Just a reminder

Are you a Macmillan author? Peeved that your book is suddenly no longer available through Amazon?

Just remember: there’s one thing that authors can and should do in circumstances like this (and, um, always). That thing is: link to lots of different bookstores. If your book is unavailable at Amazon, you can get it at Barnes and Noble or Borders or Powell’s or the Tattered Cover or any of a number of other bookstores. It’s important to link to all those places, not just Amazon. When you link to Amazon you’re sending the implicit message that Amazon is the only place to buy books, and in my opinion, the most important thing to me as an author is that readers can buy my books everywhere possible, not just in one place. If the power is distributed among many, many people, you’ll have more experimentation (please, somebody, with DRM-free formats), more attempts to try some price variation (I would pay more $ for a DRM-free format), different books being highlighted at different stores, resulting in a more diverse environment with more choice for everyone.

I know it’s a pain to set up all those links.

That’s why I created my free (both in price and in distribution rights) ebook linking script, which you can run on any PHP website.

That’s why I also created my free (in price, although see fine print disclaimer) link generator, so that those who cannot run PHP can copy and paste links to multiple bookstores directly into their website.

The real fight here isn’t just over the $9.99 price tag. It’s about whether there ends up being only one place where people go to buy books. I love Amazon. I buy from Amazon. I’m happy that they’re selling my books. But I don’t want Amazon to be alone.

If you care about consumer choice as an author, make sure you give readers choice, too.

Fine print disclaimer, rendered in regular type: my link generator defaults to using my Amazon and indiebound IDs, although it allows you to use your own or use none at all. I set this up this way because sometimes I copy and paste links myself, and I am too lazy to keep adding my Amazon affiliate data by hand. So it is possible for you to use the link generator and for me to get a kickback. If you don’t like that behavior, though, you can turn it off.

3 thoughts on “Just a reminder

  1. Great post, Courtney!

    Something we should all remember, including readers who write reviews. I’m going to have to rethink the way that I link, too.

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