I apologize in advance if these “Friday Fun Links” are less fun than the ones I usually post. But I wanted to update my readers and friends on the current status of the Amazon versus IPG (Independent Publishers Group) standoff. In what has widely been viewed as a David versus Goliath conflict, scrappy little IPG continues to hold their ground, not knuckling under to Amazon. However, this means that over 5,000 ebooks published by companies distributed by IPG — including Tachyon Publications, publishers of my The Good Humor Man, or, Calorie 3501 — continue to be made unavailable by Amazon (although Kindle editions are available from other online retailers and directly from IPG).
Considering Amazon’s enormous (and growing) power in the publishing marketplace, this story has the potential to impact many, many more people than just the employees of IPG and the small publishers whose books they distribute, the authors of those books, and those books’ readers. If Amazon can succeed in driving its smaller competitors and partners from the marketplace, readers and writers alike will be at the company’s mercy, which does not bode well for the future of a thriving intellectual market in the United States or, given Amazon’s worldwide reach, much of the rest of the Western world.