April 12, 2009

It's a matter of choice

Almost every site that reviews books links to Amazon. It makes sense. Amazon has a great interface, provides reviews, and their affiliates program allows reviewers and bloggers to earn a little money off of their clicks. I also signed up for an affiliates account. But Amazon's new policy has me rethinking that decision.

In his recent Live Journal post, Mark Probst explains that his YA book, The Filly, was stripped of it's Amazon sales ranking because they considered it "adult" material. The Filly features a gay romance. Hundreds of other gay and lesbian books have also been been stripped of their sales rankings, along with many erotica titles. Books like Playboy Centerfolds, The Complete Collection seem unaffected by this new policy. Meta Writer has posted a collection of links about the topic. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter with the #amazonfail tag. Booksquare has issued an open letter to Amazon in response to this policy change.

I can't support this hypocrisy. To that end, I have decided to switch to an IndieBound Affiliates account. I realize my small protest won't change the world. It probably will not even be noticed by Amazon. It's also unlikely that I will make money from IndieBound links. Most people will still head over to Amazon for their purchases and I'm ok with that. IndieBound doesn't have a nifty ereader or One-Click check out. They do, however, support local bookstores. I like that idea. And honestly, it's not about the money. It's a personal choice.

As long as I am on the subject of independent bookstores, I should also mention that May 1st is Buy Indie Day. The idea was first proposed on Twitter by Joe Finder. From Joe's site:
"Please support your local independent bookstore. Buy a hardcover, paperback or audio book on May 1, 2009 at an indie near you. Join the "Buy Indie" Facebook group for more info."
Shop Indie Bookstores

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