no-appy-polly-loggies said: (( hey! so you just rebloged my post about globes - awesome! i'm glad you did! but you also added a link to amazon as a way to promote the purchase of the book. while i'm super appreciative for the reblog, i'd really prefer if the link to amazon was deleted, simply because recently they've been getting more and more of a monopoly on bookselling and are using it to strong-arm small companies. purchasing from the uchicago site is 10000 times better for the press. thanks for your understanding!
obviously, you’re free to do what you want on your blog, that’s cool and all, but i work in the publishing industry, this is something that i’m passionate and knowledgeable about.
i agree, some people only use amazon, and they’re totally within their rights to do so. i would just prefer that if i post a book linking directly to a press, that press receives the attention it deserves, instead of amazon. if the person really wanted to buy it through amazon, i’m sure they could get to the book without a link.
here are a few reasons that i try to avoid using or promoting the amazon bookstore:
amazon has been preventing shipments of books they have in stock in order to negotiate better deals from publishers. and, shocker, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. if that’s not a red flag, i dunno what is. amazon is the largest online retailer of … pretty much anything as well as being the largest internet company of all time, beating out facebook, google, yahoo and ebay.
here’s the thing, i like amazon. it’s super convenient. but 75% of its sales do not come from books. if we want to look at numbers, it is the largest retailer of books by about 7.5 billion dollars. amazon has been known to take the ‘buy’ button off books when the publisher in question (Macmillan, Hachette, etc.) does not cooperate with them. All of this can be read at this Nation article. Here is another article from the Boston Review recording and reporting on Amazon’s punitive and underhanded tactics to get retailers and publishers to support them and agree to their terms.
If you want more info on why amazon in general isn’t great, it recently had to appear in court for selling customer’s information without their consent, and had work-around for when you set your privacy settings up to stricter standards. The entire litigation can be read here.
Amazon is not a traditional monopoly, but it does have an iron fist around the publishing market.
Amazon is convenient. It’s indiscriminate. It’s completely available. But is it good for books? No.
Which is why I chose to link directly to the publishers page, regardless of font size.
If you want to add an easier way to purchase this book, you can add these links, which go from the distributor directly to small bookstores that are struggling and will benefit from this book’s purchase so much more than amazon will.
U Chicago has a comprehensive list of places that sell this book here http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/bookstores.html
Here are some random specific stores that sell the book:
from the small bookstore Labyrinth Books
these guys even have it on sale. and the bookshop’s name is Moby Dickens. adorable.
if you’re not in the US, a five minute search through any of these bookstores will yield a book store that will gladly sell this book to you and will appreciate it more than amazon ever will.
if you still want to use a big online book distributor, you can use better world books. They do not control prices like amazon does, and they provide a platform for small booksellers to act like a much larger business. not to mention that for every book you purchase, they donate one to a school in need.
In regards to that article, it just says that Amazon is a good company because it is doing the best. Okay? I’m on board for people making money with good ideas and good companies. As stated before, Amazon doesn’t make most of its sales off books. All I want is people to know that when purchasing books it would be better for the original authors/distributors/publishers if you go through another channel to do so.
This is the thing that gets me, despite alternatives, despite ways to avoid using amazon, people still do. Which is frustrating, but I think that it is something that with education and reiteration of facts, people will start to notice and buy books elsewhere. There are alternatives! Please, please, please, unless there is no other option (which rarely happens unless you’re buying an kindle-only ebook), do not buy books from amazon.
I understand your thoughts on my repost of the globes history book, however two things come to mind…
1) Amazon is not the devil; see here.
2) Some people will only trust Amazon enough to purchase the book online, and that (decidedly much smaller) text link seems another way to get sales for the book.
I’m posting this publicly as I’d love to hear from others on the subject (especially those who read the article at the “see here” link - in its entirety).
TL;DR: Please don’t buy books from amazon. Take four minutes and go directly to the publisher or find a small bookstore that sells the book.
I appreciate the conversation - let’s keep it going!