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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
I've removed Amazon from my "Amadis of Gaul" site 
8th-Feb-2010 12:01 pm

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

8th-Feb-2010 12:36 pm (UTC) - Have you tried...
...Book Depository? http://www.bookdepository.co.uk Free shipping worldwide! The prices are higher than Amazon but Amazon's international shipping rates are a real killer. I've saved money using BD. (Really, I should get a commission from those guys!) And, as I pointed out in another blog, your books come individually wrapped rather than in one over-air-stuffed box. Not sure how things are in Spain but, here in the Malaysian boondocks, Customs guys are more likely to stop a big brown box than a lot of padded envelopes. Hee hee.

Kaz Augustin
10th-Feb-2010 09:50 pm (UTC) - Re: Have you tried...
Looks like a good resource. I know one of my friends has seen your comment and fallen in love with it already!
8th-Feb-2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
I particularly am going to miss the Amazon sellers, where I could get a bunch of used paperbacks for my mom at $4 a pop including shipping. At bookfinder and such places, it's $4 plus shipping. Oh well.
10th-Feb-2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
The good thing about Amazon was that I can ship from Amazon in the US or in Great Britain or France, wherever is closest. And it takes all kinds of currency. Amazon is good to its customers, but the problem is in how it treats its suppliers.
10th-Feb-2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a real sad quandry. I'm thinking of continuing to use the Amazon sellers, but buying all my new books elsewhere...I don't know. Principles are so damned hard to maintain. ;-/
(Deleted comment)
10th-Feb-2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
Amazon is a great bookseller -- but it wants to be a publisher as well, and by forcing publishers to give up some of their control over their product. It's not good for publishers, or for the authors whose work they sell.
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