February 8th, 2010


I've removed Amazon from my "Amadis of Gaul" site

You've no doubt heard (a lot) about the dispute between Amazon and Macmillan that started on January 30. Basically, Amazon stopped selling Macmillan books because Macmillan wanted to use one kind of price structure for e-books, and Amazon insisted on using its own pricing.

A week later, Amazon had capitulated, complaining that Macmillan had a "monopoly" on the books it published. Amazon hasn't much about the whole conflict, but even still, this wasn't the only dumb thing it said.

Many writers immediately took links to Amazon off their sites. I had a few links as an Amazon Associate on my Amadis of Gaul site, where I'm translating a Spanish medieval novel that was Europe's first bestseller after the printing press was invented. I used Amazon to help readers locate related books that I want to recommend.

I decided to wait on acting on my Associate links to see how things turned out. Big corporations can screw up accidentally, and the Internet can sometimes shed more heat than light on an incident. In this case, the Internet reacted with generally calm and enlightening discussions. I was convinced that, all things considered, Amazon isn't a bookseller I want to endorse.

This is too bad. I live in Spain, and I can't always get certain English-language books here easily at a reasonable price. Amazon is a great resource. But its business model seems to be a bit distorted.

By the way, since I deleted the Amazon Associate widget, the Amadis of Gaul site loads a lot faster.

I'll find a different way to recommend those books.

— Sue Burke