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May 20, 2009



Booksellers complaining about Amazon putting them out of business are like buggywhip manufacturers whining about Henry Ford. Provide a service or a product that the consumer values and will pay for and you will succeed -- don't and you will fail. It's easier to blame a big, bad villain for one's failures, but it accomplishes nothing. That is the road to obsolesence. Innovate, be smarter, work harder; these are the tools to succeed. Nobody wants to admit it, but the resposibility for the failure of the independent bookseller belongs to the same. Amazon is not the culprit; merely a convenient scapegoat. (I wonder if any of these booksellers lament the failure of a former big, bad villain Borders. I think not. Business is not an enterprise for those who lack vision and balls of steel.)


Bullshit. Independent booksellers complaining about Amazon putting them out of business are like LA residents complaining that the auto industry conspired to destroy their public transit system.

You can order books online from independent booksellers. They often offer great discounts and free shipping. They aren't big. They are local. And they know their customers and their product.

The choices we make matter. I don't buy from Amazon because I get just as good a deal and better service from independent booksellers who are smarter, work harder, and innovate.

I also don't shop at Wal-Mart, and I hope like hell their vision isn't our global future.

David Worsley

Come on George, independents work plenty hard.
Those who are left have innovated plenty and pay local and provincial taxes to boot.
Amazon merely goes to court.
Barbara is right, the choices we make matter. Near monopolies aren't good for anything, sure as hell not for books.

PK the Bookeemonster

Ridiculous. I don't HAVE an independent store I can go to. Amazon provides a service accessible to me. They struggled for a long time (remember?) and found a way to be successful. Sounds like sour grapes. Limiting yourself is not a way to grow a business.


I wish I could buy all my books at my local independent - I'm lucky to still have one. But I also have to pay my mortgage and eat. I try to buy used books from Powell's Bookstore online instead of Amazon, but that doesn't help Sandmeyers (my local store). And I often pick up books from a really great used bookstore in Wicker Park - Myopic Books. One issue with small, independent store: you can't often find all the books in a series. I read a lot of mysteries, and if I want to start at Book #1, they usually don't have it. They have Book #11 and only in hardcover. I know I could order it, but buying a paperback mystery is often an impulse decision. And having to wait for the book is frustrating. I'm not saying it's right - but that's the way people feel.


As an author and bookseller I recognized the value in making my books accessible to Kindle customers right off. One has to get with the times in order to sell books. That's why selling one's own books in whatever format is viable is the only way to go. I sell print books, too, but from my own site; and this allows me to control which books are available and which are not. Amazon is so big that it can't control everything.


I think you all may be missing the point that bloggers who provide their content freely on the Web have lots to lose by selling their content through Kindle and little to gain.

My first comment was prompted by the first response, which also was not about Kindle's tos for bloggers.

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