Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones December 6, 2011 - 6:56pm

http://gawker.com/5865612/amazon-launches-christmas-attack-on-local-shops

apparently, if you scan the item in a local store and then buy that same item from amazon, they will pay you five dollars not to support your local enonomy. this pisses me off so much that i'm seriously considering selling the kindle i bought myself for christmas, and never shopping there again.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 6, 2011 - 7:13pm

Agreed. Fuck Amazon.

.'s picture
. December 6, 2011 - 7:17pm

I'm going to use the Guy Faux mask I ordered through Amazon...and protest Amazon. I get almost everything from Amazon. I can't argue that they have the best deals. The problem with local stores is that they follow a traditional buisness model. 

I agree though, those bastards. I just have too many books on my Kindle so I can't part with it. I guess I sold my soul (wallet) to Amazon so I have no standards anymore and hence no reason to poke my nose into this thread.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 7:44pm

This is outrageous. Too bad I'm poor and bookstores rarely sell the books that I'm interested in buying. Although I just moved to Portland and bookstores may be better here, particular Powell's (or is it Powell's's?) small press section in their primary store. But in nearly every other bookstore that I have been in, their inventory  was identical to Barnes & Noble stores and Borders stores (before they went under), with the exception of it being smaller. I guess in the future, I'll buy books directly through the publisher (if they're available on their websites) rather than on Amazon.

But Amazon is REALLY good for me as an author. Since my books are rarely carried in the shelves brick and mortar stores and my publisher doesn't sell books exclusively through their website, the vast majority of my sales come from Amazon. So it's a double-edged sword. Amazon really levels the playing field between the small press and the monolithic NYC publishers. Although I'm pretty sure my books can be special ordered at bookstores through their customer service desks.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 6, 2011 - 7:42pm

Yep.

Every book can be ordered through Powells. Just takes a bit of effort.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 6, 2011 - 7:47pm
Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 7:54pm

I think every book that is in-print and available on Amazon (in print rather than as an e-book) can be ordered through any bookstore, but I might be wrong. I'm assuming they can be ordered as long as they have a distributor.

There are certain self-published books that are printed and sold by Lulu and only sold on their site rather than Amazon because the books lack a distributor, so those kinds of books would obviously be impossible to get in a store.

But the problem that I have with ordering books through physical stores rather than Amazon concerns my poverty and Amazon's enticing discounts. I rarely have book buying money, although that may change in the near future. I get the vast majority of the books I read from the library. I haven't been to one yet in Portland. I'm not entirely sure where they are. Haven't thoroughly explored the city yet. Feeling a bit sick at the moment.

Anyway, as I suggested in a comment in one of the "magazine's" articles, bookstores should try to match Amazon's discounts if they are able to afford it, although perhaps that is impossible for them. I wish I were more financially well-off, could say, "fuck Amazon," and special order all my books from local stores, but I don't have that luxury.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 6, 2011 - 8:01pm

Okay, okay, I admit I occasionally shop there if I fail to find it anywhere else first--only a few times annually. But I almost always find books through Powell's first or the publisher (small presses) or the authors. 

Amazon is the virtual Wal Mart of the future if not the present. I'm just for spreading the wealth whenever possible.

I am glad Amazon has helped you though Bradley. At least that is one area they are actually creating a positive impact.

Well when you get well I can take you on a tour of the Multnomah County Library network. I'm sure you will be very pleased, it's really good.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 6, 2011 - 7:58pm

It's a cost issue more than anything.  Small time stores can't wheel and deal like the big dogs can.  If they try and price match, they lose money. 

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 6, 2011 - 7:58pm

Yuck. We don't have any local stores that sell new books. I've got to drive 45 minutes and go to a mall B&N for anything new---but I would rather dig through our multiple used book stores than let them go out of business. I hope that the majority of the people who do this do it at large chain retailers that can afford to take the hit, and not small businesses that need the revenue.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 6, 2011 - 8:00pm

It's a 5% discount on what you buy, up to $5.  You can only do it 3 times.  $15 max.  The deal is only for 2 days. 

 

This is not a big deal.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 7:59pm

I went to that link to Powell's that has my books and the majority of them are being sold well above their cover prices. Not that Amazon seems to be discounting any of my books at the moment, but at least they're selling them for the price that the publisher is asking for. Do people actually pay more than the cover price to support independent booksellers rather than monoliths like Amazon? Maybe, and it's obviously a lot more likely if they can afford the extra money.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 6, 2011 - 8:00pm

Bryan, I disagree. The idea is to get people who would normally shop locally to shop online, and it will work. It IS a big deal. I think maybe people who live in bigger cities see so much available in the form of chains that they don't realize how much is being taken from the truly local business. If you live in a small community it is insanely obvious.

Not to mention that even the large retailers provide jobs and revenue in the form of taxes.

Amazon isn't going to pay for a child's public education, or give a job to someone who will stimulate your local economy. Amazon isn't going to keep indie book stores open. Amazon isn't going to give a shit about what it does to local communities so long as they get their buck.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 8:07pm

It's a 5% discount on what you buy, up to $5.  You can only do it 3 times.  $15 max.

This is not a big deal.

I didn't realize that. You have a point. Still, the "fuck you, little guy"-ness of the thing...

This essay may be of interest to you guys: http://carltonmellick.com/2010/12/15/why-buying-through-amazon-com-is-the-best-way-to-support-writers/

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 6, 2011 - 8:08pm

5% of a 25.00 book = $1.25 (shit, is that right?  Man, math sucks).  I don't think anyone is going to waste this on a book.  It's just a promotion to get people to use their new application.  The only people that will use promotion will just use it to get a few dollars off a purchase that was already going to be bought through Amazon.

 

Terms and Conditions
1.This promotion starts 9:00 pm (PST) December 9, 2011 and ends 11:59 pm (PST) December 10, 2011.
2.Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time.
3.The discount does not apply to taxes, gift wrap, shipping, or other fees.
4.Limit three (3) discounts per customer and customer account.
5.This discount may not be combined with other offers.
6.Limit one discount per eligible product.
7.If you violate any of these Terms and Conditions, the offer will be invalid.
8.Void where prohibited.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 6, 2011 - 8:10pm

and it doesn't include books, I guess

While you are out shopping, you may optionally provide the Price Check App the in-store advertised price of a qualifying product in the eligible product categories (Electronics, Toys, Sports, Music, and DVDs).

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 6, 2011 - 8:12pm

I would rather sacrifice in other areas and pay more for items that are local--again, when possible. I am not suggesting to go hungry, but perhaps just to rethink whether or not that money you are voting with is going to somewhere that intends on making the world a better place?

Or is it all about the money?

 

Communities have gotten away form the local village economies over the last century but fortunately that is changing as localisation re-establishes itself. If we don't have villages, then what do we have in place of them?

 

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 8:57pm

Oh yeah, so it looks like it doesn't even include books. So the only "little guy" that the promo is screwing over are mostly CD stores (I think of most electronics stores as being big franchises that have stores all over the country).

I think if a person can afford it, it's definitely worth supporting local bookstores by buying books from them rather than Amazon. But something seems wrong to me when a bookstore's asking price is more than a book's cover price. My editor once explained to me why Powell's is selling my books online for prices above their cover prices, but I forget what he told me. And unlike on the internet, I assume the books that they sell in stores are sold at cover price.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 6, 2011 - 9:00pm

CD prices are around 10-15 bucks.  So, with this, you'd save (fuckin' math, again) 50-75 cents.  3 times.  You're up $2.  

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 6, 2011 - 9:26pm

Honestly I wish this was an all the time thing. Almost every time I go into a local small business they treat me like crap, and expect me to be happy about paying more for the privilege. I avoid small business whenever possible. That isn’t a crazy over statement, maybe it’s just the town I live in but since I moved to Lexington two years ago I’ve had exactly one positive repeat experience with a small business. They proceeded to screw that up next time I went in.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 6, 2011 - 9:49pm

I'll tell you why I use Amazon. The driving. Pittsburgh driving is horrendous. If you live here, you know what I mean. But, there's a B&N and a Half Price five minutes from me, but most times, they don't have the books I want on the shelves. Amazon does. And, the independents are downtown. Driving there is a pain, and parking is a pain. If, though, I do decide to go, I will buy something. A lot of those independents you can order from, too. Mac's Backs in Cleveland is one and so is Atomic Books in Baltimore. I've only been to both once, but Atomic rocks! Fully supports the indie writers, and not-so indie.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 6, 2011 - 9:50pm

I understand the anger but we are living in a discount economy and people want deals that unfortunately the huge corporations and conglomerates can afford to give that others can't.  For instance, I hate Walmart, it's like Walking Dead but you can't shoot the zombies.  Everyone looks like they just hopped out of a trash can and put on their best goodwill clothes to go shopping.  I still have to agree though that electronic books are going to give new and not well known writers like ourselves a chance to be read.  Just like mp3s destroyed CDs and the music industry stores. 

I worked at Tower Records for two years and it was an awesome place to work.  So great for a twentysomething kid like me at the time and everyone who worked there was into their own thing, we all had our own areas of expertise in either music, books or movies. We let customers into our weirdness and didn't act like hipster douchebags who knew everything and like they just weren't cool enough to get it.  People liked us because we didn't talk down to them.  I mostly worked in the book section but it all intermingled and people got to have that experience of actually talking to people who knew what they were talking about.  Everyone who worked there loved the things they sold, the owners only hired people who cared about the merch and were knowledgable about it.  Because there is nothing that annoys me more than going in a store and having people go, "I don't know, I've never read that, heard that, seen that, eaten that."  If someone asked me about graphic novels, I told them, if they asked me about music I didn't know about I took them to the dude who did.  We had in-store performances and a strange sense of togetherness.  As everyone knows Tower Records went out of business because they couldn't keep up in an industry where you can steal music online or buy an album online for 9.99.  Plus they were 30 million dollars in debt.

Independant bookstores are now going the way of the dinosaur the way record stores did and it is sad.  There is something to be said for that human experience of actually seeing a book before you buy it and reading the first few pages but now you can do that digitally.  I still hold on to my belief that one day the entire world will be ruled by Microsoft-Apple-McDonalds-Amazon-Starbucks.  It will just be one huge corporation called Micrapple Mcamabucks.  Children in Africa will go to schools sponsored by Sprint and Verizon and we will all drive cars with the Starbucks logo on the hood.  God bless Capitalism!

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 6, 2011 - 10:08pm

I have no idea if independent bookstores are actually closing all over the place or not, but the only bookstores that I've heard about when it comes to closing down are the Borders stores, and independent stores can only benefit from that considering there is now less competition.

When I was a high school student, there was a Tower Records nearby and it was my favorite place to buy books. The store's book buyer was really great and I found out about tons of unconventional books just by browsing their shelves. And it was the same thing with their selection of videos. Perhaps the same person who worked there bought both the books and videos. As for the CDs, they had a massive collection, but strangely they rarely had CDs from bands who I was interested in at the time. For that, I had to drive forty minutes to get to a small CD shop and then forty minutes back. After moving away to attend college and graduating, I moved back in with my parents for a little while and when I went back to the Tower Records, they had cut down their books and video shelves to barely anything and they no longer sold anything of interest to me. I guess the awesome book/video buyer stopped working there while I was away or they used the extra space for music for some reason.

MattF's picture
MattF from Tokyo is reading Borges' Collected Fictions December 6, 2011 - 11:08pm

On Tower Records, I have to say they are my favorite English Language bookstore in Tokyo (top floor of Shibuya location)--it's not huge, but their selection is incredibly diverse and they display titles I'd never expect to be displayed.  Whoever their book buyers are, they just get it.  

Kinokuniya has the biggest English language selection here, and they're also quite good, and cheaper than Tower Records, so I buy most of my books there, but there are always titles I find at Tower that I can't find anywhere else.  I just bought Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, for example--I'm sure there are plenty of bookstores in the states that aren't stocking an unheralded novella by a less than household name.

In my entire life I've bought less than 10 items on Amazon (almost all dvd's).  Not for political reasons.  I just dig the physical world.

.'s picture
. December 7, 2011 - 3:53am
Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading December 7, 2011 - 4:51am

I buy everything on Amazon. They're pulling a dickish move, but I'm going to continue to buy from Amazon — most of the books I buy are obscure and unavailable in indie bookstores, and if I buy them in academic bookstores the prices are unreasonable. So Amazon it is for me.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words December 7, 2011 - 7:49am

I guess I'm lucky - there's an independent bookstore about 4 blocks from my place that caters to university students and the repetory theatre crowd (the theatre's next door to the bookstore). The place is tiny, there are piles of books everywhere, and things aren't always in order - but the owner (a taciturn strange person) sells some second hand stuff, and everything is less than the cover price (might also have to do with the exchange rate - why pay $26 in Canada and $19 in the US when the dollars are on par???)

There's also a couple of great comic stores where they stock all kinds of off-beat stuff.

I have bought things through amazon, but it's rare. I don't own a credit card, and still can't remember my paypal password or security questions.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 7, 2011 - 8:07am

I used to think comic books were only about superheroes but then I got into the Vertigo stuff and writers like Adrian Tomine, Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns. Ghost World is one of my favorite comics.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 7, 2011 - 10:29am

My name is bryanhowie, and I'm an Amazon addict.

Damn you, PRIME!!!!*

 

(*not Optimus)

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 7, 2011 - 10:34am

...Megatron?

oh...okay..I see. 

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 7, 2011 - 10:47am

It does seem Sleazy, I agree. Do I want to see the little guy win? Yes. Should I be upset about a company like Amazon who has found a way (legally) to be VERY successful. Hell No. That would be unAmerican (I'm sure I'll catch hell for that statement). It's a business tactic and they are within their rights to use it.

I love small book stores. I buy a shit-load of books locally every month. I hope for their continued existence but I would love for them to get creative with business strategies. Times have changed but they have not. If they want to survive they need to adapt. I don't know how, I just know they do.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 8, 2011 - 9:58am

@ brainhowie - Amazon Prime is the lesser known brother of Optimus. Both were born in Israel but immigrated to the United States in 1970; Optimus was 5 and Amazon was 3. Although alone as children in a strange country, being huge warrior robots helped them quickly settle into their adopted nation.


Optimus got his first acting job shortly after moving to the U.S. by specializing in being the a semi-truck that can get to improbable locations. He later made a successful movie and TV career with himself in the reoccurring role as the Leader of the Autobots. Once the casting director found out he had the same name as the main character he was hired on the spot. During time off he supplements his income as a over the road trucker who doesn't need sleep or diesel.


Prime, largely supported by his brother, went to college and gaining a business management degree then MBA both from Washburn University in Kansas. He briefly converted from Judaism to Deceptcionism, but converted back now referring to that period of his life as a "youthful indiscretion fueled by too much weed and Energon." He is now the Amazon Vice President of Shipping, responsible for a staff of hundred that shipps tens of millions of packages annually.


Both primes now live in Rhode Island, attend the same synagogue, and next year plan to open their first auto service shop, which will be staffed entirely by transformers who are recovering Energon addicts called "For Cars, By Cars."

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 7, 2011 - 4:49pm

I love you, Dwayne.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 7, 2011 - 5:55pm

I see that this discussion tends toward books and authors and I suppose that's fitting since that is why we are all here. 

But when I say fuck Amazon (and I will continue to say it)  it is not so much the 10% of their sales (roughly?) that are e-books and books that I am talking about, but all of their merchandise. The moment people begin going to only one place (a faceless one at that) they risk supporting a monopoly. 

Spread the wealth, that's all I am saying.

As far as this small business thing, I don't know about where any of you live, but in Portland what they bring to the city culturally is amazing and it would be tragic to lose that. But I realize Portland is often contrarian. There are a growing number of streets lined with small businesses owned by people who are neighbors--they live in the community. On these streets which run for blocks and blocks you will not see a single franchise. Not one. And they all bring something the franchises and places like Amazon never will--individuality.

Now back to e-books. This industry is in its infancy. There are going to be options popping up everywhere, so I am not too worried about being able to buy Bradley's or any books any of you write in a whole lotta venues. I have no doubt there will be a panoply of options in that department. 

Until then I will peruse Amazon only as absolutely necessary much in the same way that I must use fossil fuels to propel my planet wrecking, air-polluting car. Fortunately there are 100's of businesses within pedaling distance.

 

 Citizens For A Rabid Economy

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford December 7, 2011 - 6:37pm

Spread the wealth? Amazon's spreading it Plenty by saving the Consumer Money -they're offering the best prices on the most products at the greatest convenience. Why fuck them?

No, I don't live in Portland and maybe the local bookstores there are seriously fantastic, but where I live, the local bookshops never have my product, they take longer to special order it, and they charge more when it finally comes in. But hey, there's always their individuality, right? 

I work hard for my money. If anyone out there wants the hard-earned money from my pockets, then you have to have something to offer. 

I mean did Tiger Woods, in his Prime Years, when he was winning Everything and taking all of the endorsements, told he couldn't or shouldn't play anymore because of a Monopoly?

No, compete or get out. Instag8r said it best: "Times have changed but they have not. If they want to survive they need to adapt."

Right. Successful business isn't the problem. Competition and lack of creativity are. Tiger Woods was great while he lasted. So will Amazon be until someone better beats them at their game. And it will happen one day. Just like it did with Blockbuster. It's not the end of the world or the bookstore -it's just another cycle of a business becoming big because of their successful ability to offer the best prodcuts and prices.

Think Arcade. You can't find an arcade anymore, but actual video games are bigger than ever. Whatever helps books and reading and writers to survive. And if it happens to be saving me money in the process, then that's the cherry on top.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 7, 2011 - 8:45pm

Wherever or whoever has the product I want at the cheapest prices, I'm going there. Period.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs December 7, 2011 - 10:11pm

Portland's bookstores seem different than the stores in everywhere else that I have ever lived, which just seemed like smaller versions of Borders and Barnes & Noble inventory-wise minus the corporate aspect of those two companies.

If you aren't in an "every penny counts" sort of situation and Amazon's discounts wouldn't be extraordinarily helpful to you, I think you should support your local economy by buying all your books from a brick and mortar store. If the book that you want to buy is a small press book, it is very unlikely that you will find it in a store. In this case, you will need to special order it from the store's help desk. If that's not possible for some reason, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying it from amazon. 

If you are a small press or self-published author (or will be in the future), the majority of your sales will be through Amazon. There is no other way around it. People are unlikely to special order your books in physical stores if that is even possible. People need to find out about your books. If they are not on the shelves bookstores, they will not have this opportunity. They find out about them through Amazon and it's unlikely that they will special order a book in person that they found out about online rather than just order it on the internet. My publisher has books in a few physical stores here and there, but the vast majority of them are sold through Amazon, where they sell quite a lot of books (the publisher does not sell books directly through their website). Also, Amazon gives a higher royalty rate to publishers and authors for each book sold than brick and mortar stores do, and more money for your books is always a good thing.

Amazon levels the playing field between the monolithic NYC presses and the small presses. It gives small press books that are only in few physical bookstores an opportunity to thrive. Amazon doesn't give large presses any more special treatment than they give small presses. The same cannot be said about nearly every brick and mortar store (with the exception of the offline version of Powell's). Amazon is the best thing ever for small presses and the worst thing ever for physical bookstores.

There are many many reasons why you should support local bookstores as much as you are able to. These reasons include things like how you can't meet your friend for a cup of coffee on Amazon, hanging out in a bookstore and checking the shelves for books that you've never heard of is just so much cooler than looking for books on Amazon, and you can't attend an author's live reading on Amazon. There are probably an infinite number of reasons. But if you buy through Amazon, you are giving more financial support to authors than you would have had you special ordered their books from physical stores. And if you want to put less money in the author's pocket so you can support your local bookstores, then you should definitely do it.

I guess Amazon is pretty much the epitome of a double-edged sword.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 8, 2011 - 12:19am

@Nathan & Rian: I guess that is where we differ. I work hard for my money too. But I am particular where I spend it. I won't buy a product just because it is the cheapest. I want to know where that money is going. I refuse to go to Wal Mart just because they have the cheapest shit. God bless fuckin' America. 

Well from the sound of you guys, Amazon has nothing to worry about. Neither does Wall Street.

@Bradley, you summed it up well there. And I agree it is double-edged like a majority of american concerns.

Shit, I'll be the first to admit that I'm double-edged. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. 

Fuck Amazon.

 

 

 

 

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. December 8, 2011 - 2:03am

Many of the books I have bought new in this past year have been by lesser known American authors. Many by people we all know on here - Brandon Tietz, Bradley Sands, Richard Thomas, Caleb Ross, etc.

Me being in England, Amazon is clearly my best option. Even bigger bookstores over here ain't carrying these books.

The first one I bought was direct from the publisher. I had to pay $14 on top of cover price to have it shipped over and it took a few weeks to get here. The shipping on the other books (from Amazon) was free. They were delivered the next day. Clearly one of these situations is superior.

This international clout is what sells me on Amazon.

I still buy the odd book direct, but only for 'special' cases. Like my signed copy of Out Of Touch. Or like the preorder I placed for As A Machine & Parts (again, signed). Generally though, I'm gonna go for the vastly cheaper, faster option.

 

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 8, 2011 - 7:17am

 I won't buy a product just because it is the cheapest. I want to know where that money is going. I refuse to go to Wal Mart just because they have the cheapest shit. God bless fuckin' America. 

- I think either way, that money ends up in the hands of the people who need it least. Unfortunately, I don't make a lot of money, so if Walmart has it cheapest, sorry I'm going there. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 8, 2011 - 10:07am

@ brainhowie - Did you catch the Family Guy reference? lol

I avoid Wal-Mart not out of any moral issue, but because the store just depresses me. Even folks I know who normally look ok come across as Walking Dead extras. Meijer has about the same selection and prices with slightly better sales so I just go there if at all possible.

As to all this support for local bookstores I'm a bit confused, unless they operate differently then ones I'm familiar with. They don't seem at all concerned with supporting local authors, which constitutes most of us right? If anything they seem intent to not let us get product on their shelf, even more so then large companies. I've at least seen local authors who have some sales under the belts to have book signings at Barnes & Noble. With the exception of Joseph Beth, which I think is a locally owned franchise, I don't know of any that wouldn't throw our dreams under the bus then turn around and expect support because they set up shop down the street. Is it different in other locations?

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 8, 2011 - 10:26am

Meijer has about the same selection and prices with slightly better sales so I just go there if at all possible.

- Meijer rules. But we don't have them in PA. PA sucks. Gotta buy beer in state licensed stores like beer distributors and liquor stores. Bars close at 2am instead of 3am. And no fucking Meijer. 

Dean Blake's picture
Dean Blake from Australia is reading generationend.com December 8, 2011 - 1:26pm

The small book stores in my city don't have the books I'm looking for. The best range came from, unfortunately, Borders, and that's closed down. The internet's my last hope.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 8, 2011 - 1:38pm

I agree, e-books are sometimes easier especially with small presses like I just bought Slut Lullabies as an ebook because the physical one was going to take 1-3 weeks to get. Plus Amazon is the best chance for unknown and up and coming authors who want to be given a chance.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 8, 2011 - 3:22pm

Okay, okay, unfuck Amazon a bit.

Again, let me just say that I do own a kindle and I do buy books from Amazon. I was not even referring to that aspect of Amazon. Now if that was all they were selling, fine. But when their goal is to provide every product out there then I question how much power I want them to have.

As consumers we do make choices that directly effect how big or small an industry becomes. As far as Nathan's Tiger Woods analogy, I have a hard time comparing the economy to a single sports figure who was fucking everything that moved. 

Wait maybe that is the perfect analogy for what those at the top are doing. 

Just throwing up our arms and saying "The big guys are just going to have all the money anyway" doesn't work for me.

I doubt Jeff Bezo's motivation with Amazon has very little to do with 'helping' anyone. It has to do with money. Profits. 

I think it is great that Amazon sales books by lesser-known authors and has leveled that playing field. Again, I buy those books too. But when that becomes the only place that is happening, then a bit of concern creeps in. 

If I believed in God, I would pray for the day when Amazon was not the least expensive option. It would be nice to see some competition for change. Instead the monster just grows.

 

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 8, 2011 - 3:32pm

I think the issue with the 'Monster' stores like Walmart and even Amazon, to an extent, is that you can get everything you need there. I can go to Walmart and in one trip buy everything I need. This makes for convenience. Amazon has this part locked. You can sit at home, in your underwear and buy all the shit you need. Both offer lower prices and in this economy, people want to pay as little as possible. For some, it takes more than a gallon of gas to get to Walmart, let alone Ma and Pop stores, so Amazon is the logical option. And, like it or not, Walmart, and super stores of the like, have all provided jobs in the community. Sure, they've killed the independents and Ma and Pop places, but how many people were those places employing? Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning this, I'm just stating fact. I don't know how many people Amazon employs, so I won't comment on that.

What it comes down to is the majority of people want lower prices and convenience and unfortunately that wipes out the Ma and Pops.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 8, 2011 - 3:53pm

I know, and I like low prices too and the convenience factor and I'm not bashing anyone for wanting to save money or merely survive. I am right there with you all. And if it works for you, do it.

I was just voicing my own personal philosophy which at times, as Mr. Sands made evident, can be somewhat hypocritical. I am just looking for that balance.

I think this thread and all of you guys' comments has me rethinking at least the service Amazon provides writers. And makes me feel a little better about buying from that department, if I know it supports you guys.

Unfuck Amazon.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 8, 2011 - 3:56pm

Unfuck Amazon.

- LOL... 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 8, 2011 - 4:03pm

I finally pressed the unfuck button.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest December 8, 2011 - 4:05pm

See, wasn't that easy *Pressing Easy button*

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 8, 2011 - 4:52pm

I'm sorry, but once something has been fucked, there is no unfucking it.