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EllaMc

"So it goes."

Ella Mc's book blog. Brand new 2018 - Only books read after 1st January 2018

Currently reading

The Witches of Eastwick
John Updike
Progress: 100/307 pages

The Real Cost of Amazon - food for thought

Everyone who knows me knows how much I hate Amazon, yet I find myself still sometimes purchasing from them because I'm not independently wealthy and sometimes I cannot get my hands on the book without using them. Recently I learned that my local used bookshop was using Amazon Marketplace to fill orders I'd purposely placed through them to cut Amazon out of the picture. (This clearly didn't work.) 

 

After reading this post: http://moonlightreader.booklikes.com/post/1772259/a-rant from The Quilty Reader (AKA Moonlight Reader), I happened to literally trip over the following reports, which are well worth a read.

 

This is the best writing I've seen on Amazon -- ie, it's not just your experience in book stores that's being screwed up.

“Amazon has massively—and I’m trying not to use this particular word, but I can’t not use it here—disrupted the business model in publishing,” she told me. “Publishers used to be able to take risks with heavier books that might not be as popular, and they used to be able to subsidize them with best sellers.” But Amazon’s demand for discounts has made it harder to cross-subsidize this way, leading to consolidation among book publishers and reduced diversity.

 

 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/07/lina-khan-antitrust/561743/

 

 

We've seen how they affect book sales and best seller lists (remember when they decided to take on publishers and started a little war w/ Hachette? People like Stephen Colbert probably came out fine in the long run, because he had a nightly TV SHOW to moan about it, but what about every new author and book that wasn't seen because Amazon wanted to force Hachette to sell KINDLE ebooks only at a certain, much-reduced price (forcing most traffic to Amazon, rather than anywhere else.) I never actually thought about all the other types of businesses they're also affecting.

 

https://www.indiebound.org/spotlightamazon -- The True Cost of Amazon Revealed

I'm lucky. I live in a state where Amazon has paid their local and state taxes, where they have a distribution center (so they actually create some jobs here, but we still have a net loss of over 7000 jobs in this last, but not overly recent, report.) In other words, I've not been hurt as much as many people by Amazon, and most of us have no idea how much we're both being pointed to Amazon (where they fix prices to beat everyone, including the publisher themselves) and pointed to certain products by Amazon. They're taking over more than just books, and nobody seems able to actually fight them.

 

http://www.civiceconomics.com/empty-storefronts.html -- Amazon and Empty Storefronts

 

And they aren't just harming your local booksellers, they're taking away tax money even from places they pay taxes, as well as killing off all sorts of other things like paint sales, hardware, etc (here's a .PDF from the North American Retail Hardware Assn that shows the most basic of things are affectted by Amazon's takeover of...everything. https://www.independentwestand.org/wp-content/uploads/Home-Sweet-Home-Amazon_.pdf )

 

 

Food for thought.