This week I plan to post a number of different articles about Amazon. Call it “Amazon Week” on Tell Better Stories if you will.
Amazon has changed the publishing industry. In under 20 years it has moved from being a project in Jeff Bezo’s garage to the most significant retailer in publishing – and potentially the most significant in many other markets too. I assume that most folks reading this blog either want to be involved in the publishing industry (i.e. wannabe authors like me), or are already are involved in some capacity. Either way, if you want to publish now or in the future, you’ve got to think critically about Amazon. It’s too big a player to take lightly.
The story of its growth in the last 17 years can only be compared to the thunderous rise of Walmart. And in some ways, the curve is steeper: the million-title-bookseller turned world’s-largest-retailer hit the $50 billion sales mark in half the time it took Walmart. As far as online sales go, Amazon has laid waste to a list of successively higher-caliber competitors. Playing full-court with Barnes & Noble to Walmart all the way to Apple, Amazon just keeps outgrowing its labels: bookseller, e-tailer and now tech company?
So, what comes to mind after you read this? If you are a writer – what are you thinking now?
The line that gets my wheels turning: “Amazon became an empire providing just about everything faster an cheaper than anyone.”
Empires of any kind worry me.