Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) need not count David Mitchell as one of their biggest fans; or much of a fan at all for that matter, unless railing on them for their “monopolistic, cynical and frankly life-crushing way” they do business is considered a sign of fandom. The British author, actor, and comedian appeared at a Bookseller’s Association conference yesterday where we let the online retailer have it, as reported by The Guardian, for which he is a frequent contributor.
Some of those columns from his contributing are being collated into an upcoming book, which will be sold on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) no doubt, as Mitchell admitted that he makes use of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s online marketplace to sell his own books, saying he would be “crazy not to”.
Mitchell was reportedly met with vociferous applause upon arrival at the conference, partly on the strength of some of the shots he’s already taken at Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) through some of those columns in The Guardian as well as The Observer, some of which included “praising” Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) for their deft avoidance of British tax obligations, which created a stir in the country last year.
Regardless of his proclivity for selling books on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Mitchell laid into them at length, declaring them greedy for their dissatisfaction with anything but a near-monopoly, and that their business model is cheating British consumers, authors, and booksellers. He also made the claim that “most people” would like to buy books the traditional way, in physical form, from a bookshop.
The last point could be seen as contentious, yet appears to be bearing out. Despite a vastly increasing number of e-books available, including millions of self-published titles, e-books’ market share appears to be plateauing in the U.K and isn’t expected to exceed 35% near-term according to a report by Rüdiger Wischenbart. That’s a far cry from the calls of doom that were saddled on the traditional book industry some years back, when it was prophesied that paper books would go the way of the Dodo, and there’d be a Kindle in every pocket.
As Mitchell said, there are rays of hope in the book industry, and like radio and theater, which were also expected to keel over and succumb to modern day entertainment options, the book industry may yet survive e-books and those monopolistic practices of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
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