Is Amazon getting too big for it's britches?

First there was Amazon's price check app that folks could use in bricks-and-mortar stores to get discounts at Amazon. Now Publishers Weekly talks about how Amazon is pushing publishers, especially on co-op.

What is co-op in a bookstore? It's when a publisher has ponied up for such things:
- window and end cap displays
- book club displays
- website mentions
- in-store events
- newsletter reviews

Denver’s Tattered Cover, for example, charges co-op for all of their staff picks. (Which kind of makes me wince - what if a publisher said no? Would the book still be a staff pick?)

Anyway, Amazon has its cake and eats it too - publishers not only have to provide extra material (author interviews, etc) but they have to pay for the privilege. But the material is only seen when a person goes to that page and is presumably thinking of buying the book anyway. It's not like a bookstore browser or a newsletter reader who spontaneously comes across a book they had not previously heard about.

PW reports: Amazon has, as some sources explained, long been pressuring publishers to provide ancillary content on the pages where their books are sold, from videos and q&a's to links to similar books. That content has always been something publishers have had to both pay for and provide. In the latest negotiations with Amazon, sources told PW, the price of providing that content has jumped to what sources say are astronomical percentages (but those sources would not provide specific numbers).

How can Amazon get away with this? Because many in the industry the retailer accounts for 20% to 25% of their business.




site stats
Tags:
Really? The "staff picks" at Tattered Cover are really just paid advertising?!? Do you have a sense of how wide-spread that practice is in independents?

(I am truly upset to learn this; I had always -- apparently naively -- assumed that independent bookstores allowed their staffs to support favorites, without regard to the financing of publishing.)
I have no idea. I picked it up from the article.

I would hope that at Tattered Cover it works like this:

- Someone loves a book and wants it to be a staff pick.
- And only then do they ask the publisher for a little money.