Links and short thoughts on Amazonfail

Deven has already mentioned Amazonfail, in which Amazon temporarily delisted all MacMillan books — one-sixth of its inventory — because of a disagreement over Kindle pricing. (MacMillan was tired of Amazon using its books as a loss leader to get folks to buy Kindles).

It’s been interesting to read over folks’ analyses. The best overview comes from Scalzi, who lists seven ways that this was a complete fail on Amazon’s part. There’s also very good analysis from Cory Doctorow; another very good analysis from Tobias Bucknell; yet another very good analysis from Scott Westerfield (and there are more good analyses out there); a funny photoshopped picture at Engadget; and of course calls for revolution from a variety of folks, such as Tobias Bucknell.

At the end of the day, I’m thinking that the critics were right. Amazon apparently can’t be trusted not to do really stupid things, which may seriously harm readers and authors (and publishers with whom Amazon is squabbling). Amazon’s move was really stupid, and puts a major dent in their credibility. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I read a variety of MacMillan titles, and I own a Kindle — and following this whole kerfuffle, I’m seriously thinking about Apple’s new feminine-products device.

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2 Responses

  1. Author Ariel Gore blogged about her perspective on the dispute when Amazon pulled her book, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness, shortly after it had gotten some positive ink in The New York Times Book Review.

    Her conclusion: if you don’t have a local independent bookstore to patronize, order your books from from Powell’s rather than from Amazon.

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