Zero Hour @ Amazon + Truthiness @ Randstad = Angry Workers


For those of you that didn’t read the Daily Mail’s article on Amazon warehouse “employees,” you really missed a treat.

We won’t spoil it for you, but here’s a teaser: Employee bathroom breaks are timed. And of course Amazon knows an employee is in the bathroom because all employees are geo-tagged!

And if that’s not enough to convince you to read the story . . .

Amazon bosses tried to save money by instructing the Randstad agency (who provided the workers) to deceive their staff by not offering them holiday pay.

Andrew Kingsley, a former Randstad representative, said  “The [Randstad] agency reps were instructed not to tell them” [the Randstad people working as Amazon employees) that they were entitled to holiday pay.

And Randstad was ok with that. Really, just lovely.

America’s not only exporting  its 19th century business mentalities, it’s exporting the concept of Truthiness too.

59th Annual Emmy Awards - Arrivals

So, what will happen in US cities as Amazon brings “employment” to various sites — including 5000 jobs across the country in warehouses with at least 100+ of those at Amazon’s San Bernardino, California warehouse? Anyone’s guess.

But for a preview of all the possibilities, including zero hour contract workers and much, much more, read up! If you prefer your news in a more contemporary format, the BBC’s Channel 4 video report tells all — and includes interviews with some of the workers.


(And yes, we do love the reporter’s mutton sleeve jacket — an homage to the 100th anniversary of the UK Sufferagette movement!)

Self-Published Authors Make UK Amazon Kindle 2012 Bestseller List


07.01.13 | Lisa Campbell  (Full article can be found on The Bookseller, copyright The Bookseller).

Amazon has revealed that 15% of its bestselling Kindle books in the UK last year were written by self-published authors, with Hodder & Stoughton’s Nick Spalding landing the bestselling self-published author gong [award].

Spalding’s books Love…From Both Sides and Love…And Sleepless Nights sales combined to make Spalding the bestselling digital book author through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform last year. The author was snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton imprint Coronet for a six-figure sum last October.

Amazon said overall 15 of the top 100 Kindle books sold in the UK were by authors using its self-publishing tool, with 75 by traditional publishers. Amazon added that since KDP launched, 61 KDP authors have sold over 50,000 copies of their books. It also revealed that 12 KDP authors have sold in excess of 100,000 copies, with 50 authors earning in excess of £50,000 [$80K US], and 11 of these earning more than £100,000 [$160K US].

The best-selling KDP books of 2012 on

1. Love… From Both Sides by Nick Spalding

2. Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

3. Love… And Sleepless Nights by Nick Spalding

4. One Cold Night by Katia Lief

5. Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson

6. Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

7. Touch by Mark Sennen

8. Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt

9. The Tea Planter’s Daughter by Janet MacLeod Trotter

10. Here She Lies by Katia Lief

Get on that plane! Massive Giveaways in the UK during World Book Day and World Book Night

For those of you that didn’t know, yesterday, March 3, was  World Book Day, in the UK (elsewhere internationally, it’s on April 23, but always the 1st Thursday in March for Britian).  WBD launched in 1998, and is focused on school students age 11 and under who are given tokens redeemable for a specially printed £1 books at booksellers across the country. This year, about 600,000 books are ready to be claimed.

The £1 Token (€1.50 in Ireland) equivalent can be redeemed against any book or audiobook worth £2.99 (€3.99) or more (one Book Token per transaction) or exchanged for one of the six specially produced World Book Day £1 (€1.50) Books, while stocks last. Awesome!

On March 5th, World Book Night, a host of literary stars that includes two Nobel Prize winners will walking the Red Carpet at Trafalgar Square where organizers are expecting an audience of 10,000 is expected to show up. Authors expected to read include Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison, John le Carre, Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Derek Walcott, Sarah Waters, Yann Martel, Seamus Heaney, Mark Haddon and Lee Child.

In addition, about 20,000 volunteers signed up to give away 48 books each, selected from a list of 25, including The Life of PI, All Quite on the Western Front, Rachel’s Holiday, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Beloved, Dissolution, and The Blind Assassin. Those books have been shipped to distribution centers, and will shortly be handed off to those who are giving them away. Awesome!

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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UK libraries are on the out, the check out that is

The following is a list of the top 50 books checked out by UK Libraries in 2010.  The list is composed of books that are front list books (book released within the last year). It’s interesting because it shows you just how many people are still opting to check out their new books from their local library rather than buy.

According to the article in The Bookseller, the top 1,000 most checked out books accounted for 40 million checkouts, or 1 checkout for every person in the UK. And this was only the 1,000 most checkout books! And our favorite of the top 50? Number 50!

Library 2010 Top 50
Pos    Title                            Author                      Check-outs
1       The Lost Symbol    Brown, Dan              183,000
2          Gone Tomorrow Child, Lee              149,000
3         61 Hours Child, Lee                 141,000
4           I, Alex Cross Patterson, James    139,000
5    Wolf Hall Mantel, Hilary            134,000
6    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest Larsson, Stieg    133,000

7    Silent Scream La Plante, Lynda             128,000

8    8th Confession Patterson, James           128,000
9    The Return Journey Binchy, Maeve               128,000
10    The Complaints Rankin, Ian                    127,000
11    Hard Girls Cole, Martina                   127,000
12    Run for Your Life Patterson, James         127,000
13    Swimsuit Patterson, James         125,000
14    Cross Country Patterson, James    124,000
15    The Associate Grisham, John    122,000
16    206 Bones Reichs, Kathy                  122,000
17    Nine Dragons Connelly, Michael             122,000
18    The Girl Who Played with Fire Larsson, Stieg    122,000
19    Long Lost Coben, Harlan                    121,000
20    The Scarecrow Connelly, Michael              114,000
21    In Time for Christmas Flynn, Katie                  114,000
22    Doors Open Rankin, Ian                 113,000
23    Heart and Soul Binchy, Maeve             112,000
24    Sail Patterson, James            110,000
25    The White Queen Gregory, Philippa    110,000
26    Girl Missing Gerritsen, Tess                110,000
27    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Larsson, Stieg    109,000
28    The Fever of the Bone McDermid, Val                 108,000
29    Play Dead Coben, Harlan    107,000
30    Keeping the Dead Gerritsen, Tess    107,000
31    Twenties Girl Kinsella, Sophie    107,000
32    Aliens Love Underpants! Freedman, Claire    107,000
33    The Bodies Left Behind Deaver, Jeffery    106,000
34    Picture Perfect Picoult, Jodi             106,000
35    Born Bad Cox, Josephine              104,000
36    Paths of Glory Archer, Jeffrey              103,000
37    The Gruffalo Donaldson, Julia    102,000
38    Found Wanting Goddard, Robert    101,000
39    Stolen Pearse, Lesley              101,000
40    It’s the Little Things James, Erica    101,000
41    Genesis Slaughter, Karin    100,000
42    All the Colours of Darkness Robinson, Peter    100,000
43    The Price of Love Robinson, Peter    100,000
44    First Family Baldacci, David    99,000
45    The Scarpetta Factor Cornwell, Patricia    99,000
46    Worst Case Patterson, James    99,000
47    The Front Cornwell, Patricia    99,000
48    The Brass Verdict Connelly, Michael    99,000
49    Bloodline Billingham, Mark    98,000
50    Folly Titchmarsh, Alan    98,000
* Based on Nielsen LibScan Top 1,000 data for the year to 1st January 2011. LibScan now covers approxaimtely 20% of all UK library loans but the figures above have been weighted to more actually relfect 100% coverage

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 8:05 AM  Leave a Comment  
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