Tag Archives: amazon.com

Is Occupying the Answer?

I read a post this morning called “Occupy Amazon” the bibliopirate Blog. This has become a huge issue in the book industry. Amazon vs. world. Really? If you’ve read any of my posts you know I’m an Amazon.com advocate. Before you go getting your knickers all twisted up at me, save your rotten fruit, I’m not going to change my mind. At least not until they screw me. Why do I like Amazon so much you might ask?

1. I sell books there–and lots of them. Literally 10 to 1 compared to brick and mortar stores. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to sell books in bookstores, but stores simply don’t want to sell our books. There are many reasons they offer, but bottom line is bookstores aren’t willing to take the risk on a small business, even though many of the stores are small businesses themselves.

2. Convenience. I’m not a fan of traffic, actually I’m a bit of a road rage driver, anyone who’s been in a car with me can attest to that. Stupid drivers just piss me off. So, it’s easier if I just shop from my computer. No one gets hurt, and my blood pressure stays within a manageable range.

3. Selection. I can find 100 times more stuff to buy from Amazon than I can from any bookstore. My experience with bookstores is that they favor the big publishers and best sellers. That’s great, if that’s what keeps them in business then that’s what they should sell. But it doesn’t work for me. I prefer new authors, lots of series, and have a fondness for indie publishers. I find very few of those in bookstores.

I read post after post and hear comment after comment about how Amazon is killing the brick and mortar stores. I simply don’t believe this. I think the stores could actually compete more effectively if they gave more consideration to what their customers want and less to what they think will sell. Customer service is the key element to any successful business. No one is willing to pay higher prices and be treated badly. I know I’m not.

I’ll pay a higher price if the store clerks actually acknowledged me, offered me any assistance, and knew what they hell they were doing. This has not been the case in the last ten stores (of any kind) I have been in. Especially bookstores.

I just don’t see Amazon as the villain everyone makes them out to be. They are a business, like any other, and they are in the business to make money. That is why we all go into business, right? I posted a comment somewhere about this and I clearly stated that consumers have a choice. No one is forcing anyone to go to Amazon.

As for bibiopirate’s situation. It’s sad when people go into stores, especially bookstores, and forget about common courtesy. Looking for a book? If you can shop on Amazon then you should be smart enough to know how to look up the info you seek on the web. Don’t be an asshat and go to a local store, make them do all the legwork (that makes you lazy), and then deprive them of the sale. That is just pissy and there is a special place in hell for people like you.

Show some decency. If you have the time and the inclination to actually go into a store, then give them your business. They have earned it, simply by being there for you.

bibliopirate doesn’t really call for a boycott of Amazon, though others have. That’s not the answer. Amazon has as much right to fight for the consumer ‘s business than any store or whatever. What happens in the retail world is 100% dependant on the consumer. It is YOU who makes the choice where you spend your money. If Amazon is the king of retailers it’s because consumers have made it so. You want your local stores to thrive, then get off your duff, get out of your house, and go spend your money there.

But for cripes sake, remember, your local store is not an information booth on your way to online shopping. It’s a place where people just like  you go to earn a living and support their families. Show some respect!

You can also do your favorite stores a favor by promoting them. In fact, why don’t you post your favorite local store in the comment section of this post. No big box stores, just hometown businesses that deserve some exposure and some business.

Tell us about your…

Favorite local business:

Address:

Web site:

Why you like them:

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Who Wants to Sell Books?

Today’s topic was a very tough choice for me. I had to decide if I wanted to jump on the Amazon incest wagon, or if I wanted to discuss something that really mattered. I chose the latter. Let me begin by stating my usual disclaimer when talking about independent bookstores. I love them independently. I do not love them all, nor do I respect them all.

I would like to congratulate Centuries & Sleuths in Forest Park, IL and Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, MN for their outstanding achievements and recognition by Mystery Writers of America with their Raven Award. These stores are by far exceptional and are the examples that all bookstores should aspire to emulate. Kudos!

However, not all do. It was brought to my attention by one of my authors this week that they are unable to work with one (or more) of their local independent bookstores because…wait for it…they are associated with Amazon.com! My blood boils just to think about it.

I have looked at every avenue I could, and even had two bookstores go into their systems to check and the only connection we can find is that we sell the book at Amazon.com. Really? A bookstore won’t sell a book that is being sold by Amazon.com? Is this good business?

Little do they know that this particular author is one of our best-selling authors. The author sells 30-40 copies at most events and actually promotes the book, sending people to the stores that do stock it. These other stores don’t seem to be threatened by Amazon.com. Nor do they use Amazon.com as a weak crutch for not dealing with independently published authors.

Click Cover to Buy Now!

Okay, I have to ask this. Do these small books stores who are NOT carrying our books really think that we are going to stop doing business with Amazon.com on the off chance that one of them MIGHT decide to carry ONE of our books? How can they possibly think this makes sense?

How can they possibly justify whining that Amazon.com is STEALING their business when they REFUSE to carry books that actually sell? Amzon.com is NOT stealing their business, those bookstores are simply not practicing good business. When you have a demand and someone is willing to supply you products to meet those demands, if you say no you have no one to blame except yourself for the loss of sales. Amazon.com is offering a service that those stores are NOT. So stop whining because you can’t pay your bills.

And what about their readers? Don’t they owe it to their readers to keep them FULLY abreast of what is avaialble on the market? Readers deserve to see what’s new and glorious in the book world and some of the brightest stars shine from independent publishers.

I would like to thank a few of the stores who do work with us and who enjoy the benefits of selling our books.

The Mystery Bookstore: Los Angeles, CA (featuring LINCOLN’S HAND by Joel Fox at #9 on their 2010 Best Seller list.)

Once Upon a Crime: Minneapolis, MN (recipient of the MWA Raven Award 2010)

Centuries and Sleuths: Forest Park, IL (recipient of MWA Raven Award 2010, featuring THREE STRIKES YOU’RE DEAD by Robert Goldsborough on their 2010 3rd Quarter Best Seller list, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER by Luisa Buehler and A PRESIDENT IN PERIL by Robert Goldsborough on their 2009 Best Seller list, and THREE STRIKES YOU’RE DEAD by Robert Goldsborough and CASH & CARRY by Tim Broderick)

The Mysterious Galaxy: San Diego, CA (featuring MADNESS AND MURDER by Jenny Hilborne on their Best Seller list)