Opinion: Dear Jeff Bezos: If you care about authors, you’ll raise Amazon’s book prices

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrates a new Amazon phone in Seattle in 2014.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrates a new Amazon phone in Seattle in 2014.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

To the editor: As an avid reader and author, I agree with B.J. Hegedus about how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos can make a philanthropic difference. (“A bookseller’s advice for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,” Opinion, Aug. 14)

As Hegedus states, books are an investment by authors and booksellers. They take years to write and publish, yet their value has been reduced by offering them at low prices on Amazon. If Amazon raised these prices, perhaps individuals would value the books more, and authors and booksellers could earn livings doing what they love.

I’m aware that other products sold by Amazon have “competitive” pricing, meaning people want to pay as little as possible. Books are not cheap commodities. I’ve been writing them for 20 years, and I know the amount of time and talent that goes into producing them.

Mr. Bezos, please give books the respect they deserve and raise their prices.


Libby J. Atwater, Ventura


To the editor: The article by Hegedus is naive. Businesses compete, and the one that best satisfies thrives. This is common sense.

I rarely go to Vroman’s Bookstore, where Hegedus works and I had been a very frequent customer for at least 40 years. I buy almost all my books from Amazon — and the reason has nothing to do with price.

I stopped coming by the store simply because I got tired of being told a new book I wanted was out of stock. This happened many times, and we’re talking about best-sellers or widely reviewed books. Yes, I know the store can order the book for me, but why would I wait when I could go on Amazon, pay much less and have it on my porch the next day?

Here’s the deal: If the store can guarantee it will have what I want in stock, I’ll buy it there and pay the full list price.

George Carney, San Gabriel

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