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  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 08:51 PM
Strain of Thought Strain of Thought is offline
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When did Amazon Dot Com Start Selling Porn?

So, recently I've discovered this blog, "The Worst Things For Sale", that trawls the internet for things which are being sold over it and are horrible. It's very funny, especially when the entries are read one after the other. However, it has exposed me to a bizarre new phenomenon: Amazon.com is selling porn.

And I don't mean tasteful literary erotica. I mean stuff like this:

http://theworstthingsforsale.com/201...one-to-cuttle/

I don't know when they started doing this. More importantly, I am deeply confused as to WHY and HOW they started doing this. I am accustomed to thinking of Amazon as a company that wants to present itself as very mainstream and respectable. And, well, the sheer *quantity* of suggestions for bizarre, over the top smut that the site throws at me whenever I follow one of that humor blog's links to it implies I've merely discovered the tip of an iceberg.

Not only that, but with Amazon's user tracking and recommendations system, I don't believe someone could make such a purchase from Amazon and expect it to remain private. I can only imagine the horror of the site ever after popping up with suggestions for more outlandish products every time you, say, tried to do your Christmas shopping. For me this has become one of those incredibly disturbing things that never the less remains too fascinating to look away from.

Does anyone know what's actually going on here? When did it start? Is Amazon really making money off of it? Are there any privacy violation horror stories regarding this floating around out there? Has anyone here at the SDMB actually found that, contrary to my expectations, the kindle is an ideal platform for erotica?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:01 PM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
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Hard to call that 'porn', I think.
Erotic humor, it looks like.

It's a book, yes? Or a video?
I was afraid to click too much.

Edit- overcame fear of clicking and clicked.
That's some weird shite, mang... Do Not Want
But it doesn't look like 'porn'.

Last edited by aNewLeaf; 06-09-2013 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: .
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:17 PM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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It's completely text, and no more explicit than your average romance novel. But Amazon sells all books and has since the beginning. There are plenty of explicit graphic novels, how to sex guides, erotic photography books, and so forth. I'm sure not if they directly sell porn videos, but they definitely sell them through their second hand function.

Last edited by jackdavinci; 06-09-2013 at 09:17 PM..
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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That blog is awesome. This is my favorite:

http://theworstthingsforsale.com/201...n-loofah-king/
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdavinci View Post
porn videos... second hand function.
Man, living in the future amazes me sometimes.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM
Dissonance Dissonance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
I don't know when they started doing this. More importantly, I am deeply confused as to WHY and HOW they started doing this. I am accustomed to thinking of Amazon as a company that wants to present itself as very mainstream and respectable.
It's certainly not my cup of tea, but what's wrong with it? Amazon has been selling literary and photographic erotica as long as I can remember. They also sell dildos, vibrators, lubricants, condoms, fleshlights and all other manner of sexual toys.

Quote:
Not only that, but with Amazon's user tracking and recommendations system, I don't believe someone could make such a purchase from Amazon and expect it to remain private. I can only imagine the horror of the site ever after popping up with suggestions for more outlandish products every time you, say, tried to do your Christmas shopping.
Right below everything Amazon recommends for you there is a link called "why recommended?" If you click it, it'll tell you why it was recommended. All you have to do is click on 'Don't use for recommendations' and viola.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is online now
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n/m

Last edited by Martian Bigfoot; 06-09-2013 at 09:25 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:29 PM
Strain of Thought Strain of Thought is offline
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Let me be clear, here: I am not condemning pornography or non-heterosexuality. I look at pornography. I read smut, too. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that Amazon wants to sell me some, and that the particular porn/smut/erotica they have on offer is openly, screamingly, very, very far out on the fringe. And that anyone would buy such, knowing how Amazon tracks purchases.

Last edited by Strain of Thought; 06-09-2013 at 09:31 PM..
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:41 PM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
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Why wouldn't amazon want to sell you sexy words? They sell words, and sex sells.
Weird sells too- people probably pay $3 just to find out more about cuttlefish gangbangs.

(Bet you could torrent that. Not that you should.)
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:48 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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I notice the reader reviews are mixed. One of the 5-star reviews says "This book made me INK and INK and INK all over myself," while lamenting that "the general lack of marine life shapeshifter fiction is absolutely appalling." But not everyone approves.
Quote:
Just... please. No. This is not a review for the book, but a review of humanity. One star. Humans earned one star today. Not even a gold star. ... Come on. Mollusks. Gosh darn Mollusks. Just... come on. I mean... I don't even know anymore. Mollusks. Just stop. If you really want to have lovin's with Cuttlefish, find your nearest ocean and start walking into it. Don't come back. Please.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:25 PM
Hershele Ostropoler Hershele Ostropoler is offline
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I wouldn't buy porn from Amazon. Cash is harder to trace.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:35 PM
Muffin Muffin is online now
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Hard time getting your mind around erotica?
SPOILER:
Howe beautifull are thy feete with shooes, O princes daughter! the ioynts of thy thigh are like iewels, the worke of the hands of a cunning workman.

Thy nauell is like a round goblet, which wanteth not licour: thy belly is like an heape of wheate, set about with lillies.

Thy two breasts are like two yong Roes that are twinnes.

Thy necke is as a towre of yuory: thine eyes like the fish pooles in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the towre of Lebanon, which looketh toward Damascus.

Thine head vpon thee is like Carmel, and the haire of thine head like purple, the king is held in the galleries.

How faire, and how pleasant art thou, O Loue, for delights!

This thy stature is like to a palme tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

I said, I will goe vp to the palme tree, I will take hold of the boughes thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose, like apples.

And the roofe of thy mouth like the best wine, for my beloued, that goeth downe sweetely, causing the lippes of those that are asleepe, to speake.

I am my beloueds, and his desire is towards me.

Come, my beloued, let vs goe forth into the field: let vs lodge in the villages.

Let vs get vp earely to the vineyards, let vs see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appeare, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I giue thee my loues.

The mandrakes giue a smell, and at our gates are all maner of pleasant fruits, new and olde, which I haue laid vp for thee, O my beloued.

From the "Canticle of Canticles" (in translation), King James Bible, 1611.


Or is it explicit public oral-anal that is the problem?
SPOILER:
The wyndow she undoth, and that in haste. "Have do," quod she, "com of, and speed the faste, lest that oure neighebores thee espie." This Absolon gan wype his mouth ful drie. Derk was the nyght as pich, or as the cole, and at the wyndow out she putte hir hole, and Absolon, hym fil no bet ne wers, but with his mouth he kiste hir naked ers ful savourly, er he were war of this.

Abak he stirte, and thoughte it was amys, for wel he wiste a womman hath no berd. He felte a thyng al rough and long yherd, and seyde, "Fy! allas! what have I do?"
"Tehee!" quod she, and clapte the wyndow to, and Absolon gooth forth a sory pas. "A berd! A berd!" quod hende Nicholas, by Goddes corpus, this goth faire and weel."

From "The Miller’s Tale" in the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer, c. 1380s – 1390s.


Got news for you. Sex has been in literature from the git-go. Not just tawdry writings, but truly great literature that has lasted the test of time.
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:36 PM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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Originally Posted by aNewLeaf View Post
Man, living in the future amazes me sometimes.
LOL unintentional entendre. Thanks for giving me a laugh!
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:37 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
Let me be clear, here: I am not condemning pornography or non-heterosexuality. I look at pornography. I read smut, too. I just can't wrap my head around the idea that Amazon wants to sell me some, and that the particular porn/smut/erotica they have on offer is openly, screamingly, very, very far out on the fringe. And that anyone would buy such, knowing how Amazon tracks purchases.
So is your real question, "How did Amazon know that I'm into gay cuttlefish erotica?"
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:39 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
However, it has exposed me to a bizarre new phenomenon: Amazon.com is selling porn.
Honestly, Amazon has been selling porn for years and years. Real porn, from companies whose entire output is porn.

Quote:
And I don't mean tasteful literary erotica. I mean stuff like this:

http://theworstthingsforsale.com/201...one-to-cuttle/
Check out the Luna Loupe page. She has dozens of similar titles.

The Human Cow: Transformed and Milked
The Catgirl and the Tentacle Monster (Fantasy Tentacle Erotica)
His Cowboy Werewolf Lover (Gay Western Erotica)
The Minotaur's Virgin Bride (Fantasy Beastman Deflowering Erotica)


Quote:
I don't know when they started doing this. More importantly, I am deeply confused as to WHY and HOW they started doing this.
Why? Because porn sells and all bookstores sell them. Barnes & Noble and Borders used to have open erotica sections, although little in them were erotica. They were merely better written porn from higher-end publishers that specialized in it. It's not new, or weird, or disgusting, or lower class.

Quote:
I am accustomed to thinking of Amazon as a company that wants to present itself as very mainstream and respectable.
This is, to be blunt, nuts. Amazon tries to sell everything that can be sold. It always has. That was its goal from the first day it set up its first website. Sexually oriented books and materials have always been part of it. That includes books and porn DVDs of every possible variety and fetish. Because sex sells.

Quote:
Has anyone here at the SDMB actually found that, contrary to my expectations, the kindle is an ideal platform for erotica?
Yes, of course it is. Who could possibly imagine otherwise?
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:05 PM
SandyHook SandyHook is offline
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Here's another tidbit from Amazon that I really hadn't expected to see there.

NSFW

I enjoyed the product description.


Reading further I found this

I note that people who purchased this also bought Betty Crocker Potato Buds. There's some sick fucks out there.

Last edited by SandyHook; 06-09-2013 at 11:10 PM..
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:13 PM
Muffin Muffin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyHook View Post
Here's another tidbit from Amazon that I really hadn't expected to see there.

NSFW

I enjoyed the product description.
Two new ones in stock, but no used ones.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:23 PM
moriah moriah is offline
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The cuttlefish book does come with a warning...

Quote:
Contains partial shifting,...

Doesn't partial shifting cross the obscenity line?
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  #19  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:56 PM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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Amazon has various policies about what they sell and don't sell. There are various stricter policies about what marketplace sellers can sell.
All of these policies are enforced haphazardly, and Amazon rules about what can be sold are about as effective as US immigration and customs enforcement... the rules are obeyed most of the time. Just... not anything to close to all of the time.
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:11 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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The only thing I find odd is that it's being sold when there's so much similar fiction available for free.
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:24 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
I don't know when they started doing this. More importantly, I am deeply confused as to WHY and HOW they started doing this. I am accustomed to thinking of Amazon as a company that wants to present itself as very mainstream and respectable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Why? Because porn sells and all bookstores sell them. . . .

This is, to be blunt, nuts. Amazon tries to sell everything that can be sold. It always has. . . .

. . . Who could possibly imagine otherwise?
Methynks OP doth make his minde confvsed twixt Amazon and ye auld Apple Store.
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  #22  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:27 AM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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That site looks like a pretty good idea for making money. While most readers probably won't buy the "worst things," they are probably likely to click through to see the details and might buy something on Amazon.

As for the "porn," I'm missing the point of the post. Amazon allows a lot of people to sell a lot of things, and some of them write "erotica." I thought this was going to be about hardcore porn films or something.
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  #23  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:33 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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You think these books are something, look what you can buy right off the sales floor at Target.
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:43 AM
April R April R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdavinci View Post
That blog is awesome. This is my favorite:

http://theworstthingsforsale.com/201...n-loofah-king/
Now they need to make a Mother TereStraw
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  #25  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:44 AM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
The only thing I find odd is that it's being sold when there's so much similar fiction available for free.
The sales rank is 150,000 or so.
If it was a paper book, that would be maybe one sale per day.
It isn't being sold OFTEN, and it's only three bucks.
Not exactly a sensation.
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  #26  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:49 AM
April R April R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyHook View Post


Reading further I found this

I note that people who purchased this also bought Betty Crocker Potato Buds. There's some sick fucks out there.
The review for that was comic gold. Loved it.
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  #27  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:59 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Anyone else reminded of the "Gay Fish" episode of South Park?
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  #28  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:17 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The Catgirl and the Tentacle Monster (Fantasy Tentacle Erotica)
Well, that's just Japan all over, ain't it?
Quote:
His Cowboy Werewolf Lover (Gay Western Erotica)
Do they eat pudding?
Quote:
The Minotaur's Virgin Bride (Fantasy Beastman Deflowering Erotica)
In the original, a queen places herself inside a wooden cow with her vagina up against an appropriate opening and a real bull does the rest. That's where the Minotaur comes from. That's what's at the foundation of Western High Culture. You're welcome.
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"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
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  #29  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:22 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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When i think of sex & fishes, I think of The Simpsons, A Fish Called Selma.


Mobster 1: "I thought you said he was dead?!"

Mobster 2: "No, I said he sleeps with the fishes."

Mobster 1: "Ewwwww."
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  #30  
Old 06-10-2013, 02:05 AM
JpnDude JpnDude is offline
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Speaking of Japan, Amazon.jp has been selling porn DVDs for a few years.
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  #31  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:21 AM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
Has anyone here at the SDMB actually found that, contrary to my expectations, the kindle is an ideal platform for erotica?
A friend of mine writes, and sells, erotica through Amazon, for Kindle, as well as other stuff, and it seems to sell. Certainly, there are publishers paying her to do it.

Probably the big advantage of reading erotica on an e-reader is that no-one else can see what you're reading. Also useful for reading Dan Brown or Twilight in polite company.
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  #32  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:33 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyHook View Post
Here's another tidbit from Amazon that I really hadn't expected to see there.

NSFW

I enjoyed the product description.


Reading further I found this

I note that people who purchased this also bought Betty Crocker Potato Buds. There's some sick fucks out there.
Easy explanation. The Worst Things For Sale is very popular. You are seeing "also viewed" because they are all things featured on TWTFS. See?
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  #33  
Old 06-10-2013, 11:10 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actualliberalnotoneofthose View Post
As for the "porn," I'm missing the point of the post. Amazon allows a lot of people to sell a lot of things, and some of them write "erotica." I thought this was going to be about hardcore porn films or something.
Imagine if the OP had stumbled upon classy titles like the five volumes of Cum Fart Cocktails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
Probably the big advantage of reading erotica on an e-reader is that no-one else can see what you're reading. Also useful for reading Dan Brown or Twilight in polite company.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
The only thing I find odd is that it's being sold when there's so much similar fiction available for free.
If you look at the similar titles on Amazon or do a Google search on Luna Loupe's keywords, you'll immediately notice that most of the authors of this type of erotica are female and their audience is similarly female. This is a huge change from the porn of our youth, which was almost 100% male written and aimed.

Women appear to be less willing to depend on old-fashioned porn story sites, which are often connected to or parts of larger video porn sites. Those seem to still be male dominated (and in the other sense as well, an additional turn-off). The romance genre was an early adapter of e-books, and romance erotica has a hockey stick growth trend that would kill us if CO2 buildup were as steep. That's a huge audience primed to look for downloadable e-books to read on an electronic device. I'm also assuming that women aren't as likely as men to masturbate to a computer screen.

Amazon hit on the perfect delivery system with the Kindle. It's portable and private. Anybody can upload words and call it a book, and it will display on its own page as if it were a book. The story that set this off is all of 12 pages. Most of Loupe's "books" are short stories. I'll bet that most readers don't check the page count before buying; the theme and description hooks them. The Kindle put amateurs who had no venue for these fantasies on a par with world famous authors. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Kindle-only titles swelled by the numbers who got through other publishers or Smashwords or other cross-platform sites. Instead of throwing away a story on a free site, they have the satisfaction of releasing a "book" on a respectable site that gets millions of hits every day, that is easily searchable, that people do reviews for on other sites, and that makes money for each sale. Assuming the 70% royalty option, Loupe makes $2.10 minus handling fees on each book.

Why does Amazon do this? It keeps the other 30% of list price, in this case 90 cents. How much is that is profit? 90 cents. The incremental cost of adding a display page to its listings and storing the words on its servers is essentially nothing. That's right. Amazon has invented a business model that is pure profit. You have to stand back and admire that. Yes, it took a lot of spending to get them to this point, with the development costs of the Kindle, and the maintenance of the server farms, and all that. But on a per item sold basis, that cost is minimal and most of it is recoverable by Kindle sales, cloud computing charges, and all the other pots Amazon has. The e-book end is pure gravy.

Amazon, not Apple, not Google, has the best business model of anyone. Green is never tasteless.

Last edited by Exapno Mapcase; 06-10-2013 at 11:12 AM..
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  #34  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:43 PM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
So is your real question, "How did Amazon know that I'm into gay cuttlefish erotica?"
Search typo involving Amanda Cuddlefitch.
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  #35  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:52 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strain of Thought View Post
So, recently I've discovered this blog, "The Worst Things For Sale"
Drew has many other projects that I'd recommend. Toothpaste For Dinner is a single panel cartoon. Then there is his music; Fuck You If You Don't Like Christmas is my favorite xmas tune. Drew did a "rap" CD under his rap persona "Crudbump". Worth a listen.
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  #36  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:16 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is online now
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Amazon is not in the business of censoring material. Nor should they be. What would be the cost of hiring enough staff to examine every item they list to make a judgment as to whether it meets any particular standard?

There is a link to customer reviews of all their products, which, presumably, would alert buyers to products that some users have found offensive.
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