The Incidental Bookseller

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In n+1‘s continuing examination of Amazon, Ruth Curry, co-founder of online bookstore Emily Books, looks at the relationship of the online megastore to publishers. Amazon’s entry into the publishing world was an accident:

Amazon was only incidentally a bookseller: Bezos liked books because online shoppers didn’t have to try them on or smell or measure them. In the online world, books were the ultimate widget, nothing more.

But once entrenched, Amazon quickly began dictating terms. Instead of saving publishing from the grip of Barnes and Noble, the online retailer now threatens both.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →