Amazon VP: Why I Work for Amazon

Why I Work for AmazonMaria Renz, vice president and technical advisor to the CEO at Amazon, wrote an article for Re/code describing her experience working for the tech giant.

“I wouldn’t describe myself as outspoken,” Renz writes. “However, in the wake of the recent New York Times article about Amazon’s culture, I felt the need to contribute my voice to the conversation. Not because I seek to challenge other people’s experiences or because I have a remarkable story, but because I don’t. At least in my opinion, my story is representative for a lot of Amazonians.”

“I started out thinking that I should share the details of my ups and downs and in-betweens as a way to shed light on what it feels like to be a professional woman at Amazon,” Renz continues. “But in the process of recording the life experiences I have had, I realized my story became pretty repetitive — in a positive way.”

Much more.

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Why Amazon Beats Google Is No Mystery (Bloomberg)
Which company is a better investment, Google or Amazon? Conventional wisdom suggests Google, which turns huge profits, enjoys better gross margins, and has a far lower price-to-earnings ratio. Yet Amazon’s stock has returned 62.6 percent in the past year, compared with 9.6 percent for Google. That’s a phenomenon Steve Hanke, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Ryan Guttridge, a fellow there, have named the “Amazon Puzzle,” and one they say they’ve figured out.

Why ‘Netflix for Ebooks’ Looks Doubtful (Forbes)
If we compare these services with paid subscription music services like Spotify Premium, Apple Music and Rhapsody, it becomes clear that with this financial model, the subscription ebook model is not viable for service providers in its current form.

After Oyster, What’s Next for Ebook Subscriptions? (PW)
After one of the industry’s most buzzed-about upstarts announced this week that it is shutting down, questions have mounted about the viability of ebook subscription services. Oyster—billed as the Netflix of books—confirmed last week that it will cease operations sometime in 2016. It was revealed that some of the Oyster team will move to Google, fueling speculation that Google has acquired Oyster and might be angling for a subscription service of its own—a possibility that has tantalized industry observers. But sources said that Google has no immediate plans for an ebook subscription service, and that the company worked a deal to pick up some of Oyster’s talent, and to otherwise “soften the blow” from its failure. Asks, Is Pay-After-You-Read Sustainable? (Publishing Perspectives) lets the customer download an ebook and then pay what they feel the book is worth. But is this business model really sustainable?

How Six Publishers Digest the News for Readers (NiemanLab)
Every day, readers are faced with a firehose of news online. News organizations realize this, and they’re trying a bunch of different ways to make the news more manageable—creating chatty summaries of their own stories or publishing extra mobile-friendly content like short Q&As. Nieman Lab asked six publishers—BuzzFeed, The Economist, The New York Times, Quartz, Vox and Yahoo News—how they do it.

The Library Market: What Indie Authors Need to Know (PW)
It has become a cliche to talk about how ebook distribution has leveled the playing field for indie authors and made the publishing environment more democratic. But accessing the library market remains somewhat more difficult for single authors with just a few titles. While indie authors can gain some access to libraries by making their books available through major library distributors, that doesn’t mean that those books will be purchased. In many ways, getting self-published titles into libraries hasn’t changed since the ebook revolution: authors still have to prove that they have quality products that fit the collection.

SpotlightNext-Level Book Marketing (PW)
The self-publishing industry continues to expand, opening up new opportunities for young writers and becoming an attractive place for veteran authors with traditionally published titles under their belts. The self-publishing boom broadly benefits all authors, with new discoverability tools and innovations to go along with readers’ growing interest in self-published books. But it is also creating a more crowded field in which authors must struggle to stand out.

BookBub Launches New Mystery Lists (BookBub)
In order to reach readers most likely to purchase your books, authors and publishers should run targeted marketing campaigns to an audience interested in their genre. BookBub, a service that helps readers find deals on ebooks, has recently updated its categories to better help target readers. The service added Crime Fiction, Cozy Mysteries and Historical Mysteries to its list of categories.


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