Stop me if you've heard this elsewhere. But I just got email from an editor of mine, Tony Barnstone, who wishes me to post this on my blog. So here it goes. More at 11.
I am sorry to clog your box with a cause email, but I thought I should spread the word about Amazon.com's attack on the small presses that keep literature alive in America. Many of the small presses in America use print on demand to make their small editions, but Amazon.com is trying to corner the market on P.O.D. At this point, any press that uses a P.O.D. publisher outside of Booksurge, the one Amazon has a deal with, will find their books "out of print" or "temporarily unavailable" on the Amazon website. Booksurge is more expensive than other P.O.D. publishers, so this is a form of extortion and an attempt to create a monopoly. We've seen how corporate bookstores have pushed smaller, literary bookstores out of business by moving next door and underselling them, so that today it is hard to find a bookstore in Los Angeles (where I teach) with any sort of intellectual depth. Now Amazon is creating a similarly hostile environment online. The danger to American intellectual life cannot be overstated.
I hope that you will consider shopping at actual bookstore or at online booksellers such as Powellsbooks.com, or even Barnesandnoble.com, so as to send a message to Amazon.com that they will pay a price for trying to freeze out small press publishers. They are doing this to make a profit. Please spread the word to your friends and colleagues about this boycott, and perhaps Amazon.com will get the idea. Please post this information on your websites and your blogs. Please spread the word to Amazon.com customers by posting this information in reviews of the topselling books on the Amazon.com website. Please write letters to your local newspapers asking them to cover Amazon.com's attack on literature. If you teach, please let your students know and encourage them to organize protests against Amazon.com. If Amazon loses enough loyal customers, this policy will become unprofitable for them and they might change it.
Thanks for your consideration,
Professor of English
Causes Gary Gach Supports
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