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Old 04-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #1
mr ploppy
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Amazon destroys the book industry again

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ther_multiline
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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The founder of Waterstones doesn't like Amazon and wrote a scathing editorial. This isn't news.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #3
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"Oh, fools, us."
"Oh, fools, us."

So what else is new? Is it "ruthless" to provide superior service at the lowest price, and keep your eyes open for new methods, for tax loopholes?

I see it time and again. "Daddy was here first. Why can't I just now enjoy it without having to bother to think? It should be mine forever."

America should ask the Indians how that worked out. The Brits should ask the Irish, the Scots, the Anglos, the Saxons and the Picts, etc.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Good grief.

Mr Waterstone used the F word.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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You mean Facebook?
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
SteveEisenberg
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Originally Posted by frahse View Post
Is it "ruthless" to provide superior service at the lowest price, and keep your eyes open for new methods, for tax loopholes?
To me? Yes.

But, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that I care not a fig about the contractor employees who work in Amazon warehouses. It still is ruthless when lowest cost means a temporary effort to put traditional booksellers out of business, so prices can be jacked way up later. And I think that's why Amazon used to, before agency pricing, sell popular books at a loss.

Now, personally, I think it is also ruthless when a massive part of your business is distribution out of warehouses, and you get your warehouse staff from contract firms rather than making them permanent employees. Maybe Waterstone didn't mention this because you can't do that in Britain. Or maybe you can do it in Britain, and he does it too! That I don't know.

Is US sales tax avoidance ruthless? That I don't see. I'll give you that.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 04-06-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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No one is questioning the strict legality of Amazon's UK tax structures, but many of us are questioning the spirit and ethos of the company that is again exhibited thereby. It is grotesquely unfair. The rest of us pay our taxes...
As an American, I consider it my God given DUTY to give as little as possible to the government. So my sympathies lie with Amazon on this note.

Quote:
New authors, building their customer base, need physical bookshops. Physical bookshops are lovely, tactile, friendly, expert, welcoming places. Physical books, which can only be seen and handled in physical bookshops, are lovely, tactile things. Destroy those bookshops – and Amazon is acting to achieve just that – and the very commercial and cultural base to the book industry is destroyed
What a complete load of codswallop! For my counter example, simply check out Michael Sullivan, author of the Riyria Revelations. Started slow as ebook only. Wrote a great series, word of mouth, and boom, it took off.

And the whole tone of the article has not one single positive thing that the publishing industry COULD DO to make things better for themselves. There is not a single bit of taking responsibility, it is all Amazons fault.

It is posts like that that get my dander up and make me want the publishers to FAIL, even though I don't really....
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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As an American, I consider it my God given DUTY to give as little as possible to the government. So my sympathies lie with Amazon on this note.
Haha. Amen to that one.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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And the whole tone of the article has not one single positive thing that the publishing industry COULD DO to make things better for themselves.
Although phrased as something they should have done in the past, he does say what they could do. Charge Amazon a lot more for a book than is charged Waterstone's.

I don't buy many books, paper or otherwise, but I just did buy one -- and started reading it today on transit. For an hour or so, I was giving the U.S. Naval Institute Press free advertising by displaying their large format paperback book cover to dozens of people. So it would be fair to charge me a lot less for paper than for an eBook.

Someone will say that, fair or unfair, it would be dumb for publishers to try to prevent the inevitable death of high street* bookshops by undercharging them. Trying to save Waterstone's will just drive the public to go indie. As a practical matter, and for fiction only, that may be true. But I do think Waterstone presented a practical proposal that could save employees' jobs for a number of years.

___________________
* Lingo due to having come back from Britain just last week
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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I don't really care if the big bookstores go under, to be honest. Let's get a thriving small bookstore market back. Especially now that they could theoretically order for you what they don't have.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #11
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Boo-hoo; Amazon doesn't care for the welfare of its competitors!
Bad Amazon!
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:48 PM   #12
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In related news, the head of the U.S. Postal Service has written an article about the effects of email on traditional postal delivery. This ruthless use of email is costing the government billions in lost revenue, and costing millions of postal workers their jobs. It is immoral an unethical to use email. If this trend continues among the public then we may lose traditional mailmen on their rounds, as well as mailboxes, and community post offices. A piece of Americana could become a thing of the past.

Something needs to be done about the ruthless use of technological advancements like email and Amazon's ebooks. The U.S. post office stands side by side with Waterstones.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:57 PM   #13
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The U.S. post office stands side by side with Waterstones.
...and buggy whips.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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Although phrased as something they should have done in the past, he does say what they could do. Charge Amazon a lot more for a book than is charged Waterstone's.

I don't buy many books, paper or otherwise, but I just did buy one -- and started reading it today on transit. For an hour or so, I was giving the U.S. Naval Institute Press free advertising by displaying their large format paperback book cover to dozens of people. So it would be fair to charge me a lot less for paper than for an eBook.

Someone will say that, fair or unfair, it would be dumb for publishers to try to prevent the inevitable death of high street* bookshops by undercharging them. Trying to save Waterstone's will just drive the public to go indie. As a practical matter, and for fiction only, that may be true. But I do think Waterstone presented a practical proposal that could save employees' jobs for a number of years.

___________________
* Lingo due to having come back from Britain just last week

You need to look at the nonfiction ebooks that are increasingly entering the ebook market?

In no way is the fiction market the only part of publishing that is being superceded. Yes it has taken longer, but reference books are tracking parallel to fiction.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:37 PM   #15
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...and buggy whips.
And slide rules.
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