Oyster Poaches Books Editor From Amazon for Editorial Director Position

Kevin Nguyen is leaving Amazon after three-and-a-half years on its books editorial team to join start-up ebook subscription service Oyster as editorial director.

Nguyen is a “proven writer, editor, and technologist who has a sharp insight into books and readers,” according to a blog post by Willem Van Lancker, one of the company’s co-founder.

As editorial director, Nguyen will build out the company’s editorial and book recommendation brand, attempting to deliver on Oyster’s promise to put the bookstore experience into the pocket of its customers.

Nguyen left Amazon because the company has “changed,” and it views book buyers as “customers” and not “readers,” he writes in the same blog post under a section titled “Why I Joined Oyster”:

So why leave Amazon? Leaving was one of the tougher decisions I’ve made, but the reality is that the company has changed. As Amazon grows, it continues to move away from its core books business. The company is interested in maximizing revenue and it doesn’t matter whether those dollars come from books, music, video games, or pet supplies. In fact, at Amazon, we referred to our audience as customers; at Oyster, they’re readers. It’s a subtle but powerful distinction.

Read the entire post here.

3 thoughts on “Oyster Poaches Books Editor From Amazon for Editorial Director Position

  1. Leslie

    Seems ill-advised to bad-mouth a former employer in the press. Not so sure about Oyster’s business model, but good luck to him.

    Reply
    1. Gabby

      It doesn’t sound like bad mouthing. It simply sounds like he is stating a difference and what is important to him. He is explaining why he went with a new company. The change at Amazon is not newsworthy to anyone who is familiar with Amazon or watched Amazon Rising on the tellie. Honesty is refreshing.

      Reply
  2. Theresa M. Moore

    It looks like he finally saw the writing on the wall. Amazon has never been focused on books, but has used books as its initial product line to attract other manufacturers to list on its site. It advertised as an online bookstore until it increased the product line with its “success” at selling books. But now, its overstocked catalog of books is concentrated on selling quality for such low prices that there is no hope of realizing a profit on sales, and in its “obsession” with customers, it forgot that authors and publishers are customers, too. That is where it has “changed”. With an attitude of entitlement, Amazon has only proven that it is just another greedy corporation.

    Reply

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