To: jeff – at – amazon.com
Subject: Amazon.com’s recent mistake
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 20:48:02 -0500
From: Kevin Murphy
Dear Mr. Bezos;
I must tell you, first, that I have been an Amazon.com account holder for years, and have been delighted with the services that I have used during that time.
I don’t think that it comes as any surprise to you when customers/members tell you that the Amazon.com concept and execution of that concept were brilliant.
It saddens me, therefore, to learn of the colossal stupidity–or is it simply insatiable greed–that has led Amazon.com to enter into an incredibly exploitative relationship with Print-on-Demand authors ( class action antitrust lawsuit, BookLocker.com, Inc. vs. Amazon.com, Inc .).
As one who served as an organizational consultant for decades, I am amazed to see that arrogance can generate such amazing stupidity. I have seen other organizations, similarly deluded into thinking that they were immortal and impregnable, disappear in the backwash of inept decision making, deafness to feedback, and self-absorbed arrogance. The names Motorola, Zenith, and Osborne Computers readily leap to mind.
I realize that you simply may not care, but that seems hard to believe, given the great idea you have offered to the on-line purchaser. But something bad is happening at Amazon, and it is going places that you will not like in the long run. Fulfilling one’s obligation to stockholders to “maximize profits” does not justify killing the organization via the shortsighted pursuit of exciting quarterly reports
As a POD author, myself–one of those fortunate/judicious enough to have chosen Booklocker.com as my publisher from the beginning–I can assure you that there is no way I will shift affiliation. I would rather terminate my book than that–although I will, in fact simply shift to straight e-publishing, if necessary.
In the meantime, until this issue is resolved intelligently–by which I mean that Amazon ceases its rapacious pursuit of profits to the disservice of authors, I have already ceased purchasing anything from Amazon.com (check my account activity since this fiasco began) and, further, I have instructed all my family and friends who have been inclined to send us Amazon-purchased gifts in the past, to find other sources–and I have told them why.
While the cessation of our business will not, in itself, stagger the Amazon.com juggernaut, the cumulative effect of my decision, its effect on all those whom I contact, and those whom they contact, etc., repeated by all the authors now being adversely affected by Amazon’s poor decision-making, can bring it down.
That would not please me when there are more intelligent options available.
Please, restore Amazon.com to its original, truly “user-friendly” state.