let us explore amazon's evil ways...

Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Super Evil

  • They force publishers to LOWER the costs of their books! When the publishers say no, “I want those sales dollars – you are hurting the authors!” – Amazon doesn’t feature their books as much as other books. You know, on their site. The site they own, pay costs to maintain, worked hard in making it the number one retailer and all that. How dare they!
  • Amazon likes to make money and they are competitive. Their competition is more online with Wal-Mart, not B&N or Google, they don’t have nap pods, massage rooms and gourmet cafeterias like Google, or foster a bookstore vibe like B&N, but they are expected to act accordingly.
  • They control what books are shown to the customers! They decided what books are featured, based on reviews, sales and product advertising. Who cares that B&N and local bookstores do this with “end caps” and promo areas? It’s Amazon, so it’s wrong. And it’s not like some quirky guy with teal hair read the books and thought it would be awesome to feature the book on a display. Nope, because it’s featured via Amazon it means that some employee, chained to a cubicle analyzed a data minef spreadsheet and marked a checkbox that features it. Soooo Orwellian!
  • They are a Bully, yes that is right, they are the big man in charge and they tell us what to do. If you don’t like it, you can’t sell your books, products etc.

Semi Evil

  • People don’t want to go to actual bookstores now that they can just go online and order them! Even people in rural areas that had no access to bookstores can actually get new books and products delivered right to their door! They never leave their small town because they don’t have to go anywhere. It’s perpetuating shut-ins.
  • They actually have the AUDACITY, repeat after me, AUDACITY, to remove posts from THEIR website that they find might not be on the up and up. From the millions of reviews and posts that occur on their site every day, they’ve taken to removing some that have a few flags that might indicate a “fake” review or a review from an over-zealous company that just created 100 amazon accounts so they can post a few 5-star reviews for their product. How dare they tell you what you can or can not post on their site?
  • They’ve created a market for Indie Authors to be able to publish their books easily, even created a subscription service so those authors are FORCED to only sell via Amazon (who started this whole eBook Indie Author thing) and now they’ve up and changed it so authors actually have to PROOF their books before they publish it.

This is all very tongue-in-cheek, I hope you’ve picked up on that. The moral of this story (I usually don’t give morals to my DJ posts, leaving the satirical posts open for interpretation by the reader) is that yes, Amazon is a heavy hitter in the world of capitalism, much like Wal-Mart, and because of this they are hated and often misunderstand by the casual users. We cannot know what goes on in the mind of billionaire Jeff Bezos, the dude could be a sociopath bent on world domination, he could also be just another guy set on making a lot of money and solely focusing on the bottom-line (the usual for big corporation CEOs). Sales are number figures, employees are just that – employees, they are not family members or friends, and authors and publishers are just vendors. That is my bottom-line when having thoughts on Amazon. Like it? I’m not a huge fan of big corporations that are driven by bottom-line, who would? It stinks of greed and no one likes greedy people. But, and this might make me a little greedy too – if that bottom-line will benefit me in some way, I have no issue with jumping on the Amazon train. Just like to save a lot of money I shop at Wal-Mart.

When I see posts come out about Amazon is targeting bloggers who use affiliate links, or will remove your book from KDP if you use slang terminology, because it doesn’t pass their algorithms. Or that Amazon is TARGETING author friends and family and removing their reviews, I get a little worried. But, then my logic kicks in and I read on and do MY OWN research. Just because JOE BLOGGER wrote a post on how they spoke to their “Amazon Rep” and that rep said Amazon is removing reviews that have associate links in them, does not mean it is actually happening. It just means JOE BLOGGER wanted to write a blog posts that got people commenting and page views, the views in the post are not substantiated by any Amazon TOS verbiage or in their FAQ section. Does it mean he’s wrong? No. It could very well be a change Amazon is putting into effect, but chances are, there might have been a miscommunication along the line, which led to a panicked blog post and then a lot of panicked bloggers and authors. Yes, people are getting their reviews removed. That is a fact. But, before we panic. Before we start posting that Amazon is EVIL. Before your remove all your reviews or your books from Amazon,  do a little research on the topic. There might be a  good reason Amazon removed a few reviews., or flagged an account as a possible fake review generator. Find the facts and learn from that blogger’s mistake.  The bottom-line is most likely to protect you, the consumer, the citizen reviewer, and the indie author. If their site became a hotbed of fake reviews, scams, un-edited pornography and plagiarized or poorly edited books –  the consumer would get taken advantage of. Amazon relies on the consumer to generate sales (that bottom-line again). So, the consumer is the goal. Let the bottom-line work with you…as the ridiculously poetic ICE-T once said:

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game”

 

Don’t agree with me? Let me know how Amazon is evil! Love Amazon? I also want to know about positive Amazon stories. 

10 Comments

  1. Davida Chazan

    Living in an non-English speaking country, I’ve had to find ways to find English books. Amazon was one way. Then came eBooks and I had a Nook for years, but the problems with it made me move over to a Kindle a while back. Now it looks like B&N are closing up their Nook shop, and I’ve not doubt that part of the reason was the domination of Amazon in the market. Still, if I can get eBooks from other sources, I prefer it to Amazon (of course NetGalley gives them to me for free, so…).

  2. Laurie

    I can still remember when B&N and Booksamillion were the bad guys, driving the indy bookstores out of business. I still get sad about so many small bookstores closing their doors, but as a kid and into my 20’s, I couldn’t ever afford new books and used libraries and secondhand bookstores a lot. I do not miss all those smoky smelling dog-eared books. Eww. I would have freaking killed to have eBooks and eReaders available to me back then!

    The fact that Amazon paved the way for so many indy authors is the true win for me. Through my blog, I have “met” many great authors with books I genuinely love and re-read over and over. Without Amazon, I would have missed out on those books. As to uploading reviews to Amazon, I change the wording to fit their policies and so far it hasn’t been a problem. Amazon is just one of the many places I post reviews plus I have lots of backups in case of something drastic happening.

    PS: The very first ereader I bought was a Nook. I saw the writing on the wall within a couple of years, but since I’m now looking through my nook books and trying to figure out which of the 1500 Nook Books I have that I may actually have to rebuy at some point, B&N is getting no sympathy from me right now.

    • Laurie

      You ever had one of those moments where you write a comment, look it over, post it and then realize all the vowels are messed up? Well, I have. WTF!?! If it happens to this one, I’m going to shrug my shoulders and laugh… well, laugh more.

  3. Ichabod Temperance

    This article makes a lot of good points, but I have a blogger friend that has written thousands of reviews over the years and Amazon removed them all without explanation. She has tried to communicate with them, but to no avail. She is heartbroken. I am an indie author and i appreciate the opportunity to self-publish that Amazon provides, but their recent purging of reviews has hurt me personally in the removal of many badly needed reviews. To make it into Amazons algorithms, you have to have a certain amount of reviews, and having these valuable reviews removed is a major setback.

  4. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

    Some of these panicked posts have made me hesitate before posting my book reviews. I understand the reasoning though. They are trying to protect their customers. It is too big of a process to search for the bad guys by hand so they have to rely on their algorithms. Those are not perfect. Some people are going to get caught in the web even if they did nothing. Shit happens.

    Amazon is my go to for pretty much everything. I do not visit many other stores. I know that is horrible to some people. Having anxiety issues, it is hard for me to go to a store. Amazon is there with what I needed, at a cheaper price and will be at my door in about 2 days. Even if, whoops, forgot the orange juice in the grocery order. Pull up my handy dandy Prime Now app and I have my orange juice within 2 hours. FOR FREE. Who else does that?

    Everyone is going to have their own opinion. Take me for example, for some reason I snub my nose at Apple. I know they are just doing what companies do to make money. I may not like it, but there are millions out there that do. Their opinion and choice.

    Sorry I rambled. For the short but sweet version. I love Amazon and I will learn to live with their decisions.

  5. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    Hmm. While I don’t think Amazon is evil, I am not the biggest fan. Yes, I do occasionally shop there, but usually when I can’t find something in person or need it in a hurry. The prices are often nice, but as an employee of Barnes and Noble, I get tired of explaining to people about why we charge full price for the books. The customers want to come in and look at the book before they buy it. They like to come in and browse and have a cup of coffee, etc. But in order for B&N to be able to afford to have a physical store, they have to have money to pay for the rent, for the upkeep, utilities, and, don’t forget, the employees. So, I try to do as little shopping from Amazon as I can, because of that. I usually only shop there if someone has given me a gift card, or to give other people gift cards to use online in my giveaways on my blog. So while I think Amazon has its place, I feel that people who come into the bookstore and then gripe that we’re too expensive, they’ll just buy it on Amazon, well I don’t want to hear any complaints from them about unemployment or nowhere to go shop in their town.

  6. midnyte reader

    Buy local? Sure, if I could afford to. I can’t. I go to Amazon, where I can find anything…and I mean anything.

    And their Prime? omg, I love it! A home bound friend gets certain grocery items delivered via Prime so it saves her hassle.

    It’s also good for research, seeing if those Groupon Goods are *really* a bargain, finding authors, finding products, discovering products, discovering authors. Sorry, I love Amazon.

  7. Megan

    I love this post. I hate how people demonize Amazon.. They’ve actually been pretty helpful to indie authors! I refused to be ashamed about where I buy some of my books.

  8. Laura @ 125Pages

    I buy from Amazon frequently. Not just books, they have a huge selection of stuff. A clothing line I like had clearance items for $10 each and they are normally $65-70 each. They are a business and have a right to run how they see fit. If not for their prices I would own a lot fewer books, so less to authors overall. But, yes they are a corporation and their goal is to make money but so is B&N and Walmart and even my local used bookstore. So overall whatever you buy makes someone money somewhere. But I prefer it to be less out of my pocket.

    • Parajunkee

      A- to-the-frickin-men XOXO

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. No Post On Sundays (6) – Young Adult At Heart - […] Parajunkee tells us why Amazon is evil. […]