How Amazon Kills Books and Makes Us Stupid
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At the Book Expo in New York City, Jonathan Galassi, head of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, spoke for many in the business when he said there is something "radically wrong" with the way market determinations have caused the value of books to plummet. He's right: a healthy publishing industry would ensure that skilled authors are recompensed fairly for their work, that selection by trusted and well-resourced editors reduces endless variety to meaningful choice and that ideas and artistry are as important as algorithms and price points in deciding what is sold. Jeff Bezos and his beloved numbers are anathema to such an arrangement; the best things to number would be the days of his company's dominance.
Colin Robinson is co-publisher at OR Books.