Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lollipop Guild

Aaron Stephan’s Building Bridges installation at The Albany International
 Airport 2010 (from: Stuck at the Airport)

"That a Brooklyn book festival would promote small presses and their authors isn’t surprising. But the sponsor of OnePage has raised a few eyebrows. As the festival’s press release noted, 'The project is made possible with a grant from'
     Yes, much of the literary world is in full-throated revolt against Amazon’s dominance — bookstores fear Amazon will push them out of business, authors worry about deep discounting, and the Department of Justice is considering the major publishers’ challenge over the price of e-books. But amid the public and private rancor, the massive e-retailer is very quietly trying to make friends in the book world. Its strategy is simple and employs a weapon Amazon has in overwhelming supply: Money. [...]
      So what’s the point of contributions that get little publicity? Does Amazon genuinely want to be a white knight, unconcerned about the credit? Or do the grants represent a kind of blood money? Is the real goal of the grant program to keep friends close and enemies closer, by showering influential, articulate and potentially critical voices in the publishing community with sacks of no-strings cash? [...]
     'It’s the bully on the playground handing you a lollipop,' says Shirin Yim Bridges, publisher of  sponsorship of small presses,  in San Francisco, which has not received a grant from Amazon. 'I mean, what do you do?'"
― Alexander Zaitchik, Salon

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