I’ve been pretty much sick to my stomach for the last two weeks. I spent over a year writing a collection of steampunk novellas, Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles and I ended up releasing it to only about a third of my readership—if even that much.
I made the decision not to release on Amazon because of Amazon’s role in providing the technical infrastructure for our government’s inhumane and, often times, illegal efforts to imprison and deport immigrants.*
When AAR offered the opportunity for me to write a blog post explaining my decision, I definitely wanted shine more light onto the issues around family separation and the role of big tech, but putting it all together is both emotionally exhausting and time consuming so please forgive me for providing an edited version of my original notice to my readers:
For the complete original post, you can go here to my website: http://www.jeannielin.com/my-decision-no-amazon-release-for-tales-anthology/
I have made the decision to pull Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles from Amazon.
I don’t make this decision lightly. All authors know the mantra — we don’t like how Amazon does XYZ, but we have no choice. Amazon is where most authors get a significant chunk of their digital sales. For many of us, our livelihood depends on Amazon.
Many of you may not know this, but I work in technology. I work in healthcare informatics — specifically on projects that collect identity information. I work on health systems that potentially serve areas on the southern border. Over the last three years, I have been particularly cognizant about what work I might be doing that could be aiding the government’s anti-immigration and inhumane policies towards immigrants.
I know I’m a small cog. Just a developer in a very large sphere. Any protest, any refusal I would have wouldn’t change things at all. But I don’t want to close my eyes, and I can’t say my actions won’t change “things” when the most important thing that changes is my own heart and soul.
I have complete control over how I will change. And that is, in the scheme of things, more important than what I can get some company to do or not do.
So the book. I haven’t released a new book in over two years. In part, because of the time, energy, and emotional weight of trying to reconcile my place in this country, a country that has decided it’s okay to separate children from their parents. To criminalize refugees for trying to seek a better future. I’ve joined political action groups, written articles, letters, called my representatives, gone in person to their offices to meet with aides who probably could care less.
What made me come to this decision was the “No Music for ICE” movement – a boycott of Amazon by over 200 musicians. I was already aware of the “No Tech for ICE” protests, often starting with employees of the tech companies involved in providing services and software to ICE for use in deportations. Amazon is the technological backbone for ICE, hosting Palantir, the data-mining company used by ICE to gather info for raids and deportations. In short, ICE runs on Amazon servers and Amazon gets paid a lot of money to support anti-immigration policy.
My first reaction to the notion of not providing content to Amazon was one every author has had: “But what choice do I have? I have to be on Amazon.” Amazon accounts for roughly 70% of my sales and is my main source of discoverability. And my reader base is small as it is.
I don’t judge anyone for buying or selling on Amazon. I do most of my reading on my device with Kindle books. I’ve done it because I know boosting an author’s Amazon ranking can make a significant difference in their earnings. It matters in real ways.
I haven’t decided what I’ll do with currently posted indie titles on Amazon. For now, I’m leaving everything else up. I don’t know what I’ll do with books in the future.
There are times when I literally am grief-stricken thinking of children, so afraid, torn away from their parents. There are times when I say goodbye to my daughter when going on a business trip or just sending her off on the school bus, and she clings to me. I can see in her eyes she doesn’t want to leave, even though it’s just for a few hours and I’ll be right here when she comes home.
Then I imagine a mother, desperate and hoping to find a better life for her children, having her daughter taken away. That little girl being put in a scary cell with strangers to take care of her. And our government saying that they will not and, often times, are incapable of reuniting the children they’ve taken. Because they just didn’t care enough to keep track.
Of children. Of human beings.
And the cruel irony of the situation is, ICE and CBP have the technology. Case in point: they’re using it to track and detain immigrants. And willfully NOT using it to take responsibility and ensure that families are reunited. They are not using it to make the asylum process more efficient. They are not using it for non-detention programs like the Family Case Management Program which shows that with proper management, higher than 90% of families return for their asylum hearings. These are the types of solutions that technology can and should be used for.
I might be doing something as mundane as fixing dinner, sewing a Halloween costume, trying to write — when the realization comes back that nothing has changed. Families are being mistreated. Children, children younger than my little girl and boy, are crying. And dying. And I forgot. I forgot and went on with my life for a few days, a few weeks.
For me, at this moment. With this book. I don’t need Amazon.
Not while they’re propping up ICE.
I know Amazon is not the only culprit. I’m not out to boycott the world — I am making one decision, drawn in neat lines so my heart can understand what I’m saying, to keep my soul aligned. What a sad, soul-sucking thing it’d be if I had to say my actions would make no difference now? Already? So early in this fight. On such a small hill?
I will do my best to get Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles up on other platforms in a timely manner. I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s the best thing I’ve written in two years. *winks* (Jeannie is giving away either an autographed copy of Gunpowder Alchemy (US only) or an ebook of Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles. Winner’s choice–make a comment below to be entered in this drawing.)
Thank you for reading. Always.
Jeannie Lin writes historical romance and steampunk adventures set in imperial China. Find out more at: www.jeannielin.com
Tales from the Gunpowder Chronicles is currently available on these platforms:
Buy it at Kobo/Barnes and Noble/Apple Books/Gumroad
* AAR relies predominantly on Amazon for its survival. Despite including links to other platforms, we find our readers buy almost exclusively on Amazon. Were we to boycott Amazon, we’d disappear. We support Jeannie’s decision but will continue to post Amazon links for our readers.
Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.
I respect your stand, Jeannie. It takes rare courage and character to forfeit income over a principle.
Thoreau said that people do not have the obligation to eliminate all injustices, but they do have the responsibility “not to stand on another man’s shoulders,.” We have an obligation not to make another person’s life harder and more unfair. If you think globally, that’s very hard to avoid when we use products made in the US and overseas by businesses that often pay starvation wages or abuse their workers. If you add trying to be responsible about not contributing to climate change, it’s nearly impossible to live. Do I not buy at Walmart because their employees qualify for food stamps? Not buy an Apple because parts of computers are made in Vietnam, even if the country is so poor that people want these sweatshop jobs? Not go to MacDonald’s because of their reported toleration of sexual abuse? Not drive my car with gas from Saudi Arabia because I detest their treatment of women? Probably every single business has shady, dishonest, or exploitative practices. Purity and business are generally not long-lived partners.
So, what does that mean to a principled person? For me, it means to pick my battles and to do what I can, while still living my life. If I do business with Amazon, maybe I vote for the party that treats immigrants and others better. Maybe I contribute to charity so kids get more medical care than they would without it. No, I don’t use straws, but I am forced to buy detergent in plastic bottles, the only container available. And then maybe I write Walmart, demanding better pay for their workers and their inspection of the firetraps overseas that pass for factories.
PS I would also suggest that the whole point of a boycott is to let the businesses know what you are doing. So be sure to forward this article to Amazon, so they at least KNOW about the bad publicity you are inflicting on them. They cannot care about the price they are paying if they don’t even know about it.
Very true, Lynda, and I agree. I also try to focus positively about what businesses I want to support in my life and rather than just negatively about who I want to boycott. I find it can be a good use of my energy to knowingly support places that deserve my business. We live in such angry times that it helps to focus on who is doing good things and how I can help them. One thing I am doing this holiday season is commissioning artists and crafts people to make gifts for friends and family — a pet portrait for my sister’s dog, etc. It’s not any more expensive than what I typically spend for conventional gifts.
Wow! Commissioning artists for gifts sounds like a great idea. It’s probably a lot more personal and meaningful to the receiver too. Thanks for sharing.
Several years ago, I tried to get AAR accepted as an affiliate of Etsy. We were rejected because the site has a rule against partnering with any sites that mention sex. Sigh…..
I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t know that Etsy had a rule against partnering with sites that mention sex. That’s their call of course, but bummer!
That’s really a shame. Etsy is a great site for all kinds of unique products, custom and handcrafted art, and works hard to support local shopping too.
Yes. I actually tried at great length but they were unyielding.
What about independent bookstores? Is there a way to partner with a brick and mortar to compensate AAR for referrals when paper books get ordered e.g. Ripped Bodice in LA? It drives me crazy to look at romance sections in independent bookstores and find authors I don’t read being carried vs. things that are being recommended here.
Not that I know of.
SMH this post is here. If I get this right, AAR who lives on money from Amazon has published a piece by a woman of color saying why it’s bad to use Amazon. Isn’t AAR EVIL according to Tessa Dare and all those people who were crapping all over this site a few weeks ago?
My respect for this site has grown like the Grinch’s heart.
Thank you, Jeannie. Your post made me cry. You are a brave and caring person. I will be purchasing the book.
Jeannie, I am all admiration for your decision. It takes a lot of courage to take action that will mean deprivation for you. For most people today, activism is on par with screaming on Twitter. But since the election, I have watched you take a hands-on, boots-on-the-ground approach to activism that has jived with my sensibilities since I have done the same. And now, you’ve taken a far more courageous step to stand behind your convictions and values. Hats off to you.
It is frightening how much power corporations like Amazon have over everyone’s lives today, but the impact they are having on vulnerable populations is especially tragic. Whenever possible I shop elsewhere, and over the past year I’ve tried to use local shopping. Much bigger structural changes are ultimately needed to address the power and corruption of these conglomerates. Thank you for your activism and your writing!
“Whenever possible I shop elsewhere, and over the past year I’ve tried to use local shopping.” I can definitely see your point here, but even so-called “local products” often have deep ties to mega-corporations. They can be sneaky about it too. For example, a brand of juice you like may have started out as a mom and pop operation, and the next thing you know, they’re in the product portfolio of XYZ company. And it’s not always obvious or publicized. If you look on that juice bottle (or cracker box or salad mix or whatever), they may not even say the name of the mega corporation that owns them. But if you look up the name online, *surprise,* they are a subsidiary.
As for books, a lot of people have told me, “Oh, I don’t buy books through Amazon because I want to support indie bookstores.” Well, depending on the author you’re talking to, that can be devastating. Just speaking for myself, and possibly a lot of other self-publishers, when a customer buys through a third party website, Amazon still gets their cut- and the writer gets less. Sure, you are perhaps helping that indie bookstore owner a *little* bit. But from the author end of things, any sale through a third party channel earns me about a third of what I would make if the customer bought through Amazon. And, either way, Amazon gets their cut. Believe me. They are not being hurt any when a customer buys a KDP author’s work somewhere else.
And to be the devil’s advocate here, I am actually a big fan of Amazon. That doesn’t mean I agree with all of their policies or political actions. Heck, what Ms. Lin was describing sounds quite vile. But we *do* have to live in this world. In some ways, I think of my partnership with Amazon akin to paying taxes. Whether we like it or not, all of us pay taxes to support heinous things (war being the big one). But refusing to pay taxes would mean a one-way trip to prison. Does that mean we’re all bad people for not boycotting our taxes? Of course not! Are we morally inferior if we refuse to defect? I would say “no.”
True, Amazon is a corporation, but one with an incredible amount of reach. And Jeff Bezos has done some wonderful things. Most notably for self-published authors, KDP has been a game changer. Even traditionally published authors have mentioned how KDP forced their publishers to be more open in their contracts to allow hybrid publishing. In other words, his competitive business model forced some publishers to finally play nice with their authors (which they should have been doing all along!)
Am I defending the situation Ms. Lin is describing? No. But I am being realistic. So is Ms. Lin, and I applaud her nuanced position on the matter. Without Mr. Bezos and his Amazon, many of us would be out of work. As Ms. Grinnan said, “AAR relies predominantly on Amazon for its survival.” And like AAR, for many of us to boycott Amazon would be financial suicide.
It is all right to have causes and for individuals to boycott companies that offend their sensibilities. Ms. Lin has given her reasons and has the insight to know that her action would not be a good choice for everyone. Self-published or indie authors don’t always have the luxury of taking her stance. As for me, I’ve always been a bit mercenary, which I realize can offend people. My position, in summary, is that I am all for good causes, but I’m *personally* not going to live in the streets or in a prison cell to prove a point. More power to those who can.
Local stores *can* have ties to insidious practices and conglomerates, and I don’t think anyone has said otherwise, but that is why it’s important to be a critical consumer and educate oneself. Local shopping supports local communities, especially co-ops and local farms with humane treatment of animals, fair wages for employees, fair labor practices when importing, etc.. Most consumers won’t want to think about it too much, shying away from stomach-turning stories about what goes on, such as the ties between Amazon and ICE. For those who feel otherwise, there are alternatives to how we choose to live.
It’s true that not supporting Amazon may undercut authors in the short term, but may be not as much as consumers may think. However, the answer is not necessarily to throw up our hands and just continue to support Amazon. The answer is much more complex and may involve long term practices and thinking critically about what conglomerates are doing to our culture and economy. Indie bookstores are definitely always an option. Public library support is an option. Here in Portland, Ore. where I live, Powell’s Bookstore is a local and respected store and has a big online national presence, which makes shopping there in person or online viable.
“Local stores *can* have ties to insidious practices and conglomerates, and I don’t think anyone has said otherwise, but that is why it’s important to be a critical consumer and educate oneself.” Oh, I agree. I was merely expounding upon your point. Being a critical consumer is important.
I must disagree however on a couple of your points, one about local shopping and the other about Amazon.
As for local shopping, I too support ethical farming practices, local communities, and so forth. But I am not totally anti-mega-conglomerate because the truth is complicated. I won’t name names, but certain mega stores with cheaper prices are often a godsend to poorer families. When people say, “I would rather pay more to be sure I am supporting my local community,” it is usually the people who can *afford* to take that stance. And they are certainly welcome to do so. But for other consumers, it’s a quality of life issue. They cannot simply eschew mega corporations and pay higher prices in order to make a statement. Because those price differences can be the difference between paying the light bill and having dinner on the table. This is not an exaggeration or a hypothetical scenario. I have met individuals in this situation. And if mega stores were to suddenly disappear, their quality of life would suffer. Is this indicative of larger societal problems? Absolutely! But the situation is what it is, unfortunately.
“It’s true that not supporting Amazon may undercut authors in the short term, but may be not as much as consumers may think.” This is another point on which I must disagree. Not supporting Amazon could potentially wipe out a number of independent authors, particularly those who publish through KDP- myself included. I cannot speak for every self-published author out there, but for many of us, KDP *is* how we make our money in writing.
“Indie bookstores are definitely always an option.” I agree indie bookstores are possible options for *consumers,* but I can tell you for a fact that they do undercut authors who self-publish through Amazon. (Not intentionally, of course, but because of how KDP works.) As I mentioned in my earlier post, when a customer purchases any of my books through a third party instead of Amazon directly, I make about a third of a normal sale- and Amazon still gets their cut regardless. Plus, indie bookstores- like good libraries- are sadly not available everywhere. For many people, Kindle Unlimited creates opportunities for book access that might not otherwise exist. (But on the subject of libraries, don’t get me started on Macmillan’s punitive book embargo. We could be on this post forever! I am a HUGE library fan, and don’t take kindly to Macmillan’s faulty reasoning.)
But I certainly agree with you that the answer regarding conglomerates is highly complex.
I think you are conflating “local shopping” with higher prices, and I have not found that to be the case, or at least not necessarily the case in so many instances. But consumption is only one part of the issue. Workers cannot afford the slave wages of mega corporations, such as what Amazon or Wal-Mart pays – certainly “a quality of life” issue. Also, many studies have been done on the abject working conditions of Amazon employees, some of the most soul-destroying examples I’ve read in the U.S. – another “quality of life” issue. Whole Foods employees just had their health care benefits cut when Amazon purchased the franchise – perhaps that’s a “quality of life” issue. Oh, and those kids in cages, and parents torn apart from their children. Yeah!
Many consumers, myself included, find Amazon cheap and convenient and I think a mindset develops that there aren’t other options. There are, and if a consumer can find a comparable item for a comparable cost but through a venue that isn’t ethically damaged like Amazon, shopping there can simply be a values choice. What you are pointing at though in your endorsements of Amazon is precisely why Amazon has become so dangerous – it makes it cheap and convenient and enticing to consumers for many reasons, and in the process, it makes it easy to overlook the damage it is causing our culture from a macro perspective. People think that Amazon is giving them choices, when in fact, it’s the opposite that is happening. Indie bookstores and libraries are indeed in danger and we can agree on that. The answer isn’t to walk away and support Amazon instead. Supporting locally, supporting indie, and supporting libraries is more important now than ever.
And to Jeannie Lin, I appreciate the list of venues where we can find your books. I will purchase your new one.
“People think that Amazon is giving them choices, when in fact, it’s the opposite that is happening.” It really depends on which people you are talking to. Before KDP, self-published authors had to put upfront money to publish their books. KDP was a *huge* game-changer that allowed indie authors to tell stories virtually free of charge in the way they wanted to tell them for the first time ever. Sure, there are other print on demand publishers like Smashwords, but they simply do not have the reach or market share of Amazon’s KDP.
Again, I can’t speak for all self-published authors, but it is a FACT that Amazon gave many of us a choice when it came to our writing- a choice no one else was offering. If Amazon were to disappear tomorrow, it would be devastating for me and many other self-published authors. That would take away *my* choice, and the choices of many others of my ilk. Without Amazon, I would be driven to publish through competitors with little market share that may or may not improve, or I would have to go the traditional publishing route. And option two, the traditional publishing route, would just throw me in the arms of another mega corporation- one that probably wouldn’t treat me as well as Amazon has- assuming they deigned to publish my work. Option three would be to pay one of those overpriced self-publishing houses, and I have no intention of throwing thousands of dollars down the drain.
I understand your concerns about Amazon, and have a few of my own. It is annoying, for example, that KDP does not allow their e-books to be purchased by public libraries. I also understand fully that they hold most of the cards. If they decided to end their self-publishing division tomorrow, that would be the end of a lot of self-published authors’ careers. That’s not to say some of us couldn’t adapt. But despite Amazon’s flaws, it is *still* the best game in town for many self-publishers. Show me any other publisher that allows nearly 100% creative control on content, cover design, and pricing; has paperback, e-book, and audiobook production capabilities; offers expanded distribution options for purchasing through third party booksellers and library vendors (yes, paperbacks produced through KDP can be purchased at public libraries if librarians choose, providing the library system in question doesn’t prohibit purchasing self-published/print-on-demand work); distributes content worldwide; shows daily sales data; and gives authors up to 70% royalties on e-book sales.
Of course I endorse Amazon. It’s because of them that I have the freedom to publish the stories I want to write without any gatekeepers rejecting/monkeying with my work. Incidentally, there are a number of hybrid authors who publish through KDP because their publishing houses may not be interested in every story they wish to tell. This is dangerous? For a writer, it is liberating.
In regard to indie presses, I support those as well. They are awesome! In fact, I have been published in an indie anthology under a different pen name, so I know first hand of their struggles and dedication. And when I find an interesting indie title, I definitely recommend it to the library to help with their sales and visibility.
Having said all this, I don’t think the answer is strictly either/or. I love Amazon AND public libraries AND indie bookstores AND indie presses and even traditional publishers. To me, none of those things are necessarily mutually exclusive.
To wrap this up, do you write? If so, I would be interested to read about your experiences in publishing. I ask because I’ve found that a lot of Amazon critics are either traditionally published or have no skin in the writing trade at all. I realize my perspective may not be popular but as a freelance, self-published author, I am writing from “in the trenches,” so to speak.
I do write, but I’m an academic and write for peer-reviewed scholarly journals or textbooks rather than fictional writing.
I have sympathy for people who fear being out of work, such as Indie writers, or even for AAR who finds their very existence is dependent on Amazon. However, this reminds me of the debate in our society around coal or fracking. Workers will be out of work if these industries collapse, and that is indeed unfortunate for the workers. But to bolster destructive industries is not the answer. Amazon would not necessarily be such a negative example if regulation was taking place, including potentially breaking it up so that it is not the monolith it is today, and growing! I also think that the vacuum left, should Amazon lose its power, could produce opportunities, including ones for Indie writers, that we cannot even foresee right now. There is a consumer market and fan base for Indie writers today that may not simply dissipate without Amazon. I just saw an article today in the news that coal workers are being retrained in beekeeping, which is great considering that bumblebees were just declared an endangered species. I think positive things could come of Amazon’s demise or restructuring, though I’m not optimistic it’s in any immediate danger.
I do wish that here in the UK Amazon (and e-bay and a number of other US-based firms like Microsoft, Apple, Starbucks, Facebook, etc.) paid their proper corporate taxes instead of hiding profits and using other off-shore tactics to avoid paying them.
On the other hand, I live in a remote village without any public transport and it’s a 15 mile round trip for a pint of milk or loaf of bread. Online shopping is a lifeline. The demise of the “High Street” is much discussed here but as local government (of all flavours) charge so much for parking (and don’t provide enough of it) that it becomes increasingly difficult to support the shops in town, indie or otherwise. It makes more “green sense” to let Amazon or the big grocers deliver to many customers on a single round than it does for me to get in my car several times a week to shop, pay to park and spew out crap from my tailpipe.
Too many policies here are London-centric or are planned on the basis that people live in cities or towns, Rural dwellers get the short end of the stick. I would get an electric bus – or, indeed ANY bus – if it came to my village and enabled me to get into town and shop. That’s not going to happen so, unfortunately, right now the benefits of shopping with Amazon and others are too big to ignore.
“I do write, but I’m an academic and write for peer-reviewed scholarly journals or textbooks rather than fictional writing.” Cool! I remember reading in some of your other comments that you are involved in academia, but I couldn’t remember in what capacity. Thanks for sharing!
Would you ever consider writing fiction? It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. Being able to write a story in order to meet a need is especially fulfilling. For example, when I got tired of seeing HFNs/HEAs handled in a certain way, I thought, “Darn it! If traditionally published books and authors are playing it safe with their HEAs, I can write and publish a story where the HEA is unconventional.” (I.e. I write the books I want to read.) Kind of like how you were saying in an earlier post that a lot of HEAs tend to tack on an epilogue with a lot of kids. (Not that it’s a *bad* ending to a story, but let’s hear it for variety!) Being a self-published writer is empowering that way. I can write my HEA or HFN however I want. Maybe you’d like doing that too. Just a thought.
If Amazon had stopped at the book market, they’d still be a gigantic corporation and could claim the moral high ground for changing the publishing industry significantly (giving independent writers a way to publish and make a living). But they’ve gone far beyond that; and are systematically destroying local economies while also capitalizing on (or selling to others) what they know about every customer and what that customer buys from them, as well as everything they know about every business that offers a product or service on their site. As someone who worked for a company that manufactures a great product here in the US and sells it on their own website as well as at Amazon I can tell you it is staggering the information Amazon has. No company should be that powerful.
Very true and good point. I forgot about consumer privacy and the concerns of any corporation obtaining so much private data on a person.
My sister decided years ago that she wouldn’t shop at Wal-Mart and has stuck to that. I don’t think she’s ever been in a Wal-Mart store.
You certainly have given us a thought provoking post. One of my children is taking a computer science ethics course and it has really been eye opening. I applaud you on taking a stance but also for not judging others who might not feel they are in a position to do so.
I’d love to take a course like that. So interesting and relevant.
I applaud the way you’re sticking to your morals, and how you’re fighting a “David and Goliath” battle. I’m just happy to have more of your writing!
Interesting guest post from Jeannie Lin. This is something that, living in the UK, I hadn’t heard about. I am like many others, I imagine, in that I am aware that diverse forms of AI and IT have pretty much taken over much of what we use, do, entertain ourselves with, work with, bank with, buy with, blah, blah. I wish the world could stop, sometimes, so I could just get off! Making this small gesture is worthy but I don’t know if, in the long run, it will make any difference other than the satisfaction of making a strong personal point for Jeannie Lin. I do confess, actually, that when I first discovered amazon in 1999 I said to my husband that it was definitely something we should buy stock in as we were saving hard for eventual retirement. We didn’t, but perhaps morally it was for the best.
Thanks for letting readers know where/how to get this. I remember reading the first but had lost track of whether you were continuing with it.
I wrestle a lot with the moral ramifications of what big tech is doing to our society. It has great potential to do good when applied properly and within carefully considered circumstances and moderate proportions. But the potential for abuse in the name of the almighty dollar is so great. I am an office grunt for business consultants and what I see are corporations following Amazon’s example. They’re all on the AI and data analytics band wagon, and it is becoming so deeply entrenched in our infrastructure there is no getting away from it. I have a lot of concerns about how this technology will cost all of us. AI has potential to do good, but with it becoming a trillion dollar industry I don’t have any faith that corporations, no matter how well intentioned, can use it responsibly.
I think I need to go look at happy puppy and kitten pictures now.
Thanks you, Jeannie. I support your stance. I wish I could let go of Amazon, but as a home-bound disabled person…without them, I’d be far worse off.
So many things to say, but this isn’t the right forum…
Thank you Angel —
And I completely understand where you’re coming from. And I know that you are far from silent about these issues.
One of the reasons that I shy away from calling for a general boycott of Amazon is that it would be ignoring the fact that not only do many authors rely on Amazon for the majority of their income — they need that income to support and feed themselves and their families. Amazon has gotten where it is by being very useful to a lot of people. I do wish there were viable alternatives to Amazon for many scenarios, including yours.
When Bezos was confronted with Amazon’s role in deportations, his response was that society’s “immune response” would kick in to keep his technology from misuse. In the meantime, business as usual. Well — I can be part of the immune response. And getting our business shouldn’t mean buying silence along with it.
Kudos to you, Ms Lin, for following your convictions. All the best to you and yours.
I applaud the way you’re sticking to your morals, and how you’re fighting a “David and Goliath” battle. I’m just happy to have more of your writing!
Sorry, Angel – didn’t mean to reply to your comment! (－‸ლ)
I’ve looked for further books set in this world, so I’m happy to purchase using an AAR link. I admire your principled stand.
Gosh, I admire you for this. Most of us are willing to take painless stands, like retweeting or sharing articles. Many of us are willing to take inconvenient stands, like going out of our way to attend a rally. But so few people make real, concrete sacrifices.
I went and bought your book on Apple right away (and I’m someone who devours books, but almost never buys new).
What a brave and principled stand! You’ve made me think seriously with this mail. Thank you so much for articulating it so clearly and passionately.
I agree with Lynne, Jeannie! You’ve given me much to think about.
When Amazon first appeared on the scene selling books by mail I was quite intrigued, and I have to admit that I love reading on my Kindle. It’s a great device, perfectly suited to reading. But the company quickly became far too vertically and horizontally integrated; and needs to be either broken up or more heavily regulated (along with a few other high tech behemouths). Since I don’t see that happening nearly soon enough, the deal I’ve made with myself is that I purchase books for my Kindle only. When I buy paper books, I buy from local bookstores. And virtually everything else is obtained from other organizations. I’m not even a drop in Amazon’s bucket. But it matters to me.
Also – I donate directly to AAR. It isn’t much but every month they get 100% of my donation. I want this site to continue and – because I don’t buy much from Amazon – and it’s my way of saying thank you for all the great book recommendations.
We can’t thank you enough. Really. <3