The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Joost Swarte: Tumult in the Book World


This wonderful illustration by Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte accompanied a discussion on traditional bookstores in the digital marketplace in last Sunday’s New York Times.

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  1. One question I have yet to see a comprehensive answer to is why do publishers supply Amazon if its discounts are so harmful?

  2. It’s a good question. O/R Books in the US decided not to sell to Amazon, (although they seem to have their books available for Kindles so I don’t know if something has changed?). Earlier this year, two German publishers announced they would no longer be supplying Amazon because of their business practices. So it’s not unheard of. But Amazon is such a big player and the entry point for start-ups is so low, I’m not sure that many new publishers have followed this path.

    For the established publishers I think they liked the short-term sales more than they were concerned about the long-term negative impact of the discounts. But now I think Amazon just has too big a share of the market for most publishers to seriously consider pulling their titles, not to mention how unpopular it would be with (some very vocal) consumers if they did so.

  3. Thanks. It’s an interesting topic. Look forward to more posts on it.

  4. Pingback: Hipertexto #33 | Mundo Fantasma

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