Why I’m no longer linking to Amazon for books…

For a long time now, I’ve linked to Amazon when linking to books, especially on my /reading page. The reasons:

  1. It was an easy default and I always knew that if something existed at all there would be a greater than 99% chance one could find it there.
  2. As an author, I know from direct experience that 80% or more of an author’s sales (especially small/indie ones like me) are not only through Amazon but the vast majority of those on Kindle. In my personal experience as an author, they’ve been excellent at not only selling lots of books that I otherwise would not have sold but also putting my books in front of potential readers.
  3. Affiliate program. I get a small portion of the proceeds of everything you buy when you click on a link to Amazon through this site. That provides a very small but, until now, meaningful portion of my income.

So, going forward I’ll be linking to Amazon a lot less and never for books if I can avoid it. Instead, I’ve decided to take the sage advice given to me by Dan J and have also asked a couple of my favorite local booksellers theirs. I’ll be linking to IndieBound for all books starting this year. I’ll go back and update past links on my /reading page when/if time allows.

First of all, I love independent bookstores. I’ve been trying to be more intentional with supporting them with my dollars for a while now. I’m fortunate to have several great ones only a few minutes drive away from me. I want to support these stores in whatever way I can. All of my local stores are connected to IndieBound through membership in the American Booksellers Association. When you buy a book on IndieBound it helps support all of it’s members and shows you the local bookstores in your area that carry that book so that you might consider going to pick up a copy directly.

Secondly, Dan J makes many very valid points about the inherent problems with always/only linking to Amazon. A key one being:

The problem with linking to Amazon as a “safe default” is the same as the problem with just publishing your book on Amazon and calling it a day: it entrenches Amazon as The One True Place Where Books Are, and, while convenient, that’s not good… it’s not good for society to have one big private corporation responsible for distributing such a huge proportion of the collective written work of the human race.

I agree with this and no longer wish to contribute to it. I wish to honor my values as a book lover, reader, and longtime supporter of independent booksellers and the belief that we should free ourselves of silos. I want to be a good citizen of my local community. Linking to Amazon does not align with those values.