There are times in history when you are presented the unique opportunity to stand up in defense of what's right, ethically and morally, not only for yourself, but for others as well. Almost as if you are being tested as to strength of character and/or being forced to bare your true colors for all to see.
Amazon's recent decision to strongarm independent publishers and their authors into using the substandard BookSurge printing company owned by non other than Amazon have brought divisions in the publishing industry to light--those who still believe in doing good versus those for whom money is God, while the frightened or merely confused sit on the sidelines and watch to see how this greedy grab for power plays out.
Jeff Bezos obviously believes now that money is God, that greed is good. He sees his customers not as real people, but merely as vehicles to increase his wealth. He's decided we authors and publishers should now provide cheaper cars to further fatten his coffers, we should hand him our keys and let his lordship dictate how much gruel we peasants are allotted for any given sale while he plots a space colony in lieu of first paying his bills.
Complain all you want about other bookstores or chains, but Amazon is just as bad, if not worse, for all aspects of this business. It's bad for the bookstores, chain or no (just check out the new text messaging service where a customer can use their cell phone from within the walls of any bookstore to compare prices and even order from Amazon); bad for publishers, independent or otherwise, especially those who would oppose the Amazon; bad, bad, bad for the authors caught in the middle of this squeeze play--authors whose own fellows, in some cases, won't stand up beside them because they are sold on the idea that they "need" Amazon.
Most of all, however, Amazon is particularly bad for the customers, who will foot the bills. And tell me, unless we authors and publishers work diligently together to enlist the support of consumers, who will ultimately be blamed for the rising costs of books? The answer is only a look in the mirror away for any one of us. Unless we stand together and make Amazon's greed an issue no customer will ever forget, we publishers and authors will bear the brunt of the blame, not Amazon. Just as publishers and authors shoulder the blame every time a book is poorly produced. And don't think for a minute Jeff Bezos doesn't realize this, too.
Whatever will I do without Amazon? Well, necessity is the mother of invention and change may be stirring in the wind, below anyone's horizon right now. Although the references to David and Goliath abound, the story of one small soul felling a monster with a single well-placed stone might simply exist to encourage those would to stand up and try, despite the risk, in spite of the odds.
If you think about it, Jeff did virtually the same thing himself, but now, well, he's made a very poor choice that suggests he's lost his way, he's completely forgotten his roots.
You might not believe in karma, but the truth is, we always get what we give. Always. And the longer what we gave to the world takes to come back around to us, the better or worse the return is. Always.