Amazon, Publishers and Us

First of a series of thoughts about the impact of Amazon and how publishers might respond.

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FIRST, LET’S AGREE – Amazon is not a bookseller, though that is how it began life. It is a multiple retailer, a Walmart of the web and an internet chainstore of everything.

Amazon is one of the dominant commercial powers of our age, though not consistently profitable it has the ability to be so at the flick of a switch. It can and does put competitors out of business. It has ambitions and has made forays into product development as well as retailing. It is a behemoth, straddling the world right now. But can it be a successful book publisher? A new article in the New Yorker discusses its progress in the world of books.

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