Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't Be a Book Killer

And another thing: It's time to say no to Amazon. It was time years ago, but because so many of us are dense, Amazon's been making it easy for us by putting on a black hat, smoking a cigar, and twirling its mustachios. That is, by waging war on a publisher, Hachette -- one of my publishers -- through attacks on its authors. I'm ok, but a friend of mine has a new book coming out from a Hachette imprint, a big one for him, and Amazon has taken down his page. That's just one of the thousands of horror stories now emerging from this thug of a corporation. Amazon is a book killer.

"Yeah, I know, but they'll mail it to me, and I don't live near a bookstore..." Etc. I've bought books from Amazon, too. But the line has been drawn. I mean, it's been drawn with a paintbrush, and then underlined, and then Amazon put arrows pointing to it, with a neon side that blinks, "Which Side Are You On?" That is: Do you believe authors and people who make books should be gouged so that Amazon can sell more electronics? Do you want to abandon stories for discounts on blenders?

Or do you like books? Would you like them to continue to be made?

Indie bookstores will mail your books to you, too. A decently-paid human being, invested in the success of a small bookstore serving its community, will take your book off the shelf and mail it to you. It will cost more. Because books cost more. When you pay less, you're not saving money; you're ripping off the author. Don't be a book killer.

Tonight I'm reading at my local bookstore, Norwich Books, in Norwich, Vermont. I hope you can come, but you're probably nowhere near Norwich. So I hope you'll buy my new book, Radiant Truths. And I hope you'll buy it from Norwich Books. It will cost you more. But instead of doing evil, you'll be doing good. Sometimes, it is that simple.