This hot industry topic was born with the rise of the Kindle ebook store in the dawn of the modern ebook era. After a long career as a topic on blogs, discussion forums, and at cocktail parties, "Is Amazon Good for Readers?" reached the pinnacle of its career in 2014 and 2015 during the long running contract dispute with Hachette.
"Amazon: Business as Usual?" was the subject of not one but two webcast debates in 2014, garnering much attention as all turned to gawk. It moved on to become one of the more talked about sessions at DBW 2015, but alas, the attention was short-lived.
The topic abruptly died in May 2015 near the beginning of its last performance, "Is Amazon Good for Readers?". It was done in by panelists who were unable to summon anything to say other than clichés.
The first blow was struck by Andrew Albanese, who said that Amazon was a reader's friend but then turned and stabbed the topic with an allusion to chickens coming home to roost. Dazed but still mobile, the topic was struck by recycled argument after recycled argument before finally receiving the coup de grace when one of the panelists compared Amazon's efforts to Olive Garden.
It was unable to recover.
"Amazon: Font of All Evil" is survived by many illegitimate children, but mourned by no one. Its corpse has already been scavenged by consultants and turned into the source for three books, 4 conference sessions, and a lamentations for the good old days.
So one of the sessions today at the IDPF conference was called "Is Amazon Good for Readers?". As you can imaging when three publishing industry insiders get together to discuss Amazon, the debate was philosophical.
It was also tired, boring, and repetitive. (When I say that they used cliches, I'm not kidding.) As a result, it fell to this blogger to call the time of death for the topic, and declare it dead.
P.S. I'll let you in on a secret: it actually died six months ago but was embalmed and perfumed in order to hide that fact.
image by Kool Cats Photography