Amazon, my literary wife and some thoughts on global applications

Our house is full of books. They are everywhere as “she who must be obeyed” explains here.

A good number of these have been bought via Amazon. Living in Germany, it makes buying english books a breeze. shipping costs are reasonable, especially if one buys in volume (bad pun). However, we find that we search in or .com, because the experience is better, more reviews more selection etc, and then order on .de.

My good lady’s site has developed into the Ladenburg review of books, far eclipsing my readership, and a challenge to the NYRB. In order to feed this book consumption, I’ve been thinking about doing the amazon affiliate thing.  Charlotte needs convincing that it is easy to do, and won’t impact the integrity of her blog, but the lure of more books may convince her.

I read Werner Vogel, the  Amazon CTO’s blog. It is a great read, and a fascinating look inside a very innovative company. I learn stuff there. (I digress)

So I have had a little play around with this affiliate thing.

I have a problem. We are in Germany, and our readers are all over the place. Amazon doesn’t have a global version, just lots of country versions (.com,.fr,,.de…). Why is this a problem?

I didnt buy IT doesnt Matter via Roughtype, because I would have had to pay shipping from the US, and Jason Wood has a great bookroll, but again it only takes me to the .com site.

 In order to serve our readerships, it seems that I would need to set up at least a .com and a and .de  affiliate, and somehow provide you a link to whichever works best. This would be really messy. 

I would like to set up an affiliate with Amazon, and depending where you are, Amazon would invoice in the right currency, handle the taxes, and ship from the cheapest location. With the current set up this seems impossible to do this.

Amazon would have no way of knowing that the Thomas Otter in .de is the same as the one as on

Amazon’s architecture is not global, the country versions seem to be copies of the us one, with very little integration. This must be costly to run and maintain. We can learn a lot from Amazon online retail and SOA, but it looks as if they could learn from us boring boring ERP guys in Walldorf about global architectures.

This is what I’m reading at the moment: Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems, by Mingers and Willcocks. Maybe that is why I’m in a bad mood.

And I understand from the site, that they dont allow ads, except for Scoble, so this would mean changing host too..hmmm.

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One thought on “Amazon, my literary wife and some thoughts on global applications”

  1. Hey, I thought that was a pretty great illustration of the growing pains a high flyer like Amazon faces. And, how centralizing some of the management could make things easier. I usually expect you to tie in Walldorf, but when you did this time, it was beautiful because I wasn’t expecting it! Well done! Maybe your wife’s writing genious is rubbing off on you, mate!

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