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The dispute between Amazon and publisher Hachette has dominated book talk on and off the Web this past month, as indicated in this biased anti-Amazon piece in the New York Times.

The gist of the dispute is that Amazon wants a better deal from big publishers, in terms of how much of a cut Amazon gets from its online retail sales of books.   The big publishers are resisting.  Amazon retaliated by making it more difficult for one of the big publishers, Hachette, to sell its books on Amazon.   Searches for Hachette books on Amazon result in advisories that best-selling books, which normally ship immediately, can be subject to a several week wait.   Among such best selling authors are J. K. Rowling and James Patterson.

Let me first say that I can well understand the frustration of would-be buyers and readers of Hachette titles.   No one likes delays, especially those that arise from a contract negotiation.  But I nonetheless side completely with Amazon on this one, and I say this an author published by major world-wide publishers as well as small presses, the latter of which has given me direct knowledge of how Amazon treats authors.

And that treatment by Amazon of me has been good - indeed, about as good as it can get.   I receive nearly instant reports of sales of my Kindle books, crystal clear earning statements, and monthly payments of my earnings that have been accurate to the penny.   I can't say the same about my experience as an author with traditional publishers, who are accustomed to paying once a year, twice if you're lucky, and whose royalty statements would give an accountant a headache, and certainly often give me one.   And the royalty statements are not always accurate.   I believe I have eventually received every cent that was due to me from my traditional publishers, but I don't appreciate the errors in the first place and the effort it took to correct them.

Maybe best-selling authors get better treatment from their publishers than a midlist author like me - I couldn't say.  But I do know that traditional publishers come from a tradition in which they think the author should be thrilled that her or his book is being published, and be happy for the fractional part of the sales received as a royalty.   In other words, the better deal that Hachette is trying to get from Amazon will likely not make much difference to most authors with traditional publishers.

Amazon has revolutionized the book world with its Kindle editions and the new relationships made with authors.   Understandably, the old guard may be less than comfortable with this.  But I'm convinced that the Amazon way is the road to the future, and I'm happy to be on it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  so, you're comfortable with a monopoly (9+ / 0-)

    controlling the publishing industry?
    Seems like this is the opening shot of where we're headed.  

    •  far from a monopoly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, high uintas

      iTunes, Google, B&N, Kobo, and lots of other big players sell ebooks

      "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

      by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:51:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but amazon control kindle n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falconer520, NYFM

        "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

        by statsone on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:56:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the Kindle is compatible with many file types (4+ / 0-)

          It depends a bit on the exact model, of course, but my old Kindle Keyboard can handle AZW (of course, that's Amazon's format), CBZ (comic book archive), DOC, HTML, MOBI (without DRM), PDF, TR3, and TXT. The lack of EPUB is well known and there are easy conversion programs to get EPUB into something the Kindle can handle.

          I am not required to shop at Amazon for ebooks. I can get them from individual publisher websites (Baen, for example.) I can get files for free from Gutenberg or through my library. I can buy them from other retailers as long as I can get a copy in one of those formats listed above.

      •  Amzn selling books at a loss is not a... (7+ / 0-)

        favor to the consumer, it is a strategic move to push the publishing houses out of business. So Amzn can increase it's sphere of influence and market share.

        You people that dance in joy over the low price today are incredibly short sighted. Amzn is destroying the literary culture of this country.

        A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

        by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 01:19:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't go that far (4+ / 0-)

          Amazon is the Wal-Mart of online sales. They come in with their big brawny "store", outsell everyone because they do such high volume and are willing to sell at a loss in order to gain a market, and drive out the local stores. All this while paying their warehouse workers chump change and not paying any taxes on the sales, hurting local governments.

          To say they're destroying literary culture though is a bit much. The same Internet that Amazon uses to take over so many sales markets is the one that has literary clubs, allows for close author interactions with fans, and has put some life back into serial publication.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 01:44:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, high uintas

            "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

            by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 02:03:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Wth? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Arilca Mockingbird
            To say they're destroying literary culture though is a bit much. The same Internet that Amazon uses to take over so many sales markets is the one that has literary clubs, allows for close author interactions with fans, and has put some life back into serial publication.
            Are you equating Amzn with the Internet? They really are separate... The advantages you list have nothing to do with Amzn... In-fact they predate the Web, are you old enough to remember newsgroups :)

            I wholeheartedly agree the internet has been a boon for literary culture.

            Amzn has turned the book into a commodity; something no longer valued for its content, but the price it sells for.

            A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

            by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 02:25:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Then let's say that... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            codairem, Phoenix Rising, orestes1963

            ...like the big box stores before that Amazon is doing its best to destroy independent bookstores.

            Will Amazon's heavy-handed treatment of publishers and domination of the market increase the income and treatment of authors?

            What about when Amazon demands the same deal from small independent publishers?  Publishers who work on a much smaller margin of profit (left leaning publishers like say, Nation Books, Haymarket Books, AK Press, etc.).

            What about if Amazon decides that they want more of a say over the editorial direction of publishers?

            Will it be a good thing for the readers when there's only one publisher (hello Random House/Penguin) and one online store essentially controlling the market?

            I don't stand with Amazon on this.

            Full disclosure:  I work in publishing, specifically with small independent publishers.  

            Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

            by Arilca Mockingbird on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:45:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's still the Internet (0+ / 0-)

              If Amazon screws writers and publishers too badly, the Internet is much more friendly for a disruptive replacement.

              I'm a dead tree kind of reader - I like the feel of a book in hand - but I've decided that I could have my book collection on my Nook and be happy with it, provided I have a guaranteed way to keep my book collection under my own control in a way that's future-proof (like a non-DRM'd ePub). I figure that if I can be a convert, then all but the most die-hard bindery loving addict could make the switch.

              And that means that anyone - including, say, an association of independent publishers - could open an e-book store with features like artist interviews, reader reviews, serial publication, and cross-platform content, and tell Amazon to go take a hike if it came down to it.

              So no, I don't see Amazon as an insurmountable threat. Just a large unruly beast in the room that is causing some trouble.

              Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

              by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:28:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's the rub (0+ / 0-)

                There are no guarantees that you will have permanent access to ebooks once you purchase them.  The technology changes often enough that once your ereader 1.0 becomes obsolete, it is quite possible your access to your books will go the same route.  If the movie/DVD market is any guide, the industry will include a planned obsolescence.  Remember we went from Beta to VHS to DVD to blue ray to 3D.  Some of my old DVDs do not screen as vibrantly in the newer DVD players.  I don't think that is an accident.  

                Furthermore, a start-up online book publisher/seller would have to develop or license the technology to generate ebooks.  This can be costly (it certainly has been for B&N).  If one relies upon licensing, one has to hope the developer of the technology is willing to actually license it to you.  The big players, like amazon, make a habit of buying up small companies to obtain control of their IP and have no incentive to license to competitors.  (Microsoft engaged in similar conduct with regard to ISPs on its operating system until the EC competition authorities demanded it open its platform to others.)  Amazon has a long history of buying up as many well-designed online booksellers as it can in order to either utilize the superior technology or take it off the market.  There is a possibility that an open source alternative may arise (or has been developed; I'm a couple of years behind regarding this technology), but without that, the hurdle is fairly high.  

      •  You are being disingenuous ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arilca Mockingbird

        to equate the market shares of iTunes, Google, B&N and Kobo to that of Amzn...

        A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

        by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 02:46:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  did I say all are equal? (0+ / 0-)

          but surely you don't think iTunes and Google are minor players

          "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

          by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 02:59:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            orestes1963, Arilca Mockingbird
            but surely you don't think iTunes and Google are minor players
            In the e-book marketplace, I do. I doubt iTunes and Google combined have the same market share as Amzn.

            But my opinion is irrelevant, being an engineer I prefer data. Since we started this exchange I have been looking for market share stats, with no luck.

            If you have numbers to share, I'm willing to be educated.

            A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

            by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:14:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the numbers are easy enough to find (0+ / 0-)

              Apple (iTunes) said it had 20% of the US ebook market in 2013; Amazon in the same article was reported to have 50-60%.  

              Amazon obviously dominates the market - but Apple is clearly not a minor player.

              "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

              by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:29:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Arilca Mockingbird

                I'm not sure this article is the best source, but if we use it:

                Amzn        50-60% (That is a hell of a range...)
                B&N          25%
                iBookstore 20%
                Google      1-2%
                Kobo         1-2%

                So using your source data; Amzn still has more market share than all the other suppliers combined...

                A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

                by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:41:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  right (0+ / 0-)

                  and clearly not a monoply

                  "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

                  by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:25:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But willing to use their muscle to improve their (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Arilca Mockingbird

                    numbers.

                    Call them an imminent monopoly.

                  •  How much market share will Amazon need... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...before you'd be willing to call them a monopoly?

                    Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

                    by Arilca Mockingbird on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:47:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  words have meaning (0+ / 0-)

                      Monopoly means sole player (mono = one), so I would say anything less than 100% would, strictly speaking, not be a monopoly.

                      In any case, with a player like Apple having 20+ % of the market, Amazon is not even vaguely approaching monopoly status.

                      Incidentally, there was a time when everyone was concerned that Microsoft was in danger of having a monopoly on computer operating systems.  That was just before the resurgence of Apple.

                      "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

                      by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:44:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's a semantic point (0+ / 0-)

                        A dominant player (the term typically used in antitrust law), like Amazon, can exercise monopolistic power without being an actual monopoly.  Your claim that apple's 20% share deprives amazon of monopolistic power is simply naive.  By your reasoning, the antitrust authorities that went after Microsoft were foolish because "well, there's apple!"  The leading antitrust authorities in the world (most notably, the EU) rightly rejected that notion and imposed undertakings on microsoft to limit its market dominance.    

                        It's not enough to point out that there are other players in the market if those players are incapable of acting as a constraint on the dominant player's market power.  Walmart is the easy example of this phenomenon.  Walmart, dues to its scale, is able to extract significant concessions from its suppliers.  those concessions permit Walmart to keep prices lower than its competitors, which in turn increases its market share, which increases its buyer power, etc.

                      •  Re Microsoft (0+ / 0-)

                        It was not constrained by the resurgence of apple.  There were a number of antitrust actions that compelled microsoft to change its practices because it was exercising monopoly power.  

                        Here's a precis of Microsoft's problems with the EC competition bureau:  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                        •  your citation (0+ / 0-)

                          is to what happened in Europe.   Here in the US, it was precisely the rise of Apple that eclipsed Microsoft (the attempts to pass anti-trust restrictions on Microsoft had little effect).

                          "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

                          by PaulLev on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:24:29 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What do you have to support your claim re Apple? (0+ / 0-)

                            I cited the EC matter because it was more recent and went on for years, with sanctions and appeals.  The EC's decision affected MS systems in the US as well.

                            But, more to the point, there was an US antitrust action as well.  See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/....  I have worked in international antitrust law for the past 15 years and do not understand your claim.  I'd appreciate hearing your reasoning on this.  Thanks.

              •  And no Paul the numbers are not easy to find... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                codairem

                Since none of these players publish their sales numbers. It's all hints, leaks, rumors, and PR propaganda...

                But I'm beginning to think facts are not a concern for you...

                A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

                by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:04:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  What about tangible books? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arilca Mockingbird, askyron

        The book market continues to shrink thanks to the likes of B&N (a company I loved when it was small and a discounter) and Amazon.  Local book stores have almost disappeared.  Used book stores are often not profitable given rents in many cities.  Do these issues factor into your analysis?

    •  Future monopoly vs. current real oligopoly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      The few big players in the publishing industry have colluded on prices, author payments, etc. for decades now, to the detriment of both readers and authors.

      I'll take the threat of a potential future monopoly over the present-day reality of an oligopoly any day.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:24:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It will be awesome when Amzn is the only (7+ / 0-)

    place to Publish, Buy, Sell books!

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:43:46 PM PDT

  •  What do you want from future publications? (8+ / 0-)

    If in the future you go through a publishing house again, do you want lower advances and royalties because of the pressure Amazon is applying to the publishers?

    That's what Amazon wants: the ability to deeply discount books to outcompete the brick-and-mortar stores and smaller online stores. And that money is surely not going to come out of your publisher's bottom line - it will come from yours.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:44:23 PM PDT

  •  amazon doesn't make money (7+ / 0-)

    destroying the retail side of bookselling has been the real tragedy.

    For all its power and sales volume, amazon.com llc still doesn't make money as a company.

    The closing of retail stores has been a very sad experience.  It was nice to be able to go the local bookstore - many of them - and look at books and even meet authors. Image how many more jobs there would be if these stores still were open.

    Now just get a book in a box and no other choice.

    You talk about being paid frequently and getting reports.  This has nothing to do with the current dispute.  It has to do with a new company being modernized.  amazon pays more slowly on sales  of other items and is very restrictive in some ways - as a Canadian, I can't sell on the .com site.

    amazon is close to becoming a monopoly and you seem to be thrilled by it.  Would you have the same view if you were dealing with a cable company and selling your short film? If you had music and apple was the only way to sell your music?

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 01:03:36 PM PDT

    •  I'm pretty sure the retailers destroyed themselves (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, BlueOak, high uintas

      In my experience, the little stores that were knocked out of business were done so by large chain stores. The little stores that still survive today have done so while various chains have failed entirely. What Amazon has is deep availability. If it's in-print the customer can get it. If it's out-of-print the customer can still often get it from a used seller, many of which are small businesses themselves.

      There was any number of times I'd go to a physical store, whether a chain like Borders or a local one, and be told "We don't have that in stock but we can order it for you and have it here next week." Yes, but I can go home and do that myself without having to drive several miles back to the mall or store when it finally does come in. Even if I pay shipping the time and gas evens out. I don't think I ever took a retailer up on that offer. If all a store has is the latest bestsellers and a thin selection of other genres I'm not very likely to go there. There are times I insist on looking at a book before purchasing--a travel guide, for instance--and then I do my best to purchase one at a local store if possible.

      But hey, if I ever want to browse a whole section of Teen Paranormal Romance I'll make sure to drive to the mall and hit the nearest Barnes & Noble.

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of people don't factor in all of the small companies who are exposed to new customers by Amazon.

        Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

        by high uintas on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:27:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the same argument for Walmart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arilca Mockingbird

        Sometimes we have to make choices if we want to have choices.  I never shop at Walmart for this reason.  I admit I do use amazon, but try to find my books in local stores first, which usually is not a problem.  

    •  where do you see that I'm "thrilled"? (4+ / 0-)

      My post makes the point that Amazon treats midlist authors far better than traditional publishers (who, while we're at it, have no policy at all for most authors, who are disdained by traditional publishers).

      And as I've said a bunch of times already, the Amazon monopoly is a myth - tell that to Apple and Google.

      "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

      by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 02:01:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How exactly does the presence of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arilca Mockingbird

        apple and google constrain amazon's monopolistic tendencies?  Their existence is not argument enough.  Do you anticipate a market in which a publisher's materials are only available through one source?  How does a publisher combat amazon's market power?  References to the lack of success suppliers to walmart have had should be informative.

        •  the meaning of Amazon's "select" (0+ / 0-)

          Amazon has a standing offer to authors and publishers to sell works exclusively through Amazon - they call this Amazon "select," and it comes with certain benefits.  But I don't know any midlist authors, with a history of traditional publishing, who have taken this offer.   I think authors would strongly resist an Amazon monopoly - we value having our books available in as many places as possible.   My ebooks, for example, are available on iTunes, B&N, Kobo, etc., in addition to Amazon.

          "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

          by PaulLev on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:51:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I may not have been clear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            falconer520

            You cited the presence of other e-retailers as evidence that there are constraints upon amazon's market power.  I am interested to know what those constraints are and/or how you anticipate them being successful.  As I am sure you are aware, one does not need to have a strict monopoly in order to exercise monopoly power.  Market share, size, and synergies are all factors in exercising monopoly power.

  •  As an author myself, I'm (3+ / 0-)

    not pleased. My understanding is if Amazon wins, the small royalties I currently receive for my books, will get even lower.

    I know Amazon now owns audible, and they just lowered my royalties there.

    I think more competition is better for the authors and hate to see what is happening. Amazon is a gorilla that is eating up all competition. That's never a good thing.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:22:48 PM PDT

  •  as an author, I also like Amazon, but (3+ / 0-)

    I don't think they should choke down access to a particular publisher's books any more than the cable companies should choke down access to a particular website or service to bend that company to it's demands.

    working for a world that works for everyone ...

    by USHomeopath on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:28:29 PM PDT

  •  amazon is the everything store (3+ / 0-)

    books were just the way to gather a customer base.

    The danger as I see it is that there is going to be nothing much for publishers to do except print whatever amazon tells them and sell it for whatever amazon wants. Their marketing and reviewing will continue to lose value as customers prefer to depend on crowd-sourced reviews and marketing doesn't matter when the main outlet for purchase is one and only one place.

    As a reader, blech. As a consumer, I'm a fan of convenience, too, but if the day comes that my local bookstore has to go out of business, I'm going to be crushed.

    As a writer, well . . . the old publishing houses just drove me bananas, with their high bars for entry and the complete crapshoot of finding a way in. It's absolutely NOT the case that good writing would get you published, and I have a stack of glowing editors' rejection to prove it. They "couldn't take a chance," etc.

    So, amazon has made it easy to use the print on demand venues, and I've done quite well and been glad to see my work in print -- which would NOT have happened without them.

    BUT . . . they're not book people at amazon. They want your email address and your credit card, because they plan to sell you lots and lots of stuff besides books.

    And they're destroying something that did have value without anything much to replace it. (When recommendations can be so easily manipulated and good reviews can be bought by the dozens, what becomes of actual quality?) If publishers can't make margins on what amazon allows them to sell for, what then? Will we all just do POD, or e-books?

    I just feel that we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and it kinda grinds me that amazon is inserting itself with its hand out between a publisher and a reader AND setting the terms for the transaction.

    They're the paperboy -- the delivery system that saves time and effort for the consumer. How do they get to set prices on the paper?

  •  It seems to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DLWinMI, Arilca Mockingbird

    that an author would welcome the presence of amazon as an alternative to the traditional publishers for their needs (ie, they might be able to assert seller pressure to get a better deal out of the publishers).  But it seems foolish to me to laud the weakening of the publishing houses by amazon because- notwithstanding better accounting practices- your options will be diminished, not enhanced in the long run.  

    It seems to me that taking Hachette's side in this argument yields a better result for authors.  A little damage to the publishers from the battle might be good for authors, but capitulation would be a disaster.  

  •  the flip side, alas, is that Amazon has used (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arilca Mockingbird, orestes1963

    precisely exactly the very same tactic to fuck over SMALL publishers and coerce them into using Amazon's printing service, as I diaried here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:49:40 PM PDT

  •  Isn't this a chance for Barnes & Noble (0+ / 0-)

    to benefit?

    Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

    by VirginiaJeff on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:21:19 PM PDT

    •  Not really. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VirginiaJeff, orestes1963

      That fact that B&N has spent so much of their resources on the marketing of Nook (to not much effect) that their traditional brick & mortar business may go the way of Borders.

      Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

      by Arilca Mockingbird on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:57:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, B&N has been on the brink (0+ / 0-)

        of bankruptcy twice already.  Also, brick and mortar stores are actually at a disadvantage for the obvious reason.  One can browse at B&N and then go to amazon to make purchases at a discount.  It will be interesting to see what happens to e-retail when the bricks and mortar segments of many markets implode.  It's already happened to music/DVDs and books are next on the chopping block.  

        •  I saw an interesting analysis (0+ / 0-)

          a few years ago, by someone who had been pretty high up at B&N, who said that B&N considered, in the early days of Amazon (1990s), whether B&N should jump big into the online book selling business.  And they decided not to.  Much like William Orton, President of Western Union Telegraph in the 1880s, who counseled his friend not to invest in the telephone, because he thought it would never be more than a "scientific toy".

          "the remedy to be applied is more speech" -- Louis Brandeis

          by PaulLev on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 12:02:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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