Apparently more people are noticing that Amazon doesn’t care about authors or readers or anything other than making as much money as possible:
After months with Jeff Bezos’ fingers planted in their eyeballs, hundreds of pissed off writers are buying a full-page middle finger to Amazon. Their message is clear: please stop screwing us in order to promote world retail domination.
Sensing vulnerability, Google is attempting to ingratiate itself with authors and readers by teaming up with Barnes and Noble to provide a trivial service in a few public-relations-rich locations:
Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service.
The big picture takeaway is of course that none of these companies care about you except to the extent that you can be co-opted or exploited in their wars with each other. Moral of the story: stop caring about technology, technology companies, or anything other than your work and your readers. And maybe your local independent bookstore if you’re lucky enough to have one. That’s where the love is.
Update: In counterattacking on the authorial front, Amazon manages to shoot itself in the foot, fall down a flight of stairs, bounce out the door, roll into the street in front of a steamroller, then to stagger to its feet only to be crushed by a highly rated piano that unfortunately did not quality for free shipping:
The freshest part of Amazon’s call to arms was the history lesson. It recounted how the book industry hated mass-market paperbacks when they were introduced in the 1930s, and said they would ruin the business when they really rejuvenated it. Unfortunately, to clinch its argument, it cited the wrong authority:
“The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if ‘publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.’ Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.”
This perceived slur on the memory of one of the 20th century’s most revered truth-tellers might prove to be one of Amazon’s biggest public relations blunders since it deleted copies of “1984” from readers’ Kindles in 2009.
Amazon has apparently also decided to pick a fight with Disney, thereby opening up a war on two fronts in flagrant disregard for historical precedent.
— Mark Barrett