Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Books Be Gone (Page 3)

Source images: PSDgraphics and Amazon

“'They’ve devalued the concept of what a book is, and turned it into a widget,' said Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson, one of Amazon’s most prominent critics. He also alleged that major publishers were afraid to speak on the record about Amazon’s tactics for fear of retribution….
     'Our discount cannot compare to what Amazon was setting their prices at, even before they started selling their books at 60 percent off,' said Carson Moss, the buyer for Strand Bookstore in New York. 'There’s frustration that a company that hasn’t turned a profit continues to be rewarded with higher stock prices and they can make seismic shifts in this industry.'
     A clue to Amazon’s plan may lie in its recent decision to raise the prices of small-press and academic books, as they’re among the only places such books can be procured. Though Moss said Strand is doing well thanks to its employees’ expertise, when many of the currently existing places to buy Gone Girl and The Cuckoo’s Calling are driven out of business, it seems fair to presume that the prices will go back up.'"
— Daniel D'Addario, Salon
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"[Amazon] Workers said they were forced to endure brutal heat inside the sprawling warehouse and were pushed to work at a pace many could not sustain. Employees were frequently reprimanded regarding their productivity and threatened with termination, workers said. The consequences of not meeting work expectations were regularly on display, as employees lost their jobs and got escorted out of the warehouse. Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well, workers said.
     During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn't quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time."
— Spencer Soper, The Morning Call
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