Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Amazon’s $1 million secret

By quietly supporting small presses and literary nonprofits, is Amazon backing book culture or buying off critics?

(Credit: iStockphoto/stokato)

The Brooklyn Book Festival’s website debuts a new feature this year called OnePage. Every week from March through September, OnePage will post part of a previously unpublished work — chunks of correspondence, scenes from books in progress — by authors such as Darcey Steinke, Martha Southgate, Paula Fox and Stefan Merrill Block. There will also be mini-profiles of participating small presses, including indie mainstays McSweeney’s and Akashic.
That a Brooklyn book festival would promote small presses and their authors isn’t surprising. But the sponsor of OnePage has raised a few eyebrows. As the festival’s press release noted, “The project is made possible with a grant from Amazon.com.”
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Alexander Zaitchik is a journalist living in Brooklyn. More Alexander Zaitchik

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