If you pay attention, I mean really pay attention to what goes on in the retail world of books you know how damaging Amazon is to the industry, it’s been said over and over again. Amazon is also horribly damaging to libraries which has been said multiple times too, you can read an article about it here. I DO NOT buy books on Amazon (have I in the past, yes), and make a conscious effort to reduce purchasing other items on Amazon due to their unethical selling practices.
However, if you need extra motivation to stop purchasing books from Amazon you should be aware that there is currently a class-action lawsuit against Amazon and the Big Five publishers (they are not named as Defendants) which you can read about here. The Big Five Publishers are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers (they HAD an eBook embargo against libraries because of Amazon), Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon colluded with these publishers in a practice called price-fixing. In this case, price-fixing means that while the publishers increased their prices for eBooks to other retailers, which are considered Amazon’s competitors, Amazon was protected and not affected by the increase (source). This practice is harmful to consumers who aren’t aware that they are paying higher prices at other retailers.
As a consumer, this makes me angry. I’m also tired of the “but books (eBooks) are cheaper on Amazon” argument, it’s not valid. If you continue to purchase eBooks from Amazon you are enabling a dangerous, and unethical practice.
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I try not to buy books from Amazon either.
I think many people don’t realize that Amazon essentially controls ebooks sales, not even necessarily because of price fixing (though they may have done that; obviously I cannot personally judge) but because something like 70% of ebooks are sold by Amazon. So if Amazon tells publishers they want to sell books at a certain price or they’re going to pull them from their platform….publishers are going to try to placate Amazon.
I understand that Amazon has a lot of good points. They deliver quickly. They might deliver areas other people don’t. Authors can self-publish there and get a large platform (again because Amazon dominates the ebook market and if you DON’T list your ebooks there, you’re not going to sell any.) But Amazon is still really really terrible for the book industry as a whole.
Also they are known for screwing over small sellers and businesses. Many people have stories that went from good (I sold so much stuff on Amazon and was able to make a living!) to bad (Amazon created a product that looked just like mine, put the Amazon brand at the top of the page for less money than mine, and basically killed all my sales and now I am poor). Amazon is convenient but they’re not necessarily ethical. What’s good for authors and readers today might not be good tomorrow.
Exactly, I wish more people were aware of how unethical Amazon really is especially for the book industry. I feel that either people are aware but they just don’t care or don’t care enough to become educated about it. I do hope more people read this post and think about where they purchase their books and spend their money.
I understand your points against Amazon as a place to buy books. As an author, Amazon has provided opportunities I would not have had elsewhere. I have heard from so many readers (in 10 nations) and am able to set low prices for my ebook and paperback. Amazon staff members were helpful in getting my book published. Without Amazon, I would not be a published author as I approach the publishing of my second book. I am one of many authors (and thus, readers) who owe much to Amazon.