Amazon in Decline

It’s not just Dem Rangz. Amazon’s other businesses are also in decline:

Here’s the big thing, Amazon is currently in retraction. This a company that bought everything on the internet it could get its tentacles on because they had all the money, and didn’t know what to spend it on, so they went with the Bezos default of, “Just throw some shit at the wall and measure what sticks.”

Those days are now over. The subsidiaries that were “loss leaders” were tolerable in the days of mega-money income for tax purposes but not anymore.

I had a conversation with a European publisher the other day. Their book sales are down 40 percent from 2021. This is remarkable because book sales usually increase during recessions, as it’s one of the most cost-effective forms of entertainment outside of video games that provide hundreds of hours of playtime. They put much of it down to Amazon, on whom they’d placed their bet for both ebooks and print editions, but Amazon’s A9 algorithm has pretty much destroyed the “bookstore” angle and replaced it with “these are the books the SJWs at Amazon think you should read.”

So, not only is it harder for readers to find the authors and publishers of interest to them, they’re being actively dissuaded from shopping on the site.

This is the inevitable outcome of the centralization of book publishing. Convenience kills.

Fortunately, Castalia saw this coming, which is why we’re building up our direct sales model in the aftermath of the Aerio shutdown. Based on the success of our recent experiments, we also anticipate adding a third leatherbound subscription later this year, albeit a low-cost one for pulp novels and comics designed to appeal to those who have not hitherto had any interest in collecting high-end books.