For the moment, let’s stop using Amazon

For the moment, let?s stop using Amazon

When Amazon started to suppress Hachette, publicly because they wouldn?t agree to lower prices to $9.99 for most books, and also perhaps coincidently because Hachette published the critical ?Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon?, they stepped over the line. The New York Times publishes stories about it own financial woes, plagiarizing scandals, misleading and incorrect stories, and Amazon should be a big boy and do the same.

Even though Amazon sells more than 40% of all books in the US, books (in all forms) account for only 7% of its revenue. Now that ebooks account for 30% of all books sold they control 2/3 of that market. Amazon can afford to be less avaricious, but can equally afford to make no money on books and crush every single other competitor. There are 50% fewer independent bookstores than 20 years ago, and while big chains started that decline, Amazon is poised to finish it.

I am admittedly late to this party. Anti-Amazon hue and cry has been going on for a long time while I continued to read every book I could on my Kindle. Amazon represented affordable and equal access to nearly everything, including self-published books that would never have an audience if not for Amazon. I could live with the marginalization of paper books, and I could live with some pressure on publishers, I regretted the loss of indepdent bookstores, but I can?t live with controlled access to ideas.

I put my Kindle down when this latest dispute happened and I?m having a hard time picking it back up. I suggest we stop using Amazon until their (better) intentions are clear.

And thanks for passing this on to anyone you think might agree.