Amazon

The Executor for George Orwell’s Literary Estate Responds to Amazon’s “Doublespeak”

Bill Hamilton, the executor of George Orwell’s literary estate, has some strong words for Amazon’s quoting of Orwell… Read More

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Does the Amazon Vs. Hachette Battle Ignore a Future Where Physical Books Will Be Extinct?

In Bloomberg, writer Leonid Bershidsky has a POV on the protracted, lengthy battle between Amazon and Hachette over e-book pricing — a battle that is being framed, at least in the media, as a sign of “the future of books.” It’s a fight that is happening for the profits that are available in the future, one that’s getting vicious as Amazon does have a 65% stake — arguably a monopoly — over the selling of e-books. Bershidsky, however, feels as if this fight is already obsolete, as the pricing of e-books between publishers and distributor(s) is something that won’t matter in the future, when our book libraries are somewhere in a cloud and no-one actually buys anything — instead, he argues, we’ll rent books from Amazon the way some people apparently rent movies from iTunes. … Read More

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A Brief History of Inappropriately Invoking George Orwell

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better.” This is a quote from George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” and it could lead one to say, “Hey, you know, the way people inappropriately call things Orwellian all the time is, like, totally Orwellian!” But let’s not say that, because it would be silly. Instead, in view of Amazon’s hilarious misappropriation of an Orwell quote in its ongoing battle with Hachette, it might be more fun to take a look at a few of the many times in recent memory when Orwell’s memory has been used and abused. Take a look after the jump, but watch out for Big Brother. … Read More

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Everything Book Lovers Need to Know About Amazon vs. Hachette

Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled its latest tactic in the mega-company’s battle with Hachette, a dispute that’s become as much about PR as profit margins: transparency. A brief “update” outlines exactly how much of the proceeds from e-books Amazon wants (30 percent) and how much Amazon wants to charge for those e-books ($9.99). There are also Economics 101 buzzwords like “price-elastic” and internal numbers that claim lower e-book prices actually result in higher revenue for everyone. There is, of course, another side to this story — and a months-long dispute that won’t end because Amazon named names. Here’s the rundown on what the average book buyer needs to know. … Read More

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“The Crisis Is With Publishers, Not Writers”: NYPL Hosts Conversation on Amazon vs. Hachette

Last night at the New York Public Library, a group consisting of a mega-bestselling author (James Patterson), a publisher (Morgan Entrekin), several professors, a political theorist (Danielle Allen), an attorney (Bob Kohn), a literary agent (Tina Bennett), and others assembled to ask the question, “Amazon: Business As Usual?” They discussed the current controversy around the e-commerce behemoth — Amazon, obviously, believes it is in the right and today reiterated that what it’s doing is “in the long-term interest of our customers,” while publishers, bookstores (both independent shops and struggling chains like Barnes and Noble), authors, and even writers who defended Amazon in the past are agreeing this move is “Amazon behaving at its worst.” … Read More

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Michael Keaton Returns, and So Does Charles Dickens: Links You Need to See

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… half-naked Michael Keaton running through Times Square. Well, really, it’s your afternoon links!  … Read More

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“You Root for the Authors!” Hachette Author Stephen Colbert vs. Amazon

If you like books and reading, the Amazon vs. Hachette war of 2014 has probably caught your eye. The shortest version: the two companies (Hachette being the umbrella term for one of the “big five publishers,” which includes imprints like Little, Brown and Company and Grand Central Publishing, among others) are locked in a battle over ebook pricing. While this negotiation is going on, Amazon is throwing its weight around by making upcoming books by Hachette authors difficult to order and receive: originally it was that books would take several weeks to ship, but now Amazon has deemed upcoming releases like Megan Abbott’s very good read The Fever “Currently Unavailable.” (You can buy it here.) The LA Times has a smart and succinct, 13-point summary of the fight, and name authors like Malcolm Gladwell, James Patterson, and John Green have weighed in with their take on business and books. … Read More

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