A Vote For Amazon From Obama

Andrew AlbaneseOne worker’s good job is another one’s hard luck story. At least, that’s true when it comes to Amazon and independent bookstore owners and staff.

In Tennessee earlier this week, President Barack Obama toured an Amazon “fulfillment center” and touted the Internet giant’s creation of thousands of jobs. His visit raised objections not only from the usual Republican politicians, but also from the American Booksellers Association, who called the Bezos-boosting visit “greatly misguided.”

“Booksellers slammed the president for his tacit endorsement of Amazon,” Andrew Albanese, senior writer at Publishers Weekly, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

In what may prove to be the next front in the bookselling war, Albanese adds that Overstock.com has announced it would take on Amazon by discounting print books at least 10% below Amazon’s prices.

According to Albanese, “Overstock is best known for selling products other than books, but it’s been selling print titles for some time. What the move appears to be is a chance to redefine the remainder side of the business. CEO Patrick Byrne definitely views his company as a potential online alternative to Amazon for print.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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