Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amazon lies... again.

Amazon recently put out a press release where it said for the first time, they sold more Kindle titles than hardcover titles. OK; 1. That is complete and total bullshit and 2. That is complete and total bullshit. True, the one-trick-pony Kindle is the best selling e-raper… I mean e-reader to date but there is no way that THAT many people have Kindles, and that those same number of people bought that many new releases, which is what Amazon is actually saying. This smells of funny math, half told truths, and the corporate board circle jerk. I would like the entire story please Amazon. But I’m about as likely to get that as Sarah Palin is to get an endorsement from the NAACP. Amazon is fighting tooth and nail not to become the iPad’s bitch, so much in fact that they have to produce lies and have new Kindle releases once a month.

What’s even more interesting is that you have a number of Kindle owners who completely lambasted Amazon for pricing ANY book above $9.99. So now I’m supposed to believe that these same “readers” had a change of heart and bought so many e-books that it surpassed hardcover sales? Seriously, do I look like I was raised in Florida? I know how to count Mr. Bezos, and these numbers do not add up. Not if you use conventional math anyway. 1+1=2. Amazon math: 1+1=15. Blonde math: 1+1=… umm… hell, who are we kidding? Blondes don’t do math. Book sales and the book industry are in a serious state of flux and it’s hard to tell up from down. Bookstores are closing faster than Kim Kardashian legs when you tell her you work at McDonald’s; authors are finding lucrative way to self-publish, and publishers are becoming stingier with CO-OP, ARC’s, and reps. Most of my reps are telephone now because of all the cutbacks. Slight disclaimer here, my Simon & Schuster phone rep kicks ass!! But it’s still nice to have a store visit from time to time.

E-book sales ARE going up no doubt, but how far is the question. Amazon has their numbers. Apple iPad has it’s. Even the red-headed stepchildren of e-readers, The Kobo and the Sony e-reader have their own. It’s like the whole industry is on a digital reader acid trip. The peyote mushroom hoedown. The LSD date night. Anybody with the smallest bit of common sense knows the industry is headed digital, but there will ALWAYS be a place for print books. Dedicated e-readers like the Kindle make about as much sense as a blonde in college. Sure, they’re fun to play with but after a few months… what’s the point? (Sorry blondes. I joke because I care). My iPhone can do everything except get me a date with Toni Braxton and it only cost $199. Why the hell would I buy a stupid Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Sony e-reader that can "ONLY" read books for TWICE that price?

But I’m getting off on a tangent (those who know me know that this is normal). There is no way in hell that Amazon has sold more e-book than hard covers this “early” in the game, and for them to say so is stunningly untrue and extremely misleading. But hell, what do you expect from a company who uses books as a loss-profit item? I think this was a very blatant way for them to try and say “hey, we’re still relevant in the book business” while pretty much doing everything ELSE to devalue the worth, financially and academically, of a book. Gotta love the irony.

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