AVARICE, ARROGANCE & AMAZON
A few years ago, my wife signed us up for Amazons Prime. I had read disturbing reports about Amazon’s twisted corporate culture, and of worker abuse, but the true evil that is Amazon didn't really hit me until I had the experience of publishing a book on Amazon.
When I finished writing my book, Blotto, I was advised that for self-publishing, Amazon was really the only game in town. I was also told about the importance of having customer reviews posted on my Amazon book site.
My initial plan was to purchase approximately fifty of my books from Amazon, then mail them to friends to read and review. At that point, I was informed that only books purchased directly from Amazon could be reviewed. But, that if I gifted those books directly from Amazon (at a much, much higher cost per book), the readers would be allowed to have their reviews posted. It felt like a shakedown. I was sickened to be in partnership with such a dishonest and unscrupulous organization, but ultimately, I relented, and gifted the books.
Then, I started getting calls from friends who had read the book, and taken the time to write reviews, only to discover that their reviews were rejected, because, get this - they hadn’t spent enough money on Amazon. Many of these readers were young people who didn’t have or couldn’t afford Amazon accounts. It strikes me that Amazon’s reprehensible behavior is also quite short-sighted. These young people represent future customers for Amazon, but now they’re just pissed off that they made the effort to write reviews that were not deemed worthy of posting because they had not fed the Jeff Bezos Greed Machine. When is enough enough? Apparently never.