. But through the Amazon Book Review and other methods, it’s trying to build Amazon’s presence and influence in the world of literary culture.
From How Amazon’s team of old-school book reviewers influences what we read | The Seattle Times

Chill. It’s Not Books vs. Amazon. You Can Have Both!

According to Wired, books, and bookstores, can coexist with the dominant e-tailer Amazon just fine thank you.

"Print books have persisted, but ebooks are not going away. Amazon is powerful, but physical bookstores are still here. The book is not immune to the powerful digital forces that have re-shaped so much of the rest of the world. At the same time, books have been able to resist the forces of change because books really are different."

Amazon Books to open at UTC mall in La Jolla CA this summer

Amazon will open its second physical bookstore, appropriately named Amazon Books, this summer at Westfield UTC mall, according to new signage posted in front of the e-commerce company’s future brick-and-mortar location.

From Amazon Books to open at UTC mall in La Jolla this summer | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

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What Does It Take To Be A “Bestselling Author”? $3 and 5 Minutes

Gone are the days of having to be selected to put out a book. Gone are the days of having to go to a bookstore to see what is available. Now you can check online, with real time reviews, AND, real time “bestseller” rankings. It’s unsurprising that as the barriers to entry for the book business went down, so did the quality of the books being produced. These days, over one million books are published each year, with at least half of these self-published. So it’s almost obvious that, given the volume, you could game your way to the top of a category with very few sales. And yet, in spite of the fact that it’s as easy as I’ve shown to become an Amazon best-seller, those same people get to cash in on the goodwill and prestige build up in the title “bestselling author.” 

From What Does It Take To Be A “Bestselling Author”? $3 and 5 Minutes. | Observer

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A Review of the Amazon Books Store

In conclusion, I see a couple of strategic advantages in Amazon Books. Such stores offer to Amazon.com, what Apple Stores provide to Apple.com. Namely a showroom where customers can try products such as Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire, Fire TV, and whatever new products they might produce in the future.

From A Review of the Amazon Books Store

Amazon Books should be the future of brick-and-mortar retail chains

But that might be what it takes for these stores to thrive. What happens when Amazon slowly but surely competes more and more with physical locations? The company’s already expanding its grocery business, for instance, and is reducing the amount of time it takes to ship items to customers with multiple services. Amazon Books — if it’s successful — could easily become an Amazon Market. There are other advantages, too. If an item on the shelf is sold out, retail stores could provide incentives for people to pull out their phones and have the item shipped to their home later on. Surely that’s better than just losing the customer.

From Amazon Books should be the future of brick-and-mortar retail chains | Gigaom

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Independent bookstore fan showrooms Amazon Books

So there you have it! We made history today. Allison Stieger became the first person in the world to reverse-showroom Amazon Books, and she bought the world’s first reverse-showroomed book at Queen Anne Book Company. Congratulations, Allison Stieger and Queen Anne Book Company! You’ve showroomed the showroomer

From The Seattle Review of Books - Independent bookstore fan showrooms Amazon Books

My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon's Bizarre New Bookstore

The staff are drawn from within Amazon, from local bookstores, from libraries. Robert Sindelar of Third Place has said that some of his staff were contacted by Amazon recruiters through LinkedIn. Pam Cady, manager of the general books department at University Book Store was contacted as well. Cady received LinkedIn messages and an email. It was very personal in tone, but ended with a simple choice: a button to indicate whether or not she was interested in the offer. “I clicked not interested.”

From My 2.5 Star Trip to Amazon's Bizarre New Bookstore | The New Republic

Amazon Killed the Bookstore. So It's Opening a Bookstore

Amazon Books, as the new store is called, will be like any other Main Street bookstore (remember those?), except that Amazon will use the troves of data it collects from its online customers to stock the shelves. That means its book displays will feature real Amazon book reviews, and the store will showcase books that have amassed the most pre-orders online. The books will also come with Amazon’s trademark low price tags.

From Amazon Killed the Bookstore. So It's Opening a Bookstore | WIRED

How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme

“I feel like exposing this scam might even hurt my own sales,” he said.

Experts are more optimistic: Jane Friedman, a professor of digital publishing at the University of Virginia, describes catfish as an ongoing but “not that significant” threat. (“It increases the noise for everyone, sure,” she wrote by e-mail, “but for any author building a long-term career, it’s not hard to distinguish yourself from low-quality opportunists.”) Amazon, meanwhile, promises that it is weeding out deceptive accounts and their products.

From How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme - The Washington Post

America's Biggest Publisher of Literature In Translation is Amazon

Of course, $10 million over five years for works in translation is not a world-shaking announcement—after all, Simon & Schuster just gave comedian Amy Schumer close to that amount for just one book. And, while AmazonCrossing did announce a few interesting tweaks to its operations (more on those in a moment), it is mostly committing to continuing to do what works, just on a slightly grander scale. Still, though $10 million over five years will not turn AmazonCrossing into a publishing powerhouse, it still has important implications for translators and for readers.

From America's Biggest Publisher of Literature In Translation is Amazon | The New Republic

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Girl, 12, finds porn on Amazon search for teenage books

Nicola, who lives in the south of England, said her daughter was looking for free books to download for a new Kindle which she was to be given as a present.
"I'm trying to protect my teenager in every way possible," she said.
"I'm doing all the things that I ought to do and a company like Amazon is not only allowing her to access it but is actually offering it to her when she's not even looking for it.

From Girl, 12, finds porn on Amazon search for teenage books - BBC News

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E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts

When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Amazon.com Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.

But in the early going, that strategy doesn’t appear to be paying off.

From E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts - WSJ

New 300 ppi version -- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

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How Amazon Tricks You Into Thinking It Always Has the Lowest Prices

The goal of the index is to highlight how a nuanced approach to pricing %u2014 such as Amazon%u2019s %u2014 can be a smarter, more cost-effective option over simply price-matching across the board. This is where Boomerang enters the conversation: The startup wants to help Amazon competitors think about pricing in as sophisticated a way as Amazon does.

http://recode.net/2015/01/13/how-amazon-tricks-you-into-thinking-it-always-has-the-lowest-pr...

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Amazon And Hachette Reach A Deal On E-Book Pricing

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