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Amazon’s $1 million secret
At a time when independent publishing is struggling to survive, in part due to the influence of Amazon, recipients say that these grants offer crucial — if ironic — life support. Sometimes the grants pad out thin margins of survival, and make it possible for worthy programs to maintain their tiny staffs. And there’s no question the grants support legitimately important work: Literature in translation, international poetry, smart criticism, youth literacy efforts.
“It’s the bully on the playground handing you a lollipop,” says Shirin Yim Bridges, publisher of Goosebottom Books in San Francisco, which has not received a grant from Amazon. “I mean, what do you do?”