The Great Amazon Debate

Released on July 13, 2012

In 1994, Jeffrey Preston Bezos left his Wall Street job to found an internet based company in his garage. The ‘bookseller’ known as Amazon sold its first book one year later.  Amazon may have marketed itself as “the world’s largest bookstore”, but its logo–an arrow leading from A to Z–was a clear indicator that its goal was to sell every product on the planet.  It is now a $50bn business.

According to the Financial Times this week, Bezos’ not so secret plan is to “colonise the entire infrastructure of consumption”. To borrow from George Orwell, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine Jeff Bezos face, and his big wide smile.”  Yikes!

Amazon is the subject of the ‘great debate’ on The Naked Book this week, with Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson, publishing consultant Sheila Bounford, Rob Nichols of independent UK publisher Constable & Robinson, and Financial Times journalist Barney Jopson throwing the rotten fruit.

Jopson has been writing about Amazon all week for the Financial Times, and he explained that it was not now just an e-commerce platform, but had evolved into “an infrastructure services company”.

Not evil, then? That wasn’t the view of Johnson who accused Bezos of devaluing “the book”, using prices points like $9.99 or $1.99 as stakes through the print-based heart of the book.  “That’s the worst thing I think it’s done to the culture.”

But for Nichols, what Amazon has done well is sell books: lots of them. “We’ve been able to unlock our backlist.” And of course there are those e-book sales, up 600% at Constable & Robinson. For Bounford, Amazon has shown how to behave in a digital world, something publishers can use and learn from.

“I don’t want them to go away,” admitted Johnson, whose own buy-buttons on Amazon have been restored after a recent contretemps, “I just wish they’d behave!”

Hosted by Philip Jones, with Sam Missingham serving the beer.

Whatever next?  Tune in in two weeks’ time to find out!  Click here to pop it in your diary!

Also in this series

The Greatest Escape

The Greatest Escape

The Devil – Leo Tolstoy

The Devil – Leo Tolstoy

A True Novel - Minae Mizumura

A True Novel

The Passion of The JK Rowling

The Passion of The JK Rowling

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Roy Ellis

Skinhead Truth Romp – Roy Ellis, Mr. Symarip

Satan in Goray

Satan in Goray

Seven Days in the Art World

Seven Days in the Art World

A Heart So White

A Heart So White

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
St Urbain's Horseman

St Urbain’s Horseman

The Blue Fox

The Blue Fox

The Man Who Made Vermeer

The Man Who Made Vermeers

The Private Life

The Private Life

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Sexing The Cherry

Sexing the Cherry

Mother Night

Mother Night

The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum

Leaving the Atocha Station

Leaving the Atocha Station

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Amazon Vs Hachette: A Struggle To The Death?

Amazon Vs Hachette: A Struggle To The Death?

Mark Thompson

NYT, BBC – What Did He Know?

Pauline Black: Queen of 2-Tone

Pauline Black: Queen of 2-Tone

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson: Standing Up For Himself

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
The Featherz

The Featherz & Infa Riot

The Banning of Captain Underpants

The Banning of Captain Underpants

The Sexual Shenanigans of Sherlock Holmes

The Sexual Shenanigans of Sherlock Holmes

James Delingpole

James Delingpole: Always Right, Never Wrong

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Sid Vicious Was My Lover

Sid Vicious Was My Lover

Ukraine, Crimea & World War III

Ukraine, Crimea & World War III

Wake Up & Smell The Pr0n

Wake Up & Smell The Pr0n

NFaragel

UKIP’s Nigel Farage, Kingmaker in Waiting

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Harry Potter and the Unmarried Mother

Harry Potter and the Unmarried Mother

The Redskin Word

The Redskin Word

Tim Butcher

The World’s Deadliest Country

$(KGrHqN,!qEFBf(L+M3LBQZb!wQLM!~~60_35

Secret Affair: Time For Action!

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Google Book Scan: The Verdict

Google Book Scan: The Verdict

The Great Global Warming Showdown: Moment of Truth

The Great Global Warming Showdown: Moment of Truth

The Next Mass Extinction Event

The Next Mass Extinction Event

Plagiarists With Testicles

Plagiarists With Testicles

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
A Mockingbird Sues

A Mockingbird Sues

Bodies In Depth

Bodies In Depth

Louise Distras: Songs Of Love And Fury

Louise Distras: Songs Of Love And Fury

Joan Rivers Has An Anthony Weiner Moment

Joan Rivers Has An Anthony Weiner Moment

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Belle de Jour was my lover, not a prostitute

The Lady Is Not A Tramp?