Authors on Amazon’s “Bare-Knuckle Approach” to Christmas Sales

Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
.

In case you haven’t overheard the outrage, Amazon is endorsing the nefarious practice of “showrooming” by offering discounts to holiday shoppers who essentially undermine brick-and-mortar stores (you can read our post about the controversy here).

Yesterday at the NY Times, Richard Russo asked some of his writer friends (including Stephen King, Andre Dubus III, and Ann Patchett) to respond to the news.

“These writers all derive considerable income from Amazon’s book sales,” writes Russo. “But when the responses to my query started coming in it was clear Amazon’s program would find no defenders in our ranks.” Basically, it’s all shock and awe at Amazon’s “scorched-earth capitalism.”

Patchett, who recently opened a bookstore herself, speaks from experience when she explains what people lose when they try to save a few dollars.

“…it’s worthwhile explaining to customers that the lowest price point does not always represent the best deal. If you like going to a bookstore then it’s up to you to support it. If you like seeing the people in your community employed, if you think your city needs a tax base, if you want to buy books from a person who reads, don’t use Amazon.”

Read the rest of the article here.

***
— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. He tried showrooming once when he was younger, but didn’t like it.

More Like This

Emma Straub on the Future of Indie Bookstores

The author of "All Adults Here" talks about her novel and the challenges of running a bookstore during lockdown

Jul 30 - Carissa Chesanek

Support Indie Bookstores Without Leaving Your Home

It's more vital now than ever to keep these beloved institutions alive, so we've collected some of our favorite bookshop merch

Apr 24 - Electric Literature

Why It Matters That Amazon Shipped Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” a Week Early

The retail supergiant is big enough to ignore embargo agreements—and that's bad news for indie booksellers like me

Sep 6 - Lexi Beach
Thank You!