Into the cornfield — not

Just when you think the idiocy of the knee jerk reaction to anything Amazon does, or doesn’t do, can’t get any worse, you find it. Today’s reaction comes from the typical crew of Amazon haters. I’d been expecting them to whinge and whine about news that Amazon was introducing same day delivery for some items in certain markets. After all, what could be worse than — gasp — making your customers happy by having same day delivery? I’ll even admit to feeling a little disappointment because the usual suspects seemed to take no notice. I shrugged, figured they were ignoring it because Amazon was actually going to charge for the service, and went along my way.

Then came the NY Times article about how Barnes & Noble is teaming with Google’s year old delivery service to have same day delivery in parts of Manhattan, LA and San Francisco. While the cost for the Amazon service is $6 for Prime members and $10 for non-Prime members per delivery, the BN/Google delivery will cost $4.99/each. Now, what we don’t know is how much the “subscription” for the delivery service will cost at the end of six months, the introductory period for this new partnership’s service.

Now, to read the initial reactions of the Amazon haters, it’s hard not to shake your head. Some of them actually seem to think B&N and Google managed to pull this partnership together in the 24 hours or so since Amazon announced their new service. Others seem to be taking the approach that the Times does and feel that this new agreement between B&N and Google will not only help save B&N but will put a big dent into Amazon’s online presence. Then there are the ones that have me wondering why they left their sanity locked in their junior high school gym locker and never returned for it. Those are the ones who are trying to snark as they “wonder” if Amazon will go whining to the Department of Justice about another “conspiracy” against them.

First of all, there is nothing about the B&N/Google agreement that smells anything like the Apple/Big Five price fixing scheme. For one thing, there are only the two parties involved. For another, the Google delivery end has been in existence for approximately a year. B&N is now, iirc, the 19th business to contract with Google for same day delivery. No, definitely nothing close to the price fixing case, even if it is B&N’s latest attempt to regain part of its market share. Besides, if it was DoJ complaint worry, we’d be seeing announcements coming very quickly that B&N/Google would be making same day deliveries in all the same cities as Amazon is AND that their “partners” included other booksellers in the area with special discounts from certain “select” publishers”.

As for the instant response to Amazon’s announcement, give me a break. Even if they’d wanted to, there is no way B&N and Google could have put this partnership into place in a matter of days, make sure the logistics were in place, pricing agreed upon and then make the announcement. No, I have a feeling this is something that Google probably approached B&N on when it first started the delivery service and they have been negotiating for months.

Finally, as for the belief that this new service will not only help save B&N but will hurt Amazon, well, sorry but I don’t see it happening. First of all, the customer base for the service is limited by the product base offered by the B&N stores. We aren’t talking about them being able to get this service for everything that is offered on the B&N website. The delivery service is limited to what is in the B&N store in the area — basically the same limitation Amazon has, except with Amazon it is what’s in its warehouse. So B&N isn’t going to get those customers who buy a book, but also buy a birthday gift from the neighbor kid who doesn’t read and the new frying pan or coffee maker, etc.

So I’ll let the haters have their moment of joy as they think of something actually toppling Amazon. One day, that will happen but this isn’t the day and it certainly isn’t the way, at least not with these partners. My parting comment for those authors who are so adamant about finding ways to destroy Amazon is simple: if Amazon were to disappear tomorrow, how would you make up the sales you’d lose? Do you really think your publisher and B&N would be able to make up the difference? Better yet, do you really think your publisher would be willing to pay you more to make up for the lost income?

Think on that before you go wishing your biggest sales outlet out of existence. Until there is something better to replace it, quit grasping at straws. Work instead to find a better alternative but be damned sure that alternative is in place and well-funded before wishing Amazon into the cornfield.

***

HuntedIn the meantime, the countdown special for Hunted (Hunter’s Moon Book 1) is still going on. If you enjoy mystery, romance and shapeshfiters, check it out. It is only $1.99 today.

When Meg Finley’s parents died, the authorities classified it as a double suicide. Alone, hurting and suddenly the object of the clan’s alpha’s desire, her life was a nightmare. He didn’t care that she was grieving any more than he cared that she was only fifteen. So she’d run and she’d been running ever since. But now, years later, her luck’s run out. The alpha’s trackers have found her and they’re under orders to bring her back, no matter what. Without warning, Meg finds herself in a game of cat and mouse with the trackers in a downtown Dallas parking garage. She’s learned a lot over the years but, without help, it might not be enough to escape a fate she knows will be worse than death. What she didn’t expect was that help would come from the local clan leader. But would he turn out to be her savior or something else, something much more dangerous?

(This is a new edition of the novel and there is some new back material.)

 

2 Comments

  1. Einstein apparently said that there’s “no limits on stupidity” and people continue to prove him correct. [Frown]

  2. So… wait a minute… this means that B&N caught up with the local Goodwill that sells on Ebay, but with “same day” delivery instead of “overnight”?

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