The rise and rise of Amazon.com

<p>Amazon is the most forward-thinking company in the book business, reckons Time magazine in a lengthy piece on the internet bookseller which wonders if it is taking over the book business.</p><p>&quot;If you&#39;re a reader, you probably consider Amazon your friend. And it is. It recommends books to you and gets them to your door for cheap. But try shifting your point of view to that of a publisher and Amazon starts looking a bit scarier.&quot;</p><p>First there are the discounts on print books, some publishers think the discounts Amazon asks for are getting too deep. &quot;They&#39;re fast approaching the point where we just can&#39;t afford to do business with them,&quot; says a well-known New York book editor, who asked not to be identified. &quot;It&#39;ll be interesting to see what happens then.&quot;</p><p>Time suggests that the e-book is next, and it is already happening, with the retailer establishing a market via its Kindle device by selling digital books at a loss. &quot;Amazon picked a cost in the beginning that they believed the consumer would like, and of course, the consumer likes it,&quot; says Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive of Simon &amp; Schuster. &quot;Who wouldn&#39;t like a price that was significantly lower than the price the hardcover is? And we think it&#39;s too low.&quot;</p><p>But, Amazon doesn&#39;t just sell them; it practically owns the entire medium. &quot;Of course, they&#39;ll all have to make nice eventually, since Amazon needs publishers to survive and thrive. Or does it?&quot;</p><p>The piece concludes optimistically (or more accurately just doesn&#39;t reach a conclusion): &quot;Which is why the future of books won&#39;t be purely Amazonian. It&#39;s not an either/or future. It&#39;s both/and. It will have publishers and self-publishers and books and Kindles and probably other devices in it too.&quot;<br /><br /><br /></p>