Round up #304: One Murder More giveaway, swarming Amazon
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Amazon under attack
I know, I know…Amazon is always under attack. 😉 That’s what happens when you are a leader, and when you position yourself in the market as doing things differently.
You could also say it was predictable that there would be a bigger pushback when Amazon started making a profit. When they aren’t, you can say your company is smarter than they are and that they don’t have to do things like Amazon. If they can be “different” and make a profit, that can be a problem for a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of another company.
Whats been happening?
There is still a huge buzz around the article I discussed here:
New York Times describes Amazon as a “Bruising Workplace”; Bezos responds
I’ve seen lots of things, even an article comparing Jeff Bezos to Chairman Mao (not the usual despotic leader you see referenced on the internet…maybe they are just trying to avoid getting a ticked under Godwin’s Law). 😉
Then, there is Authors United, a group formed during the Hachazon War (the negotiations between Amazon and the publisher Hachette), which includes some really well-known authors (Nora Roberts, Scott Turow…).
According to this
The Digital Reader article by Nate Hoffelder
and other sources, the group has sent a letter to the USA’s Department of Justice (DoJ) asking them to investigate Amazon for anti-trust activities.
Interestingly, the letter is on the Authors Guild website, not the Authors United one:
The Authors Guild has fought with Amazon before…and with other people. One of its major functions is legal advocacy.
The DoJ, of course, went after Apple and five of the major publishers over e-book pricing…and at the time, some people accused them of being influenced by Amazon to do so.
The DoJ will look at the documentation.
As I understand it, it isn’t enough to dominate a market…it will have to be more than that for action from the DoJ.
Then there were comments from Washington Congressperson Suzan DelBene, when she and Nancy Pelosi visited Amazon, just days after the New York Times article.
They were actually there because Amazon supports an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) bill…they were on the same side.
However, they both had to address the “brutal” article.
“I’ve supported legislation on family leave, access to childcare, equal pay for equal work,” DelBene said. “Again it’s about making sure people don’t have to make decisions on taking care of their family and going to work, or being sick and going to work, so these are policy issues we’ve been talking about a long time.”
Neither legislator directly accused Amazon or confirmed the report…but they weren’t refuting them, either.
You know who isn’t attacking Amazon?
Customers and investors. 🙂
The New York Times article came out August 15th.
The stock rose slightly on the 17th (the next trading day), and dropped only slightly the next two days. Yes, it went down quite a bit Thursday and Friday…but the whole market did.
I can’t present good stats on customers not changing their buying habits because of it…we’ll see what happens at Amazon’s next financials. I haven’t seen a lot of negative social media coming from regular buyers of Amazon…
I’ve changed Alexa!
Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
coverage has largely moved to my other blog, The Measured Circle
Amazon Echo category at The Measured Circle
although I do link to the articles from here.
However, I was really excited about this, and wanted to share with you…this blog is part of the context. 🙂
I started a hashtag: #TeachAlexa, where I suggest questions (or comments) and answers (or responses) that Alexa should know.
Amazon responded to one of my postings in their Twitter feed…and Alexa knows it now!
Q. “It’s a bird…it’s a plane..”
A. “It’s Superman.”
Someone has already posted a video online of the exchange. 🙂
How is this blog part of the context?
I don’t think Amazon has ever mentioned ILMK in a tweet. I don’t think I’m owed that, although ILMK has been one of the most popular blogs in the USA Kindle store for years.
Honestly, I was blown away by the mention!
More writing days?
I really need to start taking more PTO (Paid Time Off) days to write! I’m still earning more vacation days a year than I take, and that’s going to build up too much…eventually, I’ll max out.
I’ve been saying I’ll take a day a month without my Significant Other here, so I can get some more writing done. Things have been super busy…I’m keeping up, but barely.
We’ll see…I’m a pretty disciplined person, but it’s hard for me to take PTO.
Australian parents’ group protests Amazon giving kids books
In Australia, Amazon is giving a choice of a book rather than a toy with a Happy Meal.
According to this
Los Angeles Times article by Michael Schaub
The Parents’ Jury is asking regulators to stop the practice.
You know, because it’s better for kids to get toys than books?
I suppose it’s nice that they think books are so tempting to kids…
National Foundation of the Blind protests Amazon
Amazon has an interesting relationship with disability issues.
In some ways, they have been a quantum leap forward. Including text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 (at no additional price) was big.
Allowing publishers to block it (after they complained) may have been unavoidable, but was a step backwards.
Amazon does do a plug-in that allows screen reader software to read the books even if the publisher blocks the access…another step forward. There is a link to download it on this page, along with additional information about accessibility:
Accessibility Help Page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
Then, there was the Kindle DX.
Amazon had introduced the larger screen EBR (E-Book Reader), with an announcement that included deals with major textbook publishers.
Well, organizations, including the National Federation of the Blind, took legal action against it…because non print challenged students got more benefit from them than print challenged students:
Now, one of my readers, David Goldfield, alerted me to this NFB blog post:
The post is…strongly worded.
Here is a short excerpt:
“…a vote for this deal is an outrageous act of deliberate discrimination against blind students…”
That vote is coming soon…August 26th.
This is a perfect example of one reason I do the round ups. I would want to investigate this more before I would do a full article, but I wanted you to be aware of it before the vote.
Giveaway of my sibling’s book
50 copies of my sibling’s book
One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
are being given away through Goodreads
One Murder More on Goodreads
It’s only the hardback, but I think some of you might be interested in that. At the time of writing, 288 people are in the drawing…the drawing goes through September 17th.
On Goodreads, its rated 4.13 out of 5 stars with 31 ratings.
On Amazon, it’s 4.8 stars with 52 reviews…quite impressive!
The Kindle version is $4.99 at time of writing.
What do you think? Have any of these accusations changed your opinion of Amazon? Do you think they’ll impact Amazon in the future? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.