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Amazon Is The King Of Books

In today's Wall Street Journal, there was a pretty, pretty, good editorial that mentioned Lina Khan's anti-trust lawsuit against Amazon and that the American Bookseller's Association (ABA) wanted to join in. They were told "NO!"

If you want the details, read the article. I'm writing this article as an author and since so many LI followers are authors, I thought it would be interesting to tell the story from an author's viewpoint. 

As you know, Amazon started as a bookseller. They totally disrupted the industry and Amazon's rise in the book-selling industry significantly impacted many traditional bookstores, contributing to the closure of numerous businesses. Some of the notable booksellers affected include:

  1. Borders: One of the largest bookstore chains in the U.S., Borders declared bankruptcy in 2011 and closed all of its stores. The competition from Amazon, alongside other factors like mismanagement and late adaptation to e-books, played a significant role in its demise.

  2. Waldenbooks: A subsidiary of Borders, Waldenbooks also faced closures as part of Borders' bankruptcy proceedings. These mall-based bookstores struggled to compete with Amazon's extensive selection and lower prices.

  3. Crown Books: This discount bookstore chain filed for bankruptcy multiple times and eventually closed down in the early 2000s. The pressure from Amazon's pricing and convenience contributed to its downfall.

  4. B. Dalton: Another mall-based bookstore chain, B. Dalton was owned by Barnes & Noble, which gradually shut down its locations in the face of competition from online retailers like Amazon.

  5. Book World: A smaller regional chain, Book World closed all its stores in 2017, citing the challenges of competing with online retailers like Amazon as a major factor.

  6. Numerous Independent Bookstores: Many independent bookstores across the country have struggled to survive due to the competitive pressures from Amazon. While some have managed to adapt by focusing on niche markets, community engagement, and unique experiences, others have not been as fortunate.

While Amazon was not the sole factor in the closure of these bookstores, its influence on the market dynamics, pricing strategies, and consumer behavior played a significant role in reshaping the book retail industry. 

Now don't get me wrong, as a new author with zero experience, I wanted to sell my book to Barnes & Noble and even reached out to the CEO without success. I wanted to sell to airport bookstores but didn't want to pay $20K in fees. I wanted to sell to independent bookstores but the major distributor, Ingram, dictated sales. 

When my book went on pre-release, Amazon listed it for list price, $19.99. Shortly thereafter, there were several online resellers advertising my book including and others. One site discounted the book to $18.89 and Amazon matched the price. They have never sold it at a lower price. 

As an author, there is nothing more important than getting reviews after the book launches. Most books don't sell more than 500 copies or receive more than 25 reviews. I am thrilled to say my book already has more than 100 reviews and they are glowing. Amazon also bought to giveaway books to loyal readers who would write reviews. I already have more than 20 Goodreads reviews. That is what drives more book sales. None of the other online sites have reviews. 

Bottom line: All the other sites other than Amazon account for less than 3% of my book sales. The FTC is 100% wrong and erred severely in suing Amazon. Without Amazon, authors such as myself would be shit out of luck and never have the chance to sell books. 


Adam Harris was born in coal country, right in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. His father, Gregory, worked the mines every day and came home to his best friend, Jim Beam. Gregory had many frie


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