I’ve decided to use Amazon less from now on, and will try to use other sites for ordering books and media. What’s prompted this? Well, a few weeks ago there was an article in the New York Times about Amazon’s working practices which are really repellent. The working environment is aggressive and employees are monitored constantly. Little, if any, concession is made to major life events such as having a baby, getting ill, your nearest and dearest being ill etc. And they use an annual system of performance review colloquially known as ‘rank and yank’, where the people who are perceived as the poorest performers are sacked each year. The late, unlamented, Enron used the same system, as did General Electric. GE subsequently dropped it. It’s neither an efficient nor an effective way of managing staff; it ensures that people spend far too much time on internal politics, jostling for position and Machiavellian manoeuvres to stay in a job/get somebody else chucked out of their job.

I’ve read disturbing things previously about Amazon’s working practices, but this was the one that tipped the balance for me. Amazon has grown so huge and omnipresent that it’s difficult to avoid, and I’m not making a complete commitment to avoiding it in future. I’m working on a project to self-publish and although I’m happy to do so via Kobo, I think I will have to at least consider using Amazon as well because it’s just so ubiquitous. However, I will aim to use other sources for purchasing where at all possible. My recent book orders have gone to Bookdepository. The books are slightly more expensive (although once you take their free postage commitment into account, the difference isn’t that great), and they take a little longer to arrive. But I think these are minor drawbacks, and it’s important to take some kind of a stand on this.

Until recently, when writing this blog, I’ve linked to Amazon whenever I’ve mentioned a book. But no longer – the last couple of links have been to Bookdepository, and I will aim to spread the links around a bit to other sites. OK, it’s not that big a deal. It’s not like gazillions of people read this blog and are likely to be influenced. But still…..


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