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Upcoming TKC Episodes > New Yorker Article on Amazon and Jeff Bezos

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Parsons | 5 comments Len and others,

I wonder what people thought of the New Yorker article in the Feb 17 & 24th issue by George Packer. Like most articles coming out of NY about Amazon it had what i felt was a pro Big 5 bias. It has some interesting points but I think it paints publishing with a rose colored haze. Ironic that I read this issue on my new Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX! Maybe I have a little bias myself!

I imagine Len will mention this in an upcoming podcast. Russ Grandinetti from previous podcasts figures prominently - the article makes him sound like one of Tony Soprano's capos! The article ends by asking if when Amazon is the last one standing will they care about whether a book is good. As if publishers today care about that! Jane Austen and Zombies? Please.


message 2: by Len (new)

Len Edgerly (lenedgerly) | 111 comments Mod
Kevin, I agree with your take on Packer's article. I will have him on the show week after next to ask why he spent so little time talking about Amazon's unleashing of the self-publication phenomenon and why his assessment of how important books are to Bezos and the Amazon culture seems so different than Brad Stone's in The Everything Store. There will be lots to talk about. I respect Packer and look forward to learning how he came to write what was, in my opinion, such a flawed piece on an important topic.


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Lee (boblee333) | 13 comments Kevin wrote: "Len and others,

I wonder what people thought of the New Yorker article in the Feb 17 & 24th issue by George Packer. Like most articles coming out of NY about Amazon it had what i felt was a pro B..."


I haven't seen the article, but really? Do the major publishers actually care whether a book is 'good'? They only care if it will sell. Why else do we get book deals for Snookie, et.al.?


message 4: by Paul (last edited Mar 12, 2014 11:27AM) (new)

Paul Atkins | 10 comments I listened to this episode on my road trip today, and it provoked me to think about Amazon and the Kindle. Although I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite and prefer to read on it more than a "real" book, there are some issues as it evolves. The severe limits by publishers on loaning by individuals and by libraries. It shows we don't really OWN the books we buy, Amazon or the publisher does. Second, DRM by Amazon. In the future, will we have "silo's" of books based on where they were purchased? I get the business model of DRM by Amazon, but if you don't have the "right" device, one can't read the book? Its sort of like you need a specific brand of eyeglass to read a book by a certain publisher and sold by a certain bookstore. Although books sold by Amazon can be cheaper now, what happens in the future where the Kindle is the dominant brand and there is no competition from print or another device manufacturer. Right now, I can't shop for price because of that DRM.


message 5: by Len (new)

Len Edgerly (lenedgerly) | 111 comments Mod
Paul, Amazon execs have told me they are DRM agnostic, and I tend to believe them. It's the publishers that demanded DRM protection on their books. Where publishers allow it, Amazon is happy to sell books without DRM protection, as is the case with books published by Tor. I bought a Cory Doctorow book, published by Tor, at Amazon for my Kindle and was able to convert it easily to ePub using Calibre and then read it on my Kobo.
Also, Amazon lets us read Kindle books that DO have DRM on a dizzying variety of devices, from iOS, Blackberry, PC or Mac, to Android. By comparison, Apple only allows iBooks to be read on iOS devices.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Atkins | 10 comments OK, I guess that proves the point, and maybe yours from the podcast today. It's NOT Amazon that is the "bad guy", its the publishers that really own the digital file, and not us. In the case of an analog book, once its purchased by an individual or a library, it can be done with as one pleases. Not so with a Kindle book. Long term, I can see that as a problem. What will the library of the future look like with DRM? What happens to my digital books when I die, I can't leave them to a granddaughter? Hmmm, things to ponder. And, as far as IBOOKS, you are certainly right..the "silo" effect. I can read my kindle books on my Kindle, IPhone and iPad, thank God and Jeff Bezo's for that! :)


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary (marygoblue) | 19 comments My daughter's Kindle is on my Amazon account. If, after I die, she wants to keep the books, she has only to switch the billing of that account to her own credit card. However, I suspect she has already read the ones she wants to and that is likely the case with others who agonize over leaving books. It is rare when two people have the exact tastes, so the legatee may not even want the books.


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