Amazon is a pretty amazing company. They create a very compelling shopping experience encompassing nearly every category of product, they make the discovery and shopping experience easy, and customer reviews have transformed shopping by helping us find quality products and avoid crappy ones. Shopping online helps save time when shopping and running around town. And of course, as an indie author, 99% of my book sales are through Amazon.
For all that, Amazon is not a panacea. The same scale that allows recommendations, reviews, and low pricing to work also has negative side effects. There are many, but I’ll just mention a few:
- As more book buying moves online to Amazon and to ebooks, it becomes harder for local bookstores to survive. Some might say “who cares?” but for the 20% of Americans without Internet access, bookstores and libraries are how they access books. For younger children, bookstores are an exciting place of discovery. My kids love visiting any bookstore. But bookstores can’t survive on childrens books and only a small percentage of adults visiting them.
- As an author, I’m very concerned that 99% of my book sales are through Amazon. What if they change their policies and decide to offer half the royalty rate? Without any other effective distribution outlet, I’d be screwed. I’m delighted to sell as many books as I do there, but I’d be much more comfortable if I was also selling elsewhere.
- Local, indie bookstores are owned by people, whereas Amazon is a global corporation. As I’ve mentioned before, every time we make a credit card purchase with a global corporation, we’re sending our money to the 1% of wealthiest people. Yes, we’re supporting them. If you spend your money at a local bookstore, a much greater percentage is actually staying people like you and me.
My books are available through both:
- Visit Kobo.
- Click on A.I. Apocalypse, then click Buy Now.
- Sign in with your Kobo UserID and Password. If you don’t have one, create an account.
- On the “Confirm Your Purchase” page, click on the link for “Have a gift card or promo code?” and enter the PROMO code: jansbooks
- A box will pop up saying that you’ve covered your cost so they won’t have to bill your credit card.
- Now you will see at the BUY NOW button that $0.00 will be charged. Click the BUY NOW button.
- Download the epub to read on your computer, tablet, or Kobo ereader.