If there was any doubt about Amazon’s intentions as a player in the publishing industry, their recent actions make them disturbingly clear.

Amazon aims to take over.

42-15977972As reported by Shelf Awareness editor John Mutter last Friday, very quietly, the mega-company began majorly discounting bestselling hardcover titles–we’re talking up to 65% off. Even J.K. Rowling’s new temporarily pseudonymous book, which we reported on last week, has been discounted 42%. These are prices customarily reserved for remainders, not front-list hardcovers.

Jack McKeown, President of Books & Books & Books Westhampton Beach, calls this initiative “an open declaration of war against the industry.” Amazon, perhaps emboldened by the Justice Department’s recent ruling against price-fixing engaged in by desperate Big-Five publishers, appears to have limitless reserves of capital that allow them to undercut companies that need to actually turn a profit.

Unfortunately, both Wall Street and the Obama administration endorse this predatory company. Even though Amazon quarterly results show a net loss, stockholders are holding onto their shares, presumably in anticipation of Amazon being the last company standing at the end of the battle. Yesterday, Obama spoke on the economy at an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee, an action which, Mutter says, “is roughly the equivalent of going to a Wal-Mart and calling for more of the kinds of jobs it offers.”

What can you do? Don’t take the bait–shop elsewhere. Anywhere. Pay a reasonable price for a creative effort labored over by an author. All Fuze books, when ordered from our website, offer FREE SHIPPING!

This suggestion doesn’t come only to protect Fuze interests. What if Amazon controlled ALL of the bookselling? What would we be paying then? Though Amazon appears not to be concerned about money, in the long game, they are all about profitability. As Amazon gains more control, what titles will be considered sufficiently lucrative to promote? What would happen to good old storytelling not to mention literary integrity?

To read the entire Shelf Awareness article, click HERE.

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