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'Can Amazon Be Constrained, and Should They Be?' Asks Panel Session at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo

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NEW YORK - Sure to be one of the most well-attended and intensely watched sessions at the upcoming Digital Book World Conference + Expo (DBW), "Can Amazon Be Constrained, and Should They Be?" deliberates on the world's leading book retailer and its impact on the book-selling trade. DBW is the largest event worldwide dedicated solely to the business of digital publishing. The event, which gathers more than 100 speakers and 1,500 professionals, takes place Jan. 13-15, 2015, New York (@DigiBookWorld - #DBW15). See conference.digitalbookworld.com (early-bird rates are available).

"In the publishing world, once Barnes & Noble was considered the Great Whale. Now Amazon is," says DBW panel moderator Ken Auletta (@kenauletta), the Annals of Communications writer for the New Yorker magazine, and the author of Googled: The End of the World As We Know It. "My hope is that this panel will address whether the whale aims to devour or to assist publishing. And what role, if any, the bigger whale, government, should play."

"Can Amazon Be Constrained, and Should They Be?" panelists include:

---Barry Lynn (@barryclynn), senior fellow and director of the Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative of the New America Foundation. Lynn is also author of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley 2010) and End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (Doubleday 2005).

---Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey), a contributing editor and online columnist, covering policy, politics and technology, among other topics, for New York magazine. One of Lowrey's recent columns is titled "Amazon Is Not a Monopoly." (October 2014)

---Barry Eisler (@barryeisler), bestselling author of The Detachment, whose books have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year. Eisler recently posted a blog at The Guardian titled "The War on Amazon Is Big Publishing's 1% Moment; What About Other Writers?" (June 2014)

Mike Shatzkin (@MikeShatzkin), DBW conference chair and founder of The Idea Logical Company, says, "From the time that Barry Lynn, a respected scholar at a respected foundation, raised the question of constraining Amazon, I felt it was a topic that needed airing at DBW. I'm delighted that we've put together such a balanced and distinguished group of panelists and that Ken Auletta, who brings real gravitas, knowledge and objectivity to the role, has agreed to moderate it." 

According to Shatzkin, this DBW panel session is "a wide-ranging conversation of the elephant in every room where publishing's digital transition is discussed: the power of Amazon."

Shatzkin --- who's also with Publishers Launch Conferences, DBW's partner --- notes there are two constituencies related to this topic. One side says Amazon has engaged in abusive monopolistic (or monopsonistic) behavior and should be regulated in some way; the other side believes Amazon constitutes an inevitable and possibly desirable disruption in book publishing's historic ways of doing business.

"The recent public tussle between Amazon, the world's leading book retailer, and Hachette Book Group, one of the top publishers, demonstrated the disruptive power of a bookseller that sells around half of all books," says Shatzkin. "In the process of the dispute --- ultimately settled by agreement after Amazon had negotiated an apparently similar deal with Hachette rival Simon & Schuster --- there was a spate of advocacy both for and against the retail giant."

Shatzkin concludes, "Regardless of its impact on publishing's incumbents, the question arises: Is Amazon too big for the good for democracy and the free flow of information?"

More About Digital Book World Conference + Expo

Additional Digital Book World Conference + Expo speakers include: CEOs and C-level executives responsible for developing their organizations' digital strategies, innovators who are bringing new ideas and new technologies to market, and path-making authors, agents, marketers and editors. These leaders will share best practices and wisdom from their personal experiences --- what has worked and what hasn't --- so attendees can avoid pitfalls and make wise strategic decisions.

Attendees of DBW include large and small book and eBook publishing businesses, book marketers, directors of international book sales and rights, editors of publishing houses and literary agents, digital strategists and content professionals, and managers of operations, finance, sales/marketing and technology within industry and allied organizations. 

Visit conference.digitalbookworld.com to sign-up (early-bird registration rates are available), or e-mail [email protected] to enquire about attending, sponsoring or exhibiting.


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