By Buying from Amazon, are you Supporting a Bully?

Amazon and Hachette
Amazon and Hachette

If you read or write books, you might be aware of the Amazon Hachette debacle. If you aren’t, this will give you the gist of what Amazon and Hachette are negotiating this very moment.

If you’re an author or reader, (the majority audience of this blog) you’ve all dealt with Amazon in one way or the other.

On the one hand:

Amazon is a behemoth that has leased you your ebooks and is fully able to lay its claim on them any time it so chooses. It could also selectively delete books from your device, without notice.

The New York Times is calling Amazon a Monopsony, the mirror image of Monopoly.

On the other hand:

Amazon has enlarged the book revenue pie for everyone by generating real e-book revenue with the Kindle digital reader, as well as with “the world’s first viable mass-market self-publishing platform,” which has enabled “thousands of new authors to make a living from their writing for the first time in their lives.” (Original article here )

Some independent authors selling via Amazon are celebrating and then,  there are people who’re saying this:

“Unlike almost every other CEO of a publicly-traded company, Bezos does not consider his most important constituency to be shareholders, followed by the board of directors. Bezos knows that if customers are happy, everything else tends to fall into line in the long run…

..Bezos doesn’t ignore profit margins, he just takes them out of the hides of everyone except customers. He pays terrible wages, especially to low-end employees, strong-arms suppliers and business partners to lower prices, and invests in technologies and tactics that will reduce costs, often by firing more people…I would never want to work at Amazon. But I have to admit I like buying from the company.”

This is where my questions come in.

Do you buy books on Amazon?  If Amazon is fighting to lower ebook prices should it win your support as a reader? Do you sell books on Amazon? Are you concerned that the fate of the Hachette authors may one day be yours? Is Amazon becoming too powerful by selling everything from books to electronics to diapers? Do You ever feel that by buying from Amazon, you’re supporting a bully– but that Amazon is simply too good to resist? Have at it in the comments!


And here are today’s Bloggers I recommend visiting!

As part of helping spread the love in my community, I recommend three bloggers on each post, and today’s bloggers are:

Mishika Jenkins or Harliqueen: She’s a writer, and talks a lot about her writing process, in a way that always makes me go aha, and smile!

Vidya Sury: She’s a ray of sunshine, wherever she goes. Her blogs are for you if you look for positivity and conviction in your blog explorations.

Heather M Gardner: If you’re going to make one new blog friend this June, let it be her– a more supportive and kind blog friend is hard to find.




Add Yours
  1. imaginenewdesigns12

    Thank you for liking “After a Halloween Rain” and “Zoomorphic Pareidolia.” I started buying books on Amazon when the local bookstores in my area shut down. Recently, I have not bought any fiction books from Amazon, but I still order school textbooks from them. I do not sell books on Amazon, so I do not know if they deal with their authors fairly.


  2. eisyasofia

    Hi. It’s great to hear your point of view because I never considered e-books. E-book readers are expensive here in Malaysia so we still depend on paperbacks & hardcopies.

    I write about book-related issues so when I researched for ideas, I came across this campaign in the UK & Ireland called ‘Keep Books on the High Street’. It’s basically a campaign to encourage people to buy from independent book stores and to discourage purchasing from Amazon. I’ll attach some links so you could read more.


  3. bornandread

    This is a tough one, because I LOVE my Kindle. I love it hard, and I don’t want to feel guilty every time I buy a new e-book on Amazon. So, I do try and go to my local Indie bookshop as often as possible and share the love around, but Amazon (or Amazon-owned Book Depository) is usually so much cheaper that it’s hard to resist.


  4. cafechica

    I love reading and I have a Sony eReader. Used to buy books from their store but it’s closed now, so I have mostly been signing out books from my local eLibary (which is awesome!) or buying the occasional book from Chapters Indigo (Kindle). I do purchase my kids books from Amazon though, simply because I would rather have my daughter read a physical book then an ebook and I can usually find the best deals there! Not sure if that’s always the best, but when you’re on a budget, it limits your options.


  5. AntonioWestley

    I am an indie writer and by this time next year I hope to have my first release on amazon. So I hope there won’t be any negative changes that will impact authors from now and that time. I have a hard time dealing with the fact that amazon in the ebook aspect is still alien to me and what the experience is like for first time publishers on that platform. I’d love some feed back if any one cares to fill me in ^_^


  6. lauzlau

    Your blog is full of info/advice that I could use. I would like to spend more time reading but haven’t set up a “system” yet for writing/reading. Practice makes perfect! Thank you for visiting my blog & following.


  7. Hobbie DeHoy

    When I heard about the Hachette/Amazon story on the Colbert Report, I went to one of the (three!) indie bookshops in my community and bought my books there instead. Amazon is already the biggest bully in the playground, and I want the little ones to succeed as well. Yes, it’ll take longer than 2 days and I will have to (gasp!) run another errand to go pick them up AND it’s a little more expensive that way. I’m willing to deal with that to help my local indie bookstores to survive.


  8. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I stopped shopping at Amazon back in 2008 after hearing an editor talk about their strongarming tactics and how dealing with them was like dealing with a five-year-old’s tantrum. I think I’ve bought three things since then from them, all because the prices were that much cheaper. And none of those three things were books.


  9. W. K. Tucker

    First off, let me say I am a writer. And though I’ve had short stories published in magazines, I’ve yet to secure a literary agent for my novel. With short stories, I pitched straight to the publishers–no agent required; novels are a completely different kettle of fish. I need an agent to get my foot in the door of the big publishing houses, and the vast majority of agents I have queried don’t even have the curtiousy to send a form rejection, let alone offer advice or constructive criticism like in the olden days.

    To me, traditional publishers–and agents–want nothing to do with you unless you are already a well-known author, or a celebrity with a ghost-written autobiography. Oh yeah–or if you are a celebrity who has written a children’s book.

    Sadly, It seems to have gotten to the point that to get your book out there, Amazon is the place to go, and I may end up doing just that.

    On another note, I’m an avid reader. For the past several years, most of the books I’ve purchased have been in digital format, and most from Amazon. Yes, I have read a few that have been poorly written and plotted, but I have discoverd many, many gems that would never have seen the light of day if not for Amazon.

    The whole thing is a double-edged sword, and who knows how it will all pan out once the dust has settled.


  10. sheketechad

    As someone who purchases most of their books used due to budgetary constraints, I deal very little with Amazon except in the e-book realm for books. In this, I like that self-published authors have an enormous platform to sell through. It is transforming the publishing world, just as it has transformed the music world, in both good and bad ways. As a consumer, I like the choices I now have through this model. Those who have long profited as middlemen and gatekeepers will fuss the loudest, as it impacts their profitability, which narrows in every business month by month, fueled by consumer-driven demands and the ever-expanding globalization model. Digital and centralized distribution are changing our world. In the end, will it be for better? I don’t think we can know

    While I don’t go there much anymore, I, like Raised A Reader, do mourn the pending loss of more brick and mortar bookstores. I guess as long as they don’t do away with libraries, I can still get my ‘book aroma’ fix and be surrounded by towering shelves of books :)


  11. lexacain

    Holy cow – you have a LOT of comments1 Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry to hear you’re under the weather too. I hope we both recover soon. :)

    I think Amazon is a bully, but so are the trad publishers in different ways. My biggest gripe is my inability to buy or even download FREE books because Amazon has blacklisted the WHOLE CONTINENT of Africa. Yes, if you live anywhere in Africa, from South Africa to Morocco to Egypt, you can’t download books from Amazon. And if you order books and have them shipped (like I did once) don’t expect them to arrive EVER. The Amazon shipper relinquishes all responsibility once the books leave the US. They’re practically driving us into the arms of pirates…


  12. Joseph E Rathjen

    Hmm…Amazon hits home for me. Not only does my daughter work for Amazon, they have also been selling one my books for 18-years. I’m a bad one to ask that question to since I personally feel that all publishers and booksellers are thieves. Trying to make sense out of an author’s royalty statement is like trying to put together a puzzle with a few missing pieces.

    Where did they go?

    I know a lot about how Amazon operates (with their employees) so I’ll keep my mouth shut for my daughter’s sake. However, since they are the biggest game in town (the web) I’m afraid we are all stuck with them.

    Amazon is like the DMV – you can’t help but hate going there, but if you want to keep driving you don’t have much of a choice.

    Sad, but true. 😁


  13. trentpmcd

    I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. Anything I want I can find and usually at a good price. There was a time I hated to by books by “mail order” and then by the Internet because I needed to hold the book and leaf through it. A review wasn’t good enough, I had to look at it to see if it fit my style. Things have changed – I’ve bought very few books through other sources than Amazon in the last 10 years. But I know they are a bully. I know all of the bad things they do. (Not “all”, but enough to hate them.) I wouldn’t want to work for them but in the modern world there is little we can do but deal with them.


  14. Raised A Reader

    Whenever I can, I try to buy books from Barnes and Nobles. As of now, I don’t have anything against Amazon, but I’m concerned with the trend of bookshops in my area closing down. If there ever came a time when I couldn’t walk into a Barnes and Nobles and see those towering stacks of shelves around me, I don’t know what I would do. Interesting question, though.

    Erin @ Raised Reading


  15. Tony Laplume

    I’m not just saying this as an employee who lost his job when it went out of business, but this is another ramification of Borders closing. Amazon became the default leading bookseller (did anyone REALLY think that was Barnes & Noble?), and so it gets to throw its weight around. Here is some of that in action.


I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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