Okay, so at the behest of my publisher, I went ahead and sold another little part of my soul and set up my own account on Amazon in order to be able to resubmit my books on there. Even though Amazon just royally fucked her over. Because that’s just the kind of person she is. She was more concerned about my profits and my standings and rankings there, in spite of the fact that Amazon just stole a whole shitload of hers.
I started out small, basically just resubmitting my short story Lucy, just to test the waters and get myself familiar with the process. I was filled with trepidation all the way through, however. While at nowhere near the level of most of my other books, there is just a tiiiiny bit of ‘taboo’ within the virtual covers of that particular book. It’s fairly well hidden within the manuscript, however, and not blatantly shouted about in the cover or the description. Still, it was a little nerve-wracking. I’m doing this completely on my own now. If I fuck up, there’s no other venue into the golden gates that is the writer’s cash-cow called Amazon.
So, okay, it wasn’t quite as easy submitting to Amazon as just about everybody was making it out to be. Certainly it wasn’t set up in the lightning-fast pace that Smashwords was. And hell, I even had more of a head start than most people who try publishing on Amazon for the very first time! I had a completed manuscript that I was fairly sure would pass through the conversion process with little or no trouble. Plus I didn’t have to worry about creating a half-ass decent cover with what they laughingly refer to as a cover creator.
Anyway, Lucy survived the conversion process and the review process, and was safely tucked away all by its lonesome on my bookshelf. So late last night I went ahead and resubmitted the rest of the books in my Spinning Heads series. This morning I was greeted with an email saying they were all online. Yippee-fucking-skippee.
Taking another step into my soul-selling process, I went ahead and set up my author page. Apparently that’s a whole different animal that you have to sign up for completely separate from your main Amazon account. Okay, this is fucking stupid, but I went ahead and set it up, and added Lucy to my books list last night. No problem. However, the REST of my books that were listed on my KDP bookshelf were not on the author page! Apparently you have to add EACH BOOK separately to your author page, which means searching for them and clicking on the little “This Is My Book” button. A ton of books actually came up. About ten different pages, if I remember right. Apparently Forrest Young, or similar variations of it, is a rather popular author name. Who knew? But there I was, faced with DOZENS of tomes in front of me that I could have easily claimed as my own with the simple little click of a button! I resisted the temptation and just picked out the smutty ones. 🙂
So, anyway, five of my books are now safely back on Amazon. I’m still a little hesitant about putting up the more taboo titles, but I will probably slowly try to filter them back in at some point.
It’s difficult to cave like this. Yes, I will sell my books on Amazon, at least for as long as they’ll let me ride, because hey, a dollar is a dollar, no matter where it comes from. But I will not link my books directly to Amazon whenever I post them somewhere. It actually makes me sick to see so many authors do that, as if Amazon is the only game in town. As much as Amazon would like to think so, they’re not.
Here’s my biggest problem with Amazon… Put aside for the moment their atrocious business practices, and the way they bully and intimidate every author and independent publisher that tries to deal with them. Often to the point of just throwing them to the curb whenever they DARE try to become too successful riding on their backs. The bottom line is, Amazon is a book dealer. And for ANY book dealer to participate in the types of blatant censorship that they partake in is absolutely unforgivable. That also goes for Kobo, Apple iBooks, and every other vendor who dares try to claim any moral high ground by squelching the free expression of ideas.
I’m not going to sit here and call for an all-out boycott of Amazon. Any more, that’s just kinda silly, and actually looks a little childish. If you want to buy my books from Amazon, hey, I’ll take your money, no matter what devil’s hand it filters through. However, if and whenever possible, consider buying them from some other source. There are many other vendors who value integrity and the principles of free speech and free expression who would benefit more greatly from your patronage.