Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Books after Amazon, and an Amazon alternative

This is a fascinating article from the Boston Review, written by Onnesha Roychoudhuri:

It is well worth your time if you are interested in a concise, cogent account of Amazon's role in and influence on the current and future publishing industries.

As a side note: for those of you who use Amazon and also like to engage in charitable giving, visit Better World Books at They donate a portion of sales to literacy causes, have free shipping in the US and reasonably priced shipping outside of the US. Well worth a look if you don't know about them already. I order books from them that are not available in Australia and never will be (mainly genre fiction).

Of course, there is Book Depository in the UK but I'm not linking to them for the simple reason that they appear to be inflicting more damage on independent booksellers in a year than Amazon has since they started. And we need our indies - they break all the good authors! (This Book Depository decision is a personal one, it is not a comment on their business or on anyone who buys from them.)


Anonymous said...

Enligtening article-thanks for the link. For anyone embarking on the 'getting published road' and trying to get some idea how the marketplace works, the example of the breakdown of costs involved in the sale of a $20 book is a good read.

Sari Webb said...

Thanks for the link.

I was just wondering why Book Depository inflicts more damage on indie booksellers than Amazon?

I live in Australia and just recently discovered BD, and fell in love because of the exchange rate and free shipping.

Would be interested to know your thoughts on them.

SC Patton said...

I have just discovered your blog and want to thank you for the most interesting and helpful blog on writing I have read all year. As an emerging Australian writer who has just completed their first novel and about to embark on the journey to find an agent/publisher I couldn't have found you at a better time. Your postings are beautifully written, highly informative and relevant and your approach respectful and encouraging. I can't imagine how much work must go into maintaining such a consistent standard while carrying out your work as an agent. Some of the issues in the world of writing and publishing that you have had to negotiate this past year sound exhausting! So, thank you. SC Patton