Posted on 2013-Nov-06
There has been a discussion on several websites and book review section whether the recently published Brad Stone’s ‘The Everything Store’ about Amazon is worth the media attention. To some who have not heard of this book that portrays the life and professional morale of Jeff Bezos, the reaction circulating through the grapevine is not totally about the accuracy or inaccuracy of the subject. In fact, the stories surrounding workplace conditions and compensation make for curious questions. While the subject of the book relies heavily on the owner of Amazon and his top position to steer the company upward, people are still coming to terms with his personal life that has been hidden from the spotlight.
Jeff Bezos’ Wife Rules
As long as customer reviews are integral to your book sales, you would not expect a one-star review trashing your book’s reputation. The one-star review that is the eye of the storm belongs to Mackenzie Bezos, the wife of Mr. Bezos. Her review gives a detailed description of how the author fell short of doing his fact-checking. Brad Stone made an equally poignant explanation to clarify his decision how he presented the story the way his resources had shown. His nearly immediate response promised to make amends and he appreciated how Ms. Bezos pointed out the piece of information that only she and Mr. Bezos had access to.
On the one hand, a bias is certainly a factor when Mrs. Bezos’ review reveals her identity as confirmed by Amazon spokesman, Craig Berman. On the other hand, the same review can help validate the arguments she has put forth in setting the record straight. According to TeleRead’s blog, the fact alone that she is the author herself is quite unusual; however, the lack of publicity that her husband could have promoted her on Amazon’s countless programs impresses the writer in the sense that she “keeps her books to herself.”
Curious for Information
On The Passive Voice, commenters divert their attention to various other topics in the Reuters article ranging from anti-Semitic nonsense to Mr. Bezos’ “startling” marital status. It is sometimes entertaining to learn all the additional information off-topic being brought into discussion and distraction. However, the last speculation on B&N‘s book about their CEO’s leadership tends to question the status of one of Amazon’s biggest rivals in book distribution business.
Another blog on the same website that cites The New York Times article provides sample of the book. There is further revelation about nightmarish work conditions at Amazon without air conditioning. One commenter, Libbie Hawker, explained the backstory of company employees getting above-than-average accommodation. Somehow, the author’s reference to heat gets picked up by a user, Anon on Purpose, who claims to work at one of the warehouses in a warmer state. Although A/C units were installed inside the facility, the broken ones were not fixed or replaced due to the downsized party line.
Reviews That Make Sense
Depending on which side of the story you would like to believe in, perhaps it is nearly an impossible mission for authors to write the closest thing to 100% accuracy especially when they write a topic about a mega corporation. Mackenzie Bezos could be right in her voice of reason calling for actionable updates of facts and whatnot since the subject can positively and negatively affect her husband’s image. Essentially, it is good to see the author’s quick response to address any possible inaccuracy, show his positive attitude to welcome valuable feedback, and promise to make minor changes. After all, this book has been mentioned all over the place and the customer reviews following the first distinguished reviewer seem to follow the trend of highlighting the strengths and weaknesses through their illustrative instances. If there is one thing she does to help promote the book, my personal speculation is that she sets the example of how the review should look and may have inspired other customers to pay serious attention to reviews. So far, 2,460 people have found the Mrs. Bezos’ review helpful; this number of people’s response has gone double compared to the TeleRead blog’s statistics posted earlier.
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