Escape from Amazon

Andrew AlbaneseIt sounds like the title of a summer blockbuster movie. Trapped in the e-commerce jungle, the denizens of the book world dream of liberation, even as they while away the time weaving fantasies of an alternate universe: a place where Amazon plays nice; a place where Amazon gets beaten at their own game; and a place where Amazon no longer roams.

“Amazon is pretty good at what they do. But, alas, they are not perfect,” notes Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer, after a week when the company faced broadsides against its book business from authors, Google, Barnes & Noble, and others.

“We live in a time when not only is the idea changing of what a bookstore can be, but so too, the very idea of what a book is,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. The attacks leave him scratching his head; each in its own way fails to hit the mark, he asserts.

“Amazon got where it is because it dreamed big. And while I can applaud efforts like Doug Preston’s plea for fairness in a petition, and Barnes & Noble offering with Google same-day delivery of books, to win the future, they may have to dream a little bigger.”

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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