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General Chatting > Why So Much Hate for Amazon?

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message 1: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Hi All,

I'm asking this as a serious question to really understand. I've seen an abundance of online hate for Amazon.com lately when it comes to the world of writing, authors, etc.

I guess I'm clueless but why do people have so many issues with Amazon? Some people have started sites for the purpose of bringing them down. Is it because bookstores feel they've taken over kind of like an online Walmart? I've heard things about Amazon being shady when it came to business practices as well as complaints by self-published authors who say Amazon snatches rights from them, etc.

As of yet, I don't have any problem with Amazon. I don't see them any different than any other business, trying to make a profit and capitalizing on the failures of others. That's what all businesses do right? But I think some people act like Amazon is trying to take over the world. I just wondered what's going on and why people see Amazon as such a threat. I can see why bookstore owners and publishers might have issues but I just wonder why it's escalating.

I think Amazon is being blamed for "killing bookstores" when I don't see that as fair. I think the economy and the fact that ebooks are becoming popular is what hurt bookstores and that would have happened with or without Amazon. Just my opinion.

But someone give me the lowdown. I'm just curious why this place is considered the devil by so many people. LOL!

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 2: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I also wonder is it all politics you think? Like the main people having problems with Amazon and sharing their displeasure are the ones who are linked to some business Amazon is outdoing? That's of course a possibility for some of the hate but is it something else too?


message 3: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments Stacy,

I believe there are several reasons. The monopoly theory is probably the main gripe, but I feel like this -- whoever is doing it bigger and better should get the praise. Amazon has a system that's incomparable to any other, and their customer service is top notch.

A sister in my church found a Kindle at the Atlanta airport. She bought it to me, because I was the only person she knew that owned one. I charged it up to see if there was a name in it. (Mine says "Chicki's Kindle) There wasn't, so I contacted Amazon and told them the story. Of course, they wouldn't give out the owner's contact info, but said if I mailed the unit back to them, they would pay for the shipping and handling. Now that's service!

The other reason people hate Amazon is because the Kindle is a dedicated device. A lot of folks out there think everything should be available to everyone at all times. My opinion is that it's Amazon's choice to make their books readable only on the Kindle. Why not? This might change sometime in the future because of competition.

As you can see, I am a sold-out Amazon fan, and as a Kindle author, I've had nothing but excellent assistance from them when it comes to the business of selling my own books there.

That's my two cents!

Chicki Brown
Author of
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Facebook fan page: http://su.pr/1ny5ce
Barnes & Noble: http://su.pr/2CVnhi
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003U6RT96
Google eBooks: http://su.pr/3tss4D


message 4: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (halfpint66) | 221 comments Amazon is AWESOME! It's the one place I go to first to get the books I know I can't find in the stores.


message 5: by Delaney (new)

Delaney Diamond (delaney_diamond) Stacy, I like Amazon, so I'm interested to see reasons why people don't like it.

I've heard predictions that with the decline of the big bookstores we may see small bookstores gain in popularity again. We'll have to wait and see how true that is.


message 6: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I'm glad you all weighed in! I have never had any problems with them myself and as far as customer service, I'm with Chicki, they have the best. In fact they were the first online place I felt comfortable ordering from for the longest time. I am one of those types that are leery when it comes to putting my credit card info or anything else like that online and other than some retailers online, Amazon is the only company I fully feel safe with when doing stuff like that. Don't laugh but I don't even have a Paypal account because I'd rather go through the actual store or business if I can. I know Paypal is reputable but I do get leery about having to put my bank info on a site like that. It's just me I guess but I've heard too many horror stories about stuff like this.

Anyway, I've never ONCE had a problem with any shipment or transaction with Amazon and I've been working with them for years. The only problem I had was recently this past Christmas but it was with a certain seller. I'd ordered some CD's for my dad for Christmas and the seller was supposed to be reputable but they sent one CD and not the next and they acted like they were trying to ignore me so I told Amazon and the next thing I knew, I had a refund coming!

So I've never had problems with Amazon themselves. Just watch those sellers. I've never had a problem with any of the sellers until this time. I was surprised but I don't hold it against Amazon because they came through.

Thanks guys!


message 7: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 21, 2011 10:33AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Debbie, yep another great point! If it weren't for Amazon us IR readers and readers of any hard-to-find genre would really be in trouble! I have gotten to where I hate the big bookstores and I'd stopped shopping at them a long time ago.


message 8: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 7308 comments Mod
I love Amazon. They have extremely good customer service and a very good selection of merchandise. My issues are with the rude people who post on the Amazon forums and vote against reviews. That's not Amazon's fault, although I wish that their voting system didn't facilitate the mean-spiritedness of customers.


message 9: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6569 comments Mod
I know what you mean Danielle.


message 10: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments When you buying used through Amazon Marketplace, you might run into problems but my daughter had an issue with a seller last month. She filed a claim with Amazon, and they quickly refunded her money.

What I see happening in the publishing industry is a whole lot of hateration. Just look at how agents and authors alike have been attacking Joe Konrath for his Kindle success, calling him an anomaly and saying it's because he had a huge following in print, which just isn't true. He's been persistent to knock down their theories and even used the entire month of January to have other successful Kindle authors tell their stories on his blog.

When things start to radically change, people get scared. Agents are afraid of their jobs disappearing. Print authors are afraid people won't want to buy their books anymore. It's all paranoia.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina | 1379 comments I have to agree with everything Chicki said. I love Amazon and their Customer Service is peerless. I have also had a bad experience with a marketplace purchase and my money was refunded in hours. No hassle, no muss, no fuss.

And yes, if it were not for Amazon, I would have had no place to even know about IR romance. My first IR romance was of course Sandra Kitt's The Color of Lovebut that was because she came out of Harlequin and was promoted via them. But after that? Nothing until 1998 when I bough The Real Deal: Real Love Is More Than Skin Deep...Real Passion Isn't Black Or White... (which despite the overly long, academic sounding title is really just a romance novel) through Amazon.

I, again, agree with Chicki. I think a lot of Amazon animus comes from fear about e-books over turning the old fashioned publishing model that the pubs used. Amazon creating a sweet-spot price point for ebooks that is way below what pubs like is a huge source of contention between readers and publishers and authors. Readers love it, Pubs and auths...not so much.

Also people are, rightly, afraid of anything that reeks of a monopoly. But I find it interesting that Amazon is getting shat upon while Apple and Steve Jobs is being praised. Yet, Apple is just as proprietary --I would argue even more so -- than Amazon. Look at how they are being about App development and what you can and can not purchase in-App. Right now they are trying to re-negotiate the percentage that Apple gets when you purchase a book or anything else inside an APP (Kindle App, Nook APP etc.) on an Ithing device. When it all shakes out, their cut may be too much so that e-tailors like Amazon and B&N may not be able to allow in-app purchases using your Ithing. Stupid.

Anyway, back to Amazon... I also agree with Danielle that the rating system on Amazon needs an overhaul. I like what Goodreads does. You can signal that you 'Like' an review. With AZ you can indicate that you find a review Unhelpful. This, imo, is just ....well....unhelpful. It actually creates negativity, imo. Because people don't use it to really signal that a review is unhelpful. They use it to signal that one person's opinion doesn't march with their own. Or just to punish a reviewer they may have taken issue with on something completely un-related.

But all in all, I think Amazon has an great model that tends to be customer oriented.


message 12: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments Great point about Apple, Tina! I don't have any experience with their products, but you're so right. Steve Jobs is keeping everything in-house. Hey, that's the way to keep your money.

I also agree wholeheartedly about Amazon's rating system.

Chicki Brown


message 13: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6569 comments Mod
If a person doesn't like you, they'll check your Amazon profile, just to see what you have reviewed, so that they can say your review wasn't helpful. These people have nothing else to do. They'll even go in topics you start and do the same thing.

Amazon needs to get rid of this system, but it seems as if they don't want to. I have told them about this more than once. After the second time, I've stopped talking to the brick wall.

I do buy things on Amazon, but not books.


message 14: by new_user (last edited Feb 21, 2011 12:21PM) (new)

new_user I like Amazon. I think people's issues are with the forums and book reviews -I don't blame them.

I don't really agree with their proprietary formats only policy on their ereaders, but they're just following Apple's example, LOL.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments There are serious issues with some of Amazon's business practices, especially how they treat smaller and independent publishers. Not to mention that Jeff Bezos isn't the best when it comes to the occasional fail--such as their censoring certain titles or the mess that happened last year with a lot of the erotic romance books that was blamed on a glitch in France (yeah, right). However, I have to agree that when it comes to customer service, theirs is quite excellent and unlike brick and mortar bookstores, they do carry far more IR titles, which is always good. And frankly, one just can't beat the prices or the fast shipping. I ordered a bunch of books on B&N.com and it took almost two weeks in contrast to mere DAYS from Amazon (and I don't even have Amazon prime anymore).

Any software developer worth their salt is going to tell you that proprietary software/hardware is, in the end, a bad idea. After a while, it's just not cost effective. Nor, does proprietary necessarily mean quality control (as the early versions of Nintendo discovered). I really have problems with Kindle's ability to delete books just because. If I paid for it, that makes it MINE. There's no discussion.


message 16: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Thanks, everyone. I agree with all your points!

Vix, I agree that if a customer has downloaded a book and has already paid it should be their right to keep it. I have heard this has happened with Kindles from time to time.

Another thing I love about Amazon is that I've found a lot of hard-to-find music and DVD's. I've found tons of stuff from sellers that I'd given up trying to find but found it on Amazon! And usually if I don't something on Amazon, I figure it's gone for good. LOL!

Best Wishes!


message 17: by postcrdprincess (new)

postcrdprincess | 366 comments Man! I didn't even know all this negativity was going on about Amazon (where have I been).

I love Amazon! I am able to find and purchase just about any book I look up on their site. there was only twice, I wasn't able to get what I wanted and that was because the book was no longer availabe.

I love their wide range of IR books. I just love my Kindle!

Any other products I have purchased have come quickly and I have had no problems with returning anything (refunds have been timely).

It's just jealousy! Thanks Stacy-Deanne for keeping me current.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments Whether we like it or not, Amazon is the business model that the brick and mortar stores are either going to have to follow in some way, or try to outdo. Maybe having a way to download e-books or music in the stores would be a great way to grab some of that digital download revenue. And most people will agree that Amazon has great customer service.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

love amazon cause their are a lot of interesting stuff in their


message 20: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments I know a lot of authors weren't happy with Amazon's rating practices, especially when they pulled that little fiasco with GLBT and erotic literary authors, which was fixed due to a threatened lawsuit. Also, they take a huge chunk of change forcing authors to set their prices very high just to turn a decent profit.

However, Amazon is just the wave of the future and people will just have to swallow and deal. They offer great availability of titles and great prices, and artists simply need to turn their attention to volume when it comes to sales. When you see very cheap prices, you have to know that somebody is getting screwed somewhere, and only if an author is savy can they turn this around to their benefit by either writing more titles or look at Amazon as a more marketing tool by enticing people to write reviews for them.

If people want to check out an author, they will go to Amazon first and look at customer reviews.

I have no problems with them because they ship fast also and you can get things delivered quickly without paying extra for shipping.

Chaeya


message 21: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments Chaeya,

As an Amazon KDP author, I am wondering whether you're talking about Amazon paper books or e-books, because Amazon has nothing to do with authors setting the price of e-books. If you're with a publisher, the publisher sets the price. If you're self-published through Kindle Direct, you set decide your own price.

As far as seeing cheap prices on e-books. Nobody is getting screwed there! Did you know that an author makes the same royalty on a $2.99 e-book they would make from a $24.99 hardcover?


message 22: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments You misunderstand what I meant here: people want things cheap whether Amazon, Walmart, etc., which means that us as the producers have to come down on our prices to make more sales. Many authors are selling their books for $0.99 cents just to provoke more sales from people and compete.

Another complaint was as soon as you post your paperback book on Amazon, amazingly, these second hand book dealers somehow had copies of the book selling them off cheaper in their shops, which means, you don't get a portion of those sales.

In 2002, as a musician, they take like 40% so at the time when I spent over $2,500 producing my CD in 2002, with the amount Amazon took, and selling my CD at $15, it made it hard for me to recoup my costs because out of that, I was only getting like $6 after all was said and done. Other artists have complained about the same thing. However, Amazon knows they have the people, so they pretty much force an artist to sell their stuff cheap with the promise of volume. Amazon never returned my unsold CDs as promised, but amazingly several secondhand book store dealers wound up with them and are currently selling them. This happened to several other artists I know. They elected to terminate my sales, but I never got my CDs back. It was only three so not worth my time, but this happened to a number of other musicians.

Many of these arguments were in the past before the e-book phenomena hit and there are many places to sell your books besides Amazon. It's worth it for an artist, author or whatever to use them and just look at the loss as advertising for themselves and recoup their costs by other markets such as live sales and other venues.

Chaeya


message 23: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments Okay, I see what you mean, Chaeya. I don't publish in paperback, so I didn't know the rules. With Kindle books, the author makes 70% on whatever price they set on domestic sales and 35% on international sales.

Chicki


message 24: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments Amazon has gotten a lot better, I will admit. In the old days it was pretty messed up, but I think they corrected a lot of things.

Now, I don't think they have the agenda of driving mom and pop stores out of business. People just enjoy the ease of buying online, that's just the wave of the future. But then I still like to go to a bookstore and have the feel of an actual book in my hands. I buy books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and I support small mom and pop shops.

When my book and my new CD comes out, I have every intention of selling on Amazon because it's just good to have your product on there. Many people will check to see if you're on there just to see if they should take you serious or not.

Chaeya ;o)


message 25: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More), Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Mar 10, 2011 10:48AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 7308 comments Mod
Leslie since you wrote such a long post, I'm going to give you a chance to delete Chicki's quote before deleting it. Please do it right away. The rules state you cannot use the reply button to post or include other member's posts in your post.


message 26: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments Leslie, I am a Kindle author and everything you said is right except the part about Kindle raising the price. They will not change your price except when another retailer discounts it elsewhere. Price changes are stipulated by the author. If I changed the price to $1.75, let's say, I would still receive 35% of $1.75 not a flat .35.

Chicki


message 27: by Chicki (new)

Chicki Brown (chicki663) | 130 comments I only listed one book for $0.99 just to see how it would affect sales. The other book is listed at $3.99, which I will reduce to $2.99 when my new release comes out.

Chicki


message 28: by Violette (new)

Violette Dubrinsky | 32 comments People hate Amazon because its a corporate GIANT. Let's face it. Any corporate giant gets backlash because there really is no competition. I've developed a recent love for Amazon though so I'm not complaining. It's great for self-publishing and exposure.


message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melissa_wy) I'm a faithful Amazon customer and have NEVER had an issue...and the Customer Service is great!


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