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What's the Amazon Up To?


by Susan Ohanian

I admit I find Amazon convenient. I can look up info about books, find a quick source of reviews. I can even buy a marine toilet (as I did last week). But I feel guilty when I make a book purchase because I know I'm sending business their way when it should go to a local independent bookstore. And of course there's Jeff Bezos-- member of the Bilderberg group, anti-union, and so on.

Now it looks like Bezos is out to establish his own publishing empire. As I noted in Alphabet Books, the AFT, the Common Core, and Heart's Death Amazon digital offers a (dreadful) new dinosaur e-book. I've noticed lately a number of these Amazon e-books listed in various categories. No publisher is mentioned--just Amazon digital.

Today I went on Amazon and noticed that they now describe books--with lots of detail--but don't mention a publisher. To find out the publisher you have to go to the "look inside" feature and find the copyright page. Here are a few new titles I tried:

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

  • The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth


  • While writing this piece, I've discovered that one can click on Book Details See all --and actually see who the publisher is and how much the book weighs.

    Older books still have the old format, not hiding the publisher behind a curtain:

    One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards.

    NOTE: My point is not hard vs e-books. People can buy a new book in whatever format they want. My point is Who creates the book? Amazon is assuming the role of publisher--pretending these awful creations are on a par with established authors & publishers.

    Call me paranoid, but I find it ominous that Amazon is putting real publishers behind curtains while embarking on its own ugly publishing enterprise.

    — Susan Ohanian
    blog

    2013-06-26


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