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Is Amazon Bad For Books?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 11, 2014 - 91 comments

 

Andrew Wylie on publishing

"Not very many people read. Most of them drag their knuckles around and quarrel and make money. We’re selling books. It’s a tiny little business. It doesn’t have to be Walmartized." Superagent Andrew Wylie, who represents Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Elmore Leonard, and Philip Roth, among others, talks about the future of publishing, his on-again-off-again relationship with Amazon, and "effete, educated snobs who read," with the New Republic.
posted by escabeche on Oct 7, 2013 - 30 comments

Amazon MatchBook

Amazon has announced that "MatchBook" will launch in October, allowing you to buy Kindle versions of select physical books you've purchased from Amazon, for $2.99 or less. The service will be retroactive to 1995. Reactions from TechHive, Time, and Engadget.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Sep 4, 2013 - 120 comments

For eccentric book-lovers with beards and cats

"..it is refreshing to see Jason Merkoski, a leader of the team that built Amazon's first Kindle, dispense with the usual techo-utopianism and say, “I think we’ve made a proverbial pact with the devil in digitizing our words.” [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Apr 9, 2013 - 90 comments

Amazon buys Goodreads

The social book site Goodreads has been acquired by Amazon. Many members are upset and uncertain what this means for site which has relied on members to do the work of building and maintaining their database. Amazon already owns Shelfari and has a 40% stake in LibraryThing, two competing sites.
posted by bongo_x on Mar 28, 2013 - 116 comments

Pristine Condition! Super Fast Shipping! Five Stars!

Amazon contemplating the used ebook market. But will they still have used book coffee rings on the pages? [more inside]
posted by weeyin on Feb 7, 2013 - 69 comments

The Best of Times, The Worst of TImes

Released today: the top Google searches of 2012. Also, the top Google searches in the UK. Hungry for more "Best of 2012" collections? Curious about "best of" versus "most popular"? There's much [more inside]
posted by misha on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

I don't want to set the world on fire/I just want to start a flame in your heart

Five years ago today Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com released the Amazon Kindle, a move that would revolutionize the publishing industry. While often controversial, most recently for its international tax avoidance schemes, Amazon has been very successful and has made millions for its founder. What has Bezos done with some of his tax-free millions? Well for one, he launched and landed a rocket vertically, and posted the video to YouTube, just yesterday. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 19, 2012 - 99 comments

Random Harper Penguin

The book publishing world is merging into behemoths in order to better negotiate with Amazon. Rupert Murdoch (HarperCollins) has made an offer to buy Penguin for $1.6 billion. This just hours after Penguin said it was in talks to merge with Random House to create a 'Random Penguin' with nearly 25% of all English-language book sales. Either way the reputation of Penguin could soon be in tatters. As one agent said, "Authors have told me they are frightened by a Random House takeover, but terrified by a HarperCollins one."
posted by stbalbach on Oct 29, 2012 - 77 comments

Brilliant A+++++ would read again

The best book reviews money can buy. (SLNYT)
posted by Zarkonnen on Aug 26, 2012 - 61 comments

Amazon Election Heat Map 2012

Amazon Election Heat Map 2012. Republican landslide in Amazon book vote.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 22, 2012 - 77 comments

An Amazon Nation

The current issue of The Nation turns its focus to Amazon: The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, How Germany Keeps Amazon at Bay and Literary Culture Alive by Michael Naumann, Search Gets Lost by Anthony Grafton, and finally Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com.
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 1, 2012 - 57 comments

Nook finds it's niche

Barnes and Noble is spinning off Nook into a subsidiary business after a $300M deal with Microsoft which gives the Redmond company a 17% stake, bringing an end to a patent dispute between the two companies and sending shares skyrocketing. Commentary from John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell. Meanwhile the Kindle Fire, Amazon's competitor to the Nook tablet, has grabbed over 50% of the Android tablet market.
posted by Artw on May 1, 2012 - 91 comments

Apple and the Big Five

The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
posted by Artw on Apr 11, 2012 - 192 comments

One-stop publishing.

Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers. “Everyone’s afraid of Amazon. ... If you’re a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you’re a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you’re an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out." (Some adventures in self-publishing.) [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Oct 17, 2011 - 68 comments

Borders liquidating remaning stores

Borders is liquidating as soon as this Friday, closing all 399 stores, ending 40 years of business, and 11,000 jobs. Brought down by e-books and Amazon. Scenes From A Borders Liquidation Sale. Map of (soon to be vacant) Borders stores.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 18, 2011 - 311 comments

The Cartoon Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 6, 2011 - 29 comments

Borders bankrupt

Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, announcing it would close about 200 of its 650 or so remaining stores.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 16, 2011 - 212 comments

Follow Me to the Hedge Clippers

Hgiyiyi (hgjhjh, hjhk) by JJJJ and JJJJJ, has been praised by reviewers as "more majestic than Aslan, more intoxicating than Rappaccini's daughter, and more magical than Abcar." But there has been some controversy about the translation, and some critics are angry: "Jjjj can just vdb off." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 15, 2010 - 61 comments

Newly weird

Jeff Vandermeer discusses Amazons top 10 SF/Fantasy books of the year, which he selected in consultation with Amazon editors : Part 1, Part 2.
posted by Artw on Nov 4, 2010 - 28 comments

The price is write

Cory Doctorow gives a talk at Bloomsbury on book pricing in the internet age (47min video)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 2, 2010 - 132 comments

"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." — Kikuyu proverb

The announcement of the iPad earlier this week has prompted a lot of discussion about ebook prices among publishers and their sales partners. That discussion took a major turn yesterday when Amazon pulled the buy buttons for Macmillan's books off their site. Many of Macmillan's titles are still available through Amazon, but only through third parties. Right now, one of the largest publishers in America is no longer available from Amazon because they can not agree on ebook prices. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 30, 2010 - 306 comments

AmazonFAIL

Within the last few hours, a trend on Twitter has emerged in response to Amazon's removing the sales ranking of books they consider to have "adult content," which also keeps those books from appearing in search results. However, while seeming to unilaterally de-list any books with gay themes and characters, many books with adult heterosexual content were left untouched. [more inside]
posted by TochterAusElysium on Apr 12, 2009 - 311 comments

stop crying kindle fanboy

Some are calling it the "Kindle Killer". (Demo launch video at engadget.) Plastic Logic's new e-reader, expected to be out in the first half of 2009, does promise to offer a lot that Kindle and most other other popular e-readers don't, like a larger display, big enough to provide a newspaper or magazine layout; touch-based markup and annotation; the ability to read standard documents and other file types without conversion; (promised) Wi-Fi connectivity (including the ability to transfer documents between readers); and last but not least, a screen display that you can hit with a shoe, and isn't that something we've all been waiting for during these tense times? [more inside]
posted by taz on Sep 13, 2008 - 85 comments

Philip M. Parker writes and publishes over 85,000 books on Amazon

Philip M. Parker[1][2] has written and published over 85,000 books on Amazon in the past few years, although by his own count the total published is over 200,000. He is like a writing machine - in fact, he has created a machine that churns out an original book about every 20 minutes. A few sample titles: [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 8, 2008 - 46 comments

The future of reading?

Amazon's Jeff Bezos wants to change the way we read. Amazon's new e-book reader, Kindle, is not just a device, it's a service. With EVDO wireless connectivity you can download content to your Kindle any time any place. "This is not your grandfather’s e-book," said one publishing executive to the New York Times. "If these guys can’t make it work, I see no hope."
posted by sveskemus on Nov 18, 2007 - 132 comments

Tax in the Age of Amazon

New York State goes after Amazon "affiliates." So if you, as a New Yorker, link to your book on Amazon, you are now an independent contractor and shall be taxed accordingly (PDF). [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Nov 13, 2007 - 32 comments

"best of the worst on the best"

"This book isn't as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!" A review of Orwell's 1984 on Amazon, from a list compiled by Matthew Baldwin at The Morning News with a selection of the funniest one-star reviews of books from Time's list of the 100 best novels.
posted by funambulist on Oct 23, 2005 - 99 comments

Save $5,324.75 when you buy 1,082 books.

The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection. "From Edwin A. Abbott to Emile Zola, the 1,082 titles in the Penguin Classics Complete Library total nearly half a million pages." The weight of the books is approximately 700 pounds. Amazon is offering free shipping! I wonder how big the box would be waiting at my door. (via)
posted by clgregor on Jun 28, 2005 - 32 comments

How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon

How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon [From Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools: he has a knack for asking the best questions]
posted by iffley on Feb 28, 2005 - 14 comments

My Pet Goat: instant classic

"I was stunned by its lyrical beauty and easy cadence. The tempo, the choice of words, and the layout on each page captured my imagination so much that it took me about seven minutes to recover my bearings." Amazon users review My Pet Goat. (via Sadly, No!)
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jul 17, 2004 - 20 comments

berating the classics

"First, look up the most popular and critically-acclaimed books, movies, and music on Amazon. Click on 'Customer Reviews,' and sort them by 'Lowest Rating First'..." The Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game.
posted by reklaw on Jul 2, 2004 - 48 comments

Visual Relationships at Amazon.com

Visual Relationships at Amazon.com - Here's an interesting visual implementation of the Amazon API. It's almost like flipping through books on the shelf. What's next? A 3D bookstore rendered on the Quake engine?
posted by Argyle on Mar 3, 2003 - 2 comments

Authors Guild seeks to stop Amazon from selling used books.

Authors Guild seeks to stop Amazon from selling used books. It's the analog version of RIAA vs. Napster!

"Amazon's practice does damage to the publishing industry, decreasing royalty payments to authors and profits to publishers. In time, as we pointed out to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos when it first began this practice over a year ago, the financial loss to the industry could affect the quality and diversity of literature made available through booksellers. If profits suffer, publishers will cut their investments in new works, and authors facing reduced advances and royalties will have to find other ways to earn income. "

Read Jeff Bezos' email to Amazon Associate Members.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Apr 18, 2002 - 30 comments

Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit!

Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit! Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.) How would you spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 22, 2002 - 27 comments

Beyond Amazon.

Beyond Amazon. The latest Holt Uncensored is a review of online book stores from various regions of the U.S., including Boulder Bookstore, with its "invaluable subsites," YogaSight.com and BuddhaSight.com, Square Books where "You'll feel almost set down in the hot and leafy Courthouse Square of Oxford, Mississippi," Amazon Bookstore Cooperative ("not *that* Amazon [but] the oldest independent feminist bookstore in North America" (in Minneapolis) - and a dozen more. Do you have a favorite that was left out?
posted by ferris on Dec 2, 2001 - 6 comments

Modern Humorist's "Rough Draft: Pop Culture the Way it Almost Was" is finally available.

Modern Humorist's "Rough Draft: Pop Culture the Way it Almost Was" is finally available. A few samples are here. And while I like the Modern Humorist and enjoyed their first book I'm partial to The Onion's "Our Dumb Century" as the funniest.book.ever. As I brace for the sarcastic responses, what do you think is the funniest book ever written?
posted by Sinner on Oct 22, 2001 - 60 comments

Amazon's new Look Inside feature

Amazon's new Look Inside feature allows you to see images of selected pages and excerpts from books. Now if only they could get that latte to flow through the cat-5...
posted by dchase on Oct 10, 2001 - 11 comments

Dark is Rising (Amazon link) by Susan Cooper.

Dark is Rising (Amazon link) by Susan Cooper. This book, about an 11 year old boy, was given to me by my oldest sister when I turned 11. Now that I have kids of my own, I look forward to passing this book on to my son when he turns 11. Any other age-appropriate books that stand out in your mind, particularly if given when you were the age of the lead character?
posted by jmackin on Oct 8, 2001 - 104 comments

Read what Newt does.

Read what Newt does. Or not. Newt Gingrich offers his book reviews on Amazon. Who knows, maybe he is saving up his associates fees for a barbecue grill.
posted by machaus on Aug 29, 2001 - 2 comments

Five five-star reviews on Amazon

Five five-star reviews on Amazon for G. Bruce Knecht’s The Proving Ground, about the tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race. Of coarse it helps if you're a personal friend of Jeff Bezos. Does anyone seriously believe Jeff Bezos's review was honestly rated "18 out of 18 - helpful" by customers?
posted by swipe66 on Jun 20, 2001 - 19 comments

Borders outsources online sales to Amazon.com

Borders outsources online sales to Amazon.com The alliance, scheduled to be announced at a press conference in New York, is expected to involve Amazon effectively taking over the online operations of Borders, according to people familiar with the matter. Borders is expected to effectively exit from the online book-selling business, these people said. Further terms of the alliance couldn’t be learned, though Amazon is expected to receive promotion from Borders through its chain of off-line book stores.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Apr 10, 2001 - 30 comments

A new JD Salinger Book!

A new JD Salinger Book! Just caught this on Amazon the other day. I haven't really heard anything about it, but it's worth a pre-order at the least. Here's some other information I've found. Along with the supposed introduction to the book...

I will write for us both, I believe, as Buddy is engaged elsewhere for an indefinite period of time. Surely sixty to eighty per cent of the time, to my eternal amusement and sorrow, that magnificent, elusive, comical lad is engaged elsewhere! As you must know in your hearts and bowels, we miss you all like sheer hell. Unfortunately, I am far from above hoping the case is vice versa.
posted by igloo on Mar 6, 2001 - 6 comments


Amazon as used book store?

Amazon as used book store? When did this happen -- you can sell your books (or other items), through amazon. Has anyone tried this? Where do the things show up?
posted by bison on Nov 3, 2000 - 5 comments

Give It Away?

Give It Away? Seth Godin's book Idea Virus is available for free on his website, but the book is ranked #973 on the Amazon.com best-seller list (which means more than a few people are buying it anyway). Interesting...
posted by owillis on Oct 8, 2000 - 9 comments

Barnes And Noble steps up for sloppy seconds.

Barnes And Noble steps up for sloppy seconds. After Amazon elected not to renew their agreement with Yahoo, Barnes and Noble replaced the online bookseller as Yahoo's premier advertiser for books. It is uncertain as to whether or not Yahoo and BN have had the grueling discussion regarding the number of partners they've each shared in the past, but it looks like an optimistic relationship regardless.
posted by Hankins on Sep 20, 2000 - 4 comments

I've liked most of the things Douglas Coupland has written and although this interview at amazon about his upcoming book sounds like he's giving most of the book's plot away, I'll still pick up a copy. I wish amazon would put warnings up saying 'spoilers ahead' on links such as that interview.
posted by mathowie on Dec 19, 1999 - 1 comment

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