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June 22, 2011



I was planning to visit Seattle Mystery Bookshop to buy G. M. Ford's latest novel "Thicker Than Water."

But because it's published by Thomas & Mercer, I can't buy it at SMB? I have to buy it at a different bookstore, or directly from amazon?


Competitions is a part of the business,it would be good or bad. This can bring challenge into business. Interesting books should be appreciate by the reader whether it is independent or amazon.


Kudos to you. You've made the right decision.

Amazon is a big, bad bully, that, by virtue of the luck of the US tax code, has tried to appoint itself as the master of bookselling in the US (and soon the world). They refuse to do business in states where new laws have insisted that they pay tax. They are unethical and greedy. If only more of us little guys would face up to the bully as you have, we might succeed in killing or at least maiming the giant.


>>I cannot tolerate censorship of any kind or by anyone.

Censorship of any kind? Like not getting a book because it is published by Amazon?

Censorship by anyone? You

Judy, it's business, baby!


I hate to be blunt like this but your entire post made you sound like a fool. I mean, you feel Kindle is going to go out of business because some of your "friends" don't know how to operate the device properly. Strange, everybody else seems to be doing just fine with it (including young children).

Then you went on to say Kindle has "open file sharing" or something, that encourages piracy (according to you). You said it was like the music biz. You clearly haven't researched this topic & are just blowing hot air.

Then you said, "What are us writers going to do then?" WRITERS are earning 70% royalties on Kindle Direct Publishing. Believe me, they're doing just fine (in regards to ebooks). And no offense but you sound like a "traditionally" published writer, so in that case I'd answer your question by saying 'keep your day job' (like you've been doing all along). If your a midlist writer, earning 14.9% on those ebooks you may as well fold anyway 'cause you're not making anything to begin with.

Saying "I'll never buy an ebook" (or "I'll reject technology) is just hammering more nails into your coffin as a writer. Seriously. You don't sound professional, you sound like you're whinning. Writing is a business. It's business, baby.

EVERYBODY is trying to earn an dollar and stay in business-writers, too (which has been nearly IMPOSSIBLE since publishers take such huge royalties from the pot). Now writers have a real chance to earn "something". No one knows what the future holds but they know what the present holds.

Sharon Hodgins

Somewhere along the line, the monopoly laws created, I think, in the 1930's have gone by the wayside-- and we are refighting the 1930's with the attack on workers, unions, independent businesses of any kind -- reread the chapters of any American History book of the "Gilded Age"-- late 1890's to really the "First" Great Depression -- and you will see the huge parallels between where were 100+ years ago, and where we are currently.

Even though I have a somewhat limited income, I always try to buy books from an independent bookstore when the author writes a mystery series I follow. It does make me say "ouch" at the retail price but I want to make sure that both the author and the independent bookstore survives. The Seattle Mystery bookshop has given me many pleasurable hours and I will support them as long as they exist. Further, it has let me converse with authors whom I enjoy with their many signings.

I don't know alot about how publishers work today, and what they do for authors -- but I do know there are fewer publishers -- which makes me sad. Again, a monopoly growing.

As for Kindle, I have two friends who were completely enamoured with them -- and after 6 months, they fizzled out. No thanks -- the only way I will purchase one is if I am on a long trip where I can't take many books.

I don't want any company in a position to be a monopoly or to not pay taxes. I do as little business with Amazon as possible and will continue to do so.

By the way, there are many places to buy used books besides Amazon -- you might check for them on the Internet. E-Bay, for example, has spent millions of dollars creating a great book store. I buy often from them/half.com if I am looking for a "bargain".

Thanks, JB, for taking the strong stand against Amazon -- another monopoly in the making.


of course I understand the independent bookstore's point here.. but on the one hand he's saying that he can not support companies that censor while on the other he is removing titles and authors from his store that are related to amazon. Does he do the same with other publishers he doesn't like?

To me amazon seems like part of the problem..but the main problem is an unwillingness of small stores to adapt to technological advances or even push that advance. How many bookstores have a decent website that is easy to use?

It would be presumptuous of me to assume that all avenues for revenue have not been explored, but amazon seems like an easy target that allows for independents to wallow in 'woe is me' rather than trying to get creative.

further restricting potential sales, also, by cutting all amazon titles seems like it wouldn't help the problem either, but further advance it.

I buy from both Amazon and independents...I buy from the Strand here in NYC often for instance. Amazon is great for titles that bookstores can't carry and bookstores are great for impulse buys and stack searches leading to new titles that will can never fully be replicated by a website equivalent.


Here's the real issue -- it's not the indie bookseller who's caught in the middle -- it's the reader.

We just want to read good books. At the end of the day, we're going to find them and keep reading them one way or another.

If the only way to purchase them is through Amazon, so be it.

I suspect what will really happen going forward is publishing houses will become their own bookstore. Why not? The indies whine and complain, the big box stores screwed themselves,and Amazon strongarms. In the meantime, publishers want to sell and readers want to buy.

Who needs all these dysfunctional middlemen anyway?

Amazon may end up shooting themselves in the foot, but that only helps direct sales from the publisher's perspective. And if Amazon goes, so will the remaining indies. The only people who DON'T have anything to lose are publishers and readers.

Jessica Glenn

A bookseller who is supporting book banning? That is terribly, terribly wrong!


There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of books. I want to buy physical books to pass along to friends, keep on my shelf for reference, and to own because I'm just not happy without a physical copy of Jane Eyre even if it's on my Kindle. I want eBooks for the quick delivery, low price, and most importantly, ease of reading. I have middle aged eyes and my son has visual processing disorder; without Kindle, our reading AND book buying would be slashed 75 percent. In all this discussion, where's the acknowledgment that people borrow books from friends or the library, cutting into independent bookstores' businesses? Indies are great IF they support local authors and genres they don't personally think are cool--NOT always the case. The business will shake itself out but there are no bad guys. As an author, I have to say my local independents have been bigger "bad guys" to me than Amazon has. Everyone needs to change.


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