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June 10, 2014

"Amazon Is NOT the Vladimir Putin of the Publishing World"

Darn right. Amazon has never disappointed me. They underpromise and overdeliver.

Unlike Putin annexing Crimea or the Mafia muscling in on, say, the bar and restaurant business, Amazon didn’t get that big by threatening violence or “scorched earth” (as one critic puts it). It got that way by relentlessly improving and diversifying its product offerings, customer service, and ability to sniff out what you might be interested in buying or accessing (the company’s uncanny success at this has freaked the shit out of its competitors since the company’s earliest days). Like every other legitimate business that must woo customers on a daily basis, it will wither and die the minute it stops giving us what we want at a price we’re willing to pay (does anyone still remember A&P supermarkets, which controlled its market like Walmart on steroids?)


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amazon has disappointed me. I cancelled my prime membership for nearly a year because they consistently took 4-5 days to ship products that were supposedly two day guaranteed. Since I was a prime member, there was no shipping costs to reimburse, since they are bundled in the prime membership cost.

Also, Silk is by far the WORST browser I have ever used. It routinely fails, locking up my Kindle Fire for upwards of a minute at time. This was happening 4 to 5 times a day when I regularly used the Kindle Fire to surf the net. I hardly ever use it for that anymore. The Kindle Fire is now just an over priced e-reader.

And lastly, they use so much DRM that you are forced to use their Kindle software to read any e-books you buy from them. The more I read e-books, the less I like the Kindle (I use Calibre a lot and plain old PDF works fine) and the more creepy amazon becomes.


Okay. I've had little but good from Amazon. Of course, I am apparently one of the few who had a good experience with Comcast, so there you are.

Anyway, the publishers are fighting a rear guard action. If it's not Amazon it will be someone else. I'm watching the mad scramble by textbook publishers to justify their prices by 'giving' me 'extras' that I don't want instead of giving me only what I do want at a lower price. If it weren't so hard on my students I'd be LMFAO.

Also, the website software that the publishers claim will 'enhance' my teaching tends to be buggy and change as erratically as Facebook and is frequently so frustrating as to be not worth using.

I love books and will continue to buy them, but probably not from major publishers so long as they insist on trying to keep their animated corpse of a business model alive.


Unless, of course, you live outside the US where Amazon's shipping costs are usually higher than the cost of the books which is why we buy physical through Fishpond and only use Amazon for e-books.

Jack PQ

The error is in thinking only about the producers' welfare. Amazon may hurt some producers, but consumers benefit, and I'm sure that overall society benefits from having Amazon and its tough business practices.

That said, Amazon should be careful not to step over the line and incur the wrath of the antitrust police. That'd be a shame.

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