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The Mediatwits podcast is sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which offers an intensive, cutting edge, three semester Master of Arts in Journalism; a unique one semester Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism; and the CUNY J-Camp series of Continuing Professional Development workshops focused on emerging trends and skill sets in the industry.

Welcome to the 25th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and entrepreneur Rafat Ali. This week is the Beyond the Book series at MediaShift, and keeping with that theme the podcast is all about Amazon.com. Rafat admits to being a fanboy of Amazon, with 5 Kindles bought and 1 on order. Special guests Laura Hazard Owen from PaidContent and author James Altucher talk about the growing power and convenience of Amazon in the book business.

On the plus side, Amazon delivers convenience, cheap prices and one-click online shopping. It also has lowered the prices for e-books and has a dead-simple Kindle e-reader, with the $199 Kindle Fire tablet on the way. But Amazon has also taken PR hits for its avoidance of sales taxes in many states, and the poor working conditions at a fulfillment center in Pennsylvania. On balance, is the book-selling behemoth doing a public service or harm?

Check it out!

mediatwits25.mp3

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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:

Intro

2:00: Origins of Rafat’s fanboy-dom

4:45: Rundown of topics for show

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Laura Hazard Owen

Amazon winning in e-readers, e-books

6:20: Special guests Laura Hazard Owen and James Altucher

8:10: Owen: Amazon takes a loss of $30+ on each Kindle Fire sold

11:45: Altucher: Book publishers don’t do marketing for most authors

14:10: Owen: Publishers still perform important role; self-publishing takes a lot of work

18:45: Altucher: Publishers take too long to get books into circulation

Amazon becomes a publisher

19:45: Owen: Amazon now enabling self-publishers and acting as traditional publisher

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James Altucher

21:00: Owen: Amazon will have trouble getting its books in bookstores because of past antagonistic relationships with them

23:10: Apple has fallen short of Amazon with its iBooks

PR trouble for Amazon

24:10: Amazon avoiding taxes, hit by investigative report on working conditions at fulfillment center

26:30: Owen: Amazon building many more fulfillment centers; should provide better working conditions

29:10: Altucher: Average person doesn’t care about Amazon earnings, Kindle sales numbers

More Reading

Amazon Rewrites the Rules of Book Publishing at NY Times

Amazon Kindle Sales Surge, but Expenses Smoke Profits at Adweek

Amazon Reports a Sharp Decline in Income at NY Times

Amazon’s Acquisition Of The Book Depository Gets Official OK at PaidContent

Amazon Kindle Fire Sales Tracking to Hit 5 Million: J.P. Morgan at eWeek

Kindle Fire Privacy Concerns—Is ‘Big Browser’ Watching You? at PaidContent

Is Amazon Short-Changing Authors? at MediaShift

Amazon is Nobody’s Friend, Part One at Hellnotes

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse at the Morning Call

5Across: Beyond the Book – E-Books and Self-Publishing at MediaShift

Weekly Poll

Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about what you think about Amazon:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

i-ed7356ca3ed527a55598e527830a5f35-CUNY-J LOGO.jpg

The Mediatwits podcast is sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which offers an intensive, cutting edge, three semester Master of Arts in Journalism; a unique one semester Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism; and the CUNY J-Camp series of Continuing Professional Development workshops focused on emerging trends and skill sets in the industry.

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