Running Smack Into The Garden Wall: That 'Perfect e-Bookstore' Project

Image - at Hampton Court: Porter Anderson
Image – at Hampton Court: Porter Anderson

What If The People Inside The Walled Garden Don’t Want Out?

The problem with The Amazon Problem…is that to the customer, there are no problems.

For once, Laura Dawson isn’t talking metadata. Bowker’s identifiers infanta is, instead, turning the precision of her observational gifts on a fundamental issue for the publishing industry in the shadow of Amazon’s “walled garden” commercial dominance. Dawson:

The problems are with Amazon’s interactions with the book industry – much of which the customer never sees and doesn’t care about.

Dawson was one of 20 participants in the two-day “perfect e-bookstore” sessions in New York City a week ago. As these bright, concerned colleagues review their experiences now, we’re lucky enough to be hearing from some of them.

The first player we heard from was the project’s organizer, Salinger associate producer and Letters to J.D. Salinger co-editor Chris Kubica.  His look-back at the event includes a mildly unsettling — and admirably candid — account of how, after a rich, fast start on Day One, the group on Day Two “found ourselves in a dark wood.”

Apparently, the sheer ambition of trying to spec out something that could approach Seattle’s brilliance was so daunting that, writes Kubica:

We found ourselves focused on finding one thing — just one — that Amazon’s walled garden doesn’t do really, really well.

From the sounds of things, the group never did identify that “one thing” not done “really, really well” in Amazon’s walled garden.

Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Running Smack Into The Garden Wall: More On That ‘Perfect Bookstore’ Project

Originally published by Thought Catalog at




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