Sunday, November 24, 2013

Amazon Needs Your Help To Own The Industry

Would you ask your competition to give you business? That’s what Amazon is asking of independent bookstores.

The New York Times reported a week ago how Amazon was encouraging independent bookstores to sell its Kindle reading device. The stores would make a small profit on the sale of each unit and then earn a commission on the e-books the customer buys for its Kindle over the next two years.

Let me get this right. Would Ford tell its customers to buy a Toyota? Would one restaurant tell its patrons to eat elsewhere? Would a furniture store refer its customers to go to Ikea. I think not.

But Amazon thinks it's okay to ask for permission to steal a customer. It’s not too far off from a woman asking her boyfriend to refer her to another guy to sleep with.

Once Amazon gets a hold of a customer, that’s it for the independent bookstore. You’ve just given your blessing for them to buy e-books and to buy them elsewhere. The short-term profit gain is negated by the long-term drying up of one’s customer base.

The NY Times article rightfully surmised the latest Amazon gambit when it wrote:
“Many booksellers are distrustful of Amazon, a company of boundless ambition and some aggressive ways. Stores dismissed the new program as a Trojan horse aimed at further undermining their business. Independents make up about 10 percent of book sales, down from as much as 25 percent before Amazon.”

It ceases to amaze me the lengths at which Amazon will go to take ownership of the book industry -- and the entire retail world. Soon, we’ll all be working for Amazon -- to buy everything from them.

Why is Amazon so aggressive and seemingly savvy -- and yet it can’t turn a profit? If independent stores don’t get their act together, Amazon will be eating their lunch -- and dinner, breakfast and dessert.


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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