We also need to look at the other side of the coin. Thanks to Amazon, hundreds of thousands of people have been able to self publish their own book. Thanks to the distribution power of the Kindle, a person can upload their book today and start making sales immediately. Thanks to Amazon fulfillment you can print (just) 300 copies of your book, rather than be forced to find a publisher and a distributor to get your books in bookstores, and hope that you end up making a small fraction (if any) of the sales.

I agree that small bookstores are under threat, and that they play an important role in society. But for individual authors, Amazon has been empowering.

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