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Old 27th Jan 2011, 21:49   #1
KevinfromCanada
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Default let's leave amazon

I open this thread for discussion with some trepidation. Every time that I log on to Palimpsest I get an Amazon promo in the upper right corner -- I would like to suggest that it be eliminated. I think Amazon represents business practices that most of the visitors to this site would overwhelmingly reject -- and we should not be supporting them.

I am one of those who finds Amazon's business practices to be absolutely revolting. The latest, affecting those of us in North America, is to drive Kindle purchases by buying NA rights for ebooks and then forcing suppliers, like the Book Depository, to deny us access to the physical book. This is Amazon's notion of "promoting" reading.

Yes, I do use the company (I buy petrol from BP as well), but only as a supplier of last resort. To me they represent everything that can go wrong in the new electronic world -- their system is so good (and it is, I freely admit) that they use it to inject harmful business practices. Rather than supporting that abuse, I'd like to be on the side of forcing them to behave properly.

I accept that other buyers will not agree with me. And I certainly understand the value that those who have bought Kindles find in the device. However, in the interests of fairness on the Palimpsest site, I would very much like not to be greeted with an Amazon promo everytime I sign on (yes, my bias is one that would very much welcome a Book Depository one, but that is, indeed, a bias).

Then again, maybe I should just ignore it.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 22:37   #2
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

I agree, Kevin. However it is the decision not of any of us but of the site owner, Wavid. I don't know if he gets any money from the Amazon link these days, though I know he used to. I will try to contact him and see if he would be willing to change it for a Book Depository affiliate link.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 22:52   #3
KevinfromCanada
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

I appreciate that John, and probably should have taken more care in my initial message. My impression is that the BD affliaite status is every bit as good in economic terms -- I certainly think they have more of a reader focus.

(And, as someone who uses the BD, I would click through on this link -- sorry, Trevor. Mrs. KfC's fashion book purchases run up a tab that most ficton buyers would shrivel at.)
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 23:01   #4
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

I can't really pass an opinion on whether there should be an Amazon link on this site, having only just arrived here.

However, the Amazon approach is potentially dangerous to the future of books. Not only are they attempting to eliminate all other booksellers, both physical and online, but they are also trying to destroy publishers and savage authors' royalties. The logical end point of all this is one single bookseller, Amazon, making bucketloads of money selling huge quantities of a tiny range of Kindle books (celebrity memoirs and a handful of blockbuster novels), whilst every other author is forced to self-publish and sell through Amazon at uneconomic royalty rates. This would spell the end for the midrange professional author, many of whom are evidently well-loved on this site, who would be reduced to writing as a hobby or not at all.

The other problem is that Amazon is so squeezing the industry that it is having an impact on other sellers, who have to adopt poor business practices just to compete. Even the Book Depository refused point blank to replace or refund a damaged book I received in December, which means that I will never use them again (sadly).
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 23:56   #5
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinfromCanada View Post
(And, as someone who uses the BD, I would click through on this link -- sorry, Trevor. Mrs. KfC's fashion book purchases run up a tab that most ficton buyers would shrivel at.)
No worries, Kevin. In fact, I will buy through here as well! My own link is more to show readers that the Book Depository exists.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 0:19   #6
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

Good idea, Kevin. Just whipped through the BD site in an orgy of browsing. They are responsive, (sorry Eric and Welcome! btw). When my copy of Atlas of Remote Islands failed to make it here before the holidays, their customer service rep kept in touch until the volume was safely stateside.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 1:01   #7
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

BD look as good as Amazon, pricewise. I have been irritated by what I hear of Amazon's Kindle policies with respect to authors' rights etc.

I'd back a move to BD.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 8:00   #8
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

I'm in full agreement. I still use amazon but more of a last resort these days. To my shame, years ago I was one of those terrible people who took the kids into Waterstone's to see what books they were interested in and went home and ordered them from amazon.

BD have their problems though - delivery can take a very long time and if you don't think to ask them about it within a certain amount of time, you can lose your money and get no books. It seems their availability isn't always as indicated on the site. I think they are generally good though, so will be working to improve on any failings that they currently have. It's a shame they now operate out of the US and are subject to the Kindle war there.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 11:32   #9
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ang View Post
To my shame, years ago I was one of those terrible people who took the kids into Waterstone's to see what books they were interested in and went home and ordered them from amazon.
Haha, I do the opposite! I look up reader reviews etc on Amazon and then buy them in Waterstone's (or from Bookseller Crow if I can't get them in my own branch of W's).

Quote:
BD have their problems though
True, there's discussion of that somewhere here, including their (frankly illegal so far as I can see) terms for replacing lost or damaged deliveries.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 14:29   #10
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Default Re: let's leave amazon

Wavid has now confirmed that he will ditch the Amazon link. Whether he signs up for a Book Depository one remains to be seen...
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