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 Bar Stool Preachers

The Bar Stool Preachers – Live

2915430571_5e008fe478_o

Hadrian’s Memoirs – Marguerite Yourcenar

iStock_000027670403Large

The Litopia After Dark Xmas Family Murder Show!

Gregory Peck

What Would Boo Radley Do?

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
4288975013_0a3c4b1bea_o

What A Malarkey…

Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton – The Last Englishman

Measuring the World

Measuring the World – Daniel Kehlmann

Rhoda Dakar

Rhoda Dakar: Cleaning In Another Woman’s Kitchen

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
1535376771_344a605d3d_o

Terrorists 1, Enlightenment 0

Shantytown – César Aira

Shantytown – César Aira

Jimmy Jones

Jimmy Jones – The Original Alternative Comedian

10417460_961608340520443_9169985591202346277_n

Viva Le Pink

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
4625072018_0522960a5d_o

The Nature of Blood – Caryl Phillips

Bez, A Twenty-Four Hour Party Political Person

Bez, A Twenty-Four Hour Party Political Person

Fnord_logo

The Cosmic Trigger

Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler

Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Three Faces of War –The Lady

Three Faces of War –The English Lady

Three Faces of War – Very Special Forces

Three Faces of War – Very Special Forces

Three Faces of War – The Assassin

Three Faces of War – The Assassin

Gone Girl Stalks Reviewer

Gone Girl Stalks Reviewer

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
2119782392_f1aa56d5e0_o

Mik Whitnall, Chris Pope & Damon Coles

Soul of the Hooligan

Soul of the Hooligan

Margaret Thatcher Revenge Porn Facebook Terrorist Shocker

Margaret Thatcher Revenge Porn Facebook Terrorist Shocker

Hygiene and the Assassin – Amélie Nothomb

Hygiene and the Assassin – Amélie Nothomb

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Susan Greenfield - Baroness of the Brain

Susan Greenfield – Baroness of the Brain

Deadmau5 Takes The Mickey

Deadmau5 Takes The Mickey

2046228644_daab5255bd_o

Truth or Beauty – David Orrell

Buster Shuffle

Buster Shuffle

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Carol Harrison - From EastEnders To Itchycoo Park

Carol Harrison – From EastEnders To Itchycoo Park

Fyodor Dostoevsky – Demons (aka The Possessed)

Demons (aka The Possessed) – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dennis Stratton

Iron’s Den

Two And A Half Stories A Day

Two And A Half Stories A Day

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Robert Coover – The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop

The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. – Robert Coover

Neville Staple

Neville Staple – Original Rude Boy

cockfight

Kramer Versus The World

Pukes of Hazard – Rebellion Special

Pukes of Hazard – Rebellion Special

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
The Devil – Leo Tolstoy

The Devil – Leo Tolstoy

A True Novel - Minae Mizumura

A True Novel – Minae Mizumura

The Passion of The JK Rowling

The Passion of The JK Rowling

American Pastoral

American Pastoral – Philip Roth

Never miss a show! Subscribe in iTunes!
Subscribe in iTunes
Satan in Goray

Satan in Goray – Isaac Bashevis Singer