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It’s All Jeff Bezos’ Fault

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Yet another reason to blame the world problems in Bezos, he just bought a newspaper. I can hear it now: “Oh, God, there goes print!” Well maybe, or perhaps now the Washington Post can breath a sigh of relief because here’s the thing: now they no longer have to be profitable. That seems to be every newspapers wet dream these days. So there you go. And while we all want to be idealistic about this and say that Amazon is the big bad wolf. I think it’s really about saving a newspaper. Sorry folks, but nuns and “save the puppies” groups are not going to save these institutions. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming….

It seems like we’ve reached a place in society where no one has to take responsibility for themselves, from big business all the way down to the paper boy who couldn’t drag his ass out of bed. We experience it daily, hell, plenty of us are guilty of it!

Have you sent an email asking a question that you probably could have found the answer to, but figured it was easier and “faster” to just ask again?

Is your busy schedule (ignoring the fact that it’s entirely of your making) keeping you from the gym and losing those last 10 pounds to reach your goal weight?

Don’t bother, we know the answer.

So I’ve decided to jump on this bandwagon with both feet, just for the day at least, to vent. And who do I want to blame?

Jeff Bezos.

That’s right, I could blame Jeff Bezos for a whole list of my problems! I mean why not, everyone else in publishing does?

The obvious would be the potential downfall of my career. Amazon has definitely slapped traditional publishing in the face on more than one occasion. The eBook business has us on the edge of our seats, hoping each new “killer title” we sign helps us at least keep pace. Then there’s the pricing war, who can compete with Amazon? Even authors have no say anymore, it’s their pound of flesh for being a cog in the machine.

Then there’s my personal life. Now if you were hoping for a scandalous tale of some dalliance I had with Bezos back in the 90s I hate to disappoint, but I can blame him for my lackluster dating life all the same. Even if indirectly.

How you wonder? Well he makes technology and other “stuff” just too damn accessible. That’s right, people are just too distracted to really fall in love anymore! Books, apps, news, free two day shipping with Amazon Prime, hell why wo

 

uld a guy sit through a first date with me when he could order a new rod and reel (at a screaming discount off retail mind you) and be out on the water all weekend instead? Have you tried to plan a date the same weekend a new James Patterson book comes out? It’s not pretty. You’d think the entire male population of the city was swallowed up in some sinkhole.

And I can’t just pin this on the men, taking Bezos’ bait. I myself am disturbingly entertained by “the hunt” on Amazon, to find all of the random items I’ve been lusting after as of late, hoping to save a few bucks, take advantage of free shipping, and skip out on tax. I could spend entire weekends doing this, in between running for coffee and meeting Grace for drinks, I’ll admit I even do it if I get to the bar first, right after checking my email to ensure another author hasn’t stepped out on the ledge and is waiting for me to intervene.

But I’m not t

he only one who does this. You can get food, cleaning products, pet supplies, clothes, car parts, and even treadmills, just to name a few things – all shipped to your house – which means I’m willing to bet a shocking percentage of people, especially those of us who live in big metropolitan areas, aren’t even leaving their houses anymore to function. I bet I could get a hamster. Dreamed of meeting the perfect man while browsing through the bestsellers at your local bookstore? Think again, he’s reading on his device completely shut out from the world around him. Or perhaps you’ll both try to snag the same bike in spin class at the gym? Not a chance, he works out at home, it’s easier and less expensive.

Amazon has romance in a virtual stranglehold…

Could I go on and blame Bezos for other things? Sure. I’m sure he’s to blame for global warming, the political unrest in Egypt and maybe even those people who think that white socks in sandals is a fashion statement.

But seriously, the industry has gotten so ridiculous these days. Amazon is to blame for everything, right? Well, hmmm, maybe not. I get that they sort of own publishing right now, but it’s not like the rest of you were locked in a room unable to make decisions. It’s called opportunity. They saw an opportunity and they grabbed it.

Maybe it’s time for publishing to wake up and grab some of that opportunity. I think there’s still some out there. And while you’re at it, let’s see if you can fix my lackluster dating life.