Technology company sparks controversy in publishing world. It’s a common enough headline for the trades, but this time, the company is Amazon (not the one you first thought, perhaps!) and the dust-up centers on a popular book fair.
“Indie booksellers are up in arms after the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books unveiled its online list of participating authors on Tuesday, and found it featured ‘buy links’ to Amazon.com, rather than the IndieBound program, which has long been a supporter of the event,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, explains. “One bookseller noted that the deal, ‘demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the struggles of independent booksellers and the role that Amazon has played in that struggle.’”
The news had organizers for the Festival, which comes to the USC campus in mid-April, backpedaling. As Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, however, it remains to be seen what – if anything – can be done to appease outraged independent booksellers, as well as authors, who perceive Amazon as a negative influence in the book business.
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.