NYC Debate Group to Consider the Topic of Amazon, Belling the Cat

Next Tuesday night the New York Public Library will be hosting a debate called Amazon: Business as Usual? It's scheduled for 7pm local time, and is going to be held in the Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium (42nd Street at 5th Avenue).

According to The Bookseller:

The event, taking place at the New York Public Library, will see author James Patterson and Grove Atlantic publisher and president, Morgan Entrekin, join attorney and founder of, Bob Kohn, Law professor and theorist, Tim Wu and political theorist and elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Danielle Allen in conversation moderated by Tina Bennett, literary agent at WME, titled "Amazon: Business As Usual?".

The discussion will focus on the Hachette-Amazon dispute, exploring what is at stake for the companies, authors and readers. It will also look at the larger issues of free-market capitalism and free speech at play, and what the  dispute reveals about the future of publishing in the age of e-books.

It's supposed to be streamed live (here) under the Live from NYPL program, and I think we should all watch. From what I can see in the guest list, most of the panelists are anti-Amazon so I have to wonder what they will be debating.

I'm not being snide when I say that I don't understand the context of the debate, and that intrigues me. I don't see what there is to be debated; what is listed as the topic would seem to be a statement and not a question.

Live from NYPL

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Chris Meadows26 June, 2014

    It doesn’t look to me like there’s necessarily anyone from the pro-Amazon side there. I know for a fact Patterson and Kohn have been outspoken against Amazon. It does look like Entrekin and Allen have books on Amazon, but that doesn’t say anything about their politics toward it. This could very well be a session of “Amazon: Threat or Menace?”

    1. Nate Hoffelder26 June, 2014

      I thought one of the points they raised might be “Does Jeff Bezos eat babies for breakfast, or just for lunch?”

  2. Bob W26 June, 2014

    Gee I’d love to watch it but PETA is having a members only debate at the same time, “Fur coats, good or bad”. Can’t miss it.

  3. Paul27 June, 2014

    Maybe they couldn’t get someone from the Pro-Amazon camp?

  4. Chris Meadows27 June, 2014

    Oooh. I don’t think we have to worry about there being nobody from the “pro-Amazon camp” anymore.

    Passive Guy will be participating.

    Man, I wish I were in New York for that. I’d love to watch Passive Guy go active. 🙂

    1. Nate Hoffelder27 June, 2014

      It looks like they added him at the last second; he wasn’t mentioned on the copy I found in the Google Cache.

      1. fjtorres27 June, 2014

        He’s going to be wearing one of the TPV T-Shirts.
        Probably the one that says: “What Is It About 70% Royalties You Don’t Understand?”

        That alone should level the playing field. 😀

        1. Nate Hoffelder27 June, 2014

          It’s a pity he’s going to be outnumbered.

          1. fjtorres27 June, 2014

            You visit his website: I’d say they’re the ones that are overmatched.
            For one thing, he knows basic math.


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