We've had many discussions in the forum regarding Amazon and the future of print books. There's an excellent, in-depth article in The Nation entitled "The Amazon Effect" that addresses the past, present, and future of book publishing, and the profound impact that Amazon and e-books have had on the industry. I'd be interested in hearing what you think after reading the article.  


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A massive article that contains nothing new.

We do not know what the future brings.  Lest we see our salvation in Amazon's KDP, a warning.  I have just noticed that Amazon plays the same game as the publishers.  They promote heavily only their bestsellers.  It's definitely not a level playing field and never will be.  And nothing guaratees their percentages will stay in place.


On the other hand, I'm a writer who has been hurt badly by publishing policies in place with print publishers, agents, and book stores.  They've all made their money out of my books at my expense.  I'll go with Amazon as long as I can get a fairer price from them than from others.


Though there wasn't a whole lot that was new in the article for those of us who closely follow e-book publishing––outside of some updated figures regarding market shares of print and e-books that I found interesting––I thought the article provided a thorough history of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, and Amazon's impact on the publishing industry. 

Sorry, didn't mean to criticize, Christopher.  Any article about Amazon is always welcome because it gets us talking.  I did think it was long.  These days I have little time.

It was long, and likely could've used a writer's touch to cut unnecessary material. ;)

No problem, I.J. I agree the article was long.

Yeah, I read the whole thing but couldn't find any reason why it was written.


That doesn't really make sense in terms of how amazon operates, I'd have to say.

Anybody can publish there and move onto tops of lists and get promoted.  How level could we want?

Those that sell more get more attention, and more sales.  The way of the world.  VERY different from publishers trying to push the books they invested in most heavily.

There are lots of books by indie authors in the top lists on amazon.  They get there by luck, or having really cool books, or by figuring out the system.   I see lots of discussions on what needs to be done to get "also bought" with hot books or onto Top 20 lists.  Thing is, it could be done by anybody.  It's not a stacked deck, and doesn't exclude anybody from a shot.

One thing I've noticed is that any article in a print magazine or newspaper about current publishing is about 5 years out of date.  Most of this is what the people who ended up publishing me were telling me three years ago, as background.

One comment I heard a while back,  "Anything about digital media in print media is fundamentally bogus."

Oh, this must've been written for the four people who're unaware of Amazon's actions in the book market?

Here's my Amazon effect: I've a crime novel right now at #87 free for all of Amazon. There's exposure right there I could never get otherwise.

I didn't even take the time to read it. No disrespect to you, Christopher. It's just that one of these articles comes out everyday so I bet I can guess what it says.



Unlike the majority of articles that come out daily predicting the demise of bookstores and print media, the article does not take a position for or against Amazon. It's more of a historical perspective about Jeff Bezos––why he believed both print and e-books could be successfully sold on Amazon––and Amazon's impact on the publishing industry.

Yeah, the stuff about Bezos was interesting, he gets lost in the shuffle with Jobs and Zuckerberg and the Google guys, but Amazon really did open up online purchases. I remember when people said they'd never enter their credit card number into a computer.

It was also interestihg how Bezos understood from the beginning that the edge online selling would have would be keeping records of purchases to direct advertising and how books were chosen as a way into the market rather than for any love of books or reading.


Excellent point, John. Gates and Zuckerberg have had a tremendous impact on society, but people often fail to mention Bezos, a true visionary.


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