On Tuesday July 1, 2014 from 7-9pm EST, the New York Public Library will host “Amazon: Business as Usual?” in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium (42nd Street at 5th Avenue). The conversation between author James Patterson, Grove Atlantic publisher Morgan Entrekin, the founder of EMusic.com Bob Kohn, law professor Tim Wu, and elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board Danielle Allen will be moderated by William Morris literary agent Tina Bennett.
The Bookseller reports:
The discussion will focus on the Hachette-Amazon dispute, exploring what is at stake for the companies, authors and readers. It will also look at the larger issues of free-market capitalism and free speech at play, and what the dispute reveals about the future of publishing in the age of e-books.
The line-up suggests we should expect a chorus of anti-Amazon “Amens”.
Bennett represents Hachette author Malcolm Gladwell. Patterson has been outspoken about what he believes has been Amazon’s “perilous” impact on the publishing industry, particularly on independent bookstores. Kohn recently penned an Op-Ed for the New York Times entitled “How Book Publishers Can Beat Amazon“. Wu, author of the Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires has written about the dangers of any one corporate entity controlling an industry.
But the conversation will likely be nuanced considering that publishers and authors continue to work with and rely on the e-tailer for about 30% of their sales revenue. Entrekin has worked with Amazon in the past to promote an author’s work. The sold-out event will undoubtedly give rise to industry voices that feel it’s too easy to vilify Amazon for the challenges facing publishing.
We’ll post the livestream if it becomes available.