"Amazon’s business practices are scorched-earth capitalism." —author Dennis Lehane
"The Amazon model: easy salability, heavy marketing, super-competitive pricing, then trash and replace... Every book purchase made from Amazon is a vote for a culture without content and without contentment." —author Ursula K. LeGuin
Amazon is a destructive force in the world of bookselling. Their business practices undermine the ability of independent bookstores—and therefore access to independent, progressive, and multicultural literature—to survive. Additionally, Amazon is harmful to local economies, labor, and the publishing world.
Amazon’s Pennsylvania warehouses get so hot in summer months that Amazon keeps ambulances outside of the buildings to rush employees to the hospital. Employees must keep a brutal production pace even during heat waves or they risk being terminated. (Read more: Inside Amazon's Warehouse)
|Authors: When promoting your book, use links to independent bookstores, like ours, instead of linking to Amazon. Join these authors who already link their books directly to our webstore: Dave Zirin, Naomi Klein, and Peniel Joseph.|
|Professors: Encourage your students to buy their classroom texts from independent bookstores. Rona Frederick of Catholic University, Sarah Stiles of Georgetown University and Tony Medina of Howard University supported our social justice mission by bringing their students to our bookstore, demonstrating their commitment to indie-bookstores, not Amazon.|
|Teachers and Librarians: If your school has a budget for book purchases, use a local, independent bookstore instead a large wholesaler or Amazon. It teaches your students the importance of supporting the local economy while giving a boost to an independent bookseller. Teaching for Change accepts purchase orders from schools.|
|Book Buyers and Bookstore Lovers: Call your state/local politicians and urge them to collect sales tax from Amazon, put the revenues into improving school facilities, and increase teacher pay. Most importantly, use your book budget to support independent bookstores and their web stores.|
The Downsides of Amazon's Dominance Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, Politics and Prose | February 2016
Spotlight on Amazon: A selection of readings and resources American Booksellers Association | February 2016
Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace The New York Times | August 15, 2015
Up the Amazon with the BS Machine or Why I Keep Asking You Not to Buy Books on Amazon by Ursula K. Le Guin | June 1, 2015
Amazon’s frightening CIA partnership: Capitalism, corporations and our massive new surveillance state www.salon.com | December, 2014 Salon explored the connection between Amazon and the CIA--Amazon has a $600 million contract to build a cloud computing service for the spy agency--and the wider "national security state." Salon noted Amazon's decision to toss Wikileaks from its servers in 2010, and said of the CIA deal: "On Amazon's servers will be information on millions of people that the intelligence community has no right to possess.... Instead of helping expose U.S. war crimes, then, Amazon's cloud service could be used to facilitate them, for which it will be paid handsomely--which was, in all likelihood, the whole point of the company proving itself a good corporate citizen by disassociating itself from an organization that sought to expose its future clients in the intelligence community."
No. Don't Smile. by Alan Cantor | December 1, 2014 On his website, nonprofit consultant Alan Cantor debated the value of organizations participating in Amazon Smile, the program under which nonprofits receive 0.5% of Amazon purchases made by their supporters. Noting the "immoral" company's poor labor policy, tax avoidance tradition and the Hachette dispute, Cantor concluded by highlighting the low return--in a variety of ways--of participating in Amazon Smile: "Let's say that over the holidays [a nonprofit's supporters] purchase $25,000 worth of goods from Amazon--purchases that otherwise would have been made at local stores that your neighbors own and where taxpaying members of your community work. That $25,000 would have been a lot of income for those local stores, perhaps the difference between survival and closure, or keeping staff members or firing them. But you've thrown your lot in with Amazon. And in return you will get a kick-back of... $125. Yes, that's all that half of 1% of $25,000 amounts to."
Washington Post, Bezos Must Disclose Relationship With CIA: Media Watchdogs MintPress News | December 26, 2013
The Mercenary Position: Can Amazon Change its Predatory Ways? Harper's Magazine | December, 2013
Letters to President Obama about Amazon www.shelf-awareness.com | July 30, 2013 Ten Reasons to Avoid Doing Business With Amazon.com www.thenation.com | May 31, 2012
Amazon, Innovation, and the Rewards of the Free Market The Authors Guild | www.authorsguild.org | February 16, 2012
Author and Independent Bookstore owner Ann Patchett talks Amazon with Steve Colbert Ann Patchett interview by Steven Colbert | The Colbert Report | February 16, 2012 Novelist Ann Patchett discusses the importance of brick-and-mortar bookstores and explains what prompted her to open Parnassus Books in Nashville.
Amazon’s Jungle Logic Op-ed by Richard Russo | The New York Times | December 12, 2011
Inside Amazon's Warehouse The Morning Call | February 24, 2012 "When you order a book from Amazon.com, do you know why it's so cheap and arrives so fast? Because employees at an Amazon warehouse are literally working in a sweatshop. Details emerged last week of working conditions so horrendous that Amazon keeps an ambulance parked outside."
Amazon Pressured on Sales Tax by Verne G. Kopytoff | New York Times | March 13, 2011
Books After Amazon by Onnesha Roychoudhuri | Boston Review | Nov./Dec. 2010
Against Amazon An online archive to to educate consumers about the problems and politics of doing business with the beast.
Kindle: How To Buy A Book But Not Own It by Michael Seringhaus| The Hartford Courant of Yale Law School | August 5, 2009
Amazon withdraws ebook explaining how to manipulate its sales rankings by Benedicte Page | guardian.co.uk | Jan. 5, 2011
If you are looking for used books, consider using the Teaching for Change portal at Powells.com. Sales help fund our publication operations.