Why I Don’t Like Amazon

You would think that with my love of indie authors, the appeal of Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon’s affiliate program (now that I’m in Florida and eligible for it), that Amazon would be my one-stop shop for all my reading needs.

But I hate Amazon. Just linking to the website makes me feel a little guilty.

Granted, I have linked to books there. When doing a read for a better world spotlight, or when an Amazon-exclusive book just fits so well in a list, then I think it’s worth it. But mostly, no.

My dislike of Amazon is fueled by a personal grudge (I’m from Maine and Amazon banned Mainers from their affiliate program) and slight hipster tendencies, but mostly Amazon scares the shit out of me.

In the ebook industry alone, Amazon holds at least 70% of the market share. That leaves only 30% for the rest of the ebook retailing world to fight over, including Apple iBooks, Google Play Books, and Barnes and Noble. When Apple, Google, and Barnes and Noble are the underdogs, something is seriously wrong. 

Also fighting for Amazon’s scraps are Smashwords and Kobo, along with startups and experienced-based companies like Booktrack and Serial Box, who are fighting despite the bleak odds facing book startups.

So why is this a problem? Because it means authors are becoming more, and more dependent on Amazon for sales.

The self-publishing revolution was amazing because it let authors have more control over their work and the stories they wanted to publish, as well as allowing them to control their prices while also getting a larger share of their earnings. But Amazon is essentially a new gatekeeper. Their power can force authors to edit their books to please Amazon’s algorithms instead of keeping the integrity of their work intact. This is a problem that Amazon authors already see.  

Amazon seduces indie authors with programs like Kindle Unlimited, implying greater sales and publicity in exchange for an exclusivity contract. Because of this, Amazon has kept over one million books away from other ebook retailers, only increasing their power. Not only does this screw over other book retailers, but it screws over the authors because of the numerous scammers Amazon allows to run wild in KU. 

Do other book retailers treat their authors better? Probably not. In fact, many would jump at the chance to dominate the market the same way Amazon is doing right now. My problem isn’t with Amazon having this power, it is with any company having this power. 

When one company has the ability to decimate an “independent” writer’s livelihood, then something is wrong. That’s why it’s important to support other book retailers, both for ebooks and print books. I make most of my book purchases on Smashwords, Thriftbooks, and IndieBound and I haven’t noticed any inconvenience from using these sites instead of Amazon and I often get better deals on these websites.

So next time you want to purchase a book– or even read a free book– check out other sources before Amazon.

Read for a Better World Spotlight: Limitless

Genre: Anthology, Literature, Non-romance

Page Count: 337 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Purchase on Amazon

I like shining the spotlight on books that aim to make a better world and Limitless does just that. It is about tolerance, love, and hope with all the profits going to helping people rebuild their lives in the Middle East.  With recent events, it might be something we all need. Definitely worth checking out.

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4 Cozy Romances to Read Before Spring

This winter I’ve become fascinated by the Danish concept of hygge, or coziness. Growing up in Maine, curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book was how I kept my sanity with three feet of snow on the ground. It turns out the Danish had a very similar idea. Even though I’m spending the winter in  Florida this year, I still love books that inspire a feeling of coziness. Here are four novels that have made me feel cozy and warm inside even if it was miserable outside.  Continue reading “4 Cozy Romances to Read Before Spring”

What’s Next for Lover’s Quarrel

Some of you might have realized I haven’t published in a few weeks and that the site looks a little different. Don’t worry, I’m not going away. I’m just upgrading Lover’s Quarrel.

Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place through the power of reading. This means promoting authors who give to charity and donating affiliate earnings.

This year I want to reach more people and spread the power of reading. To do that, I’ve upgraded Lover’s Quarrel’s website and I’m also launching a YouTube channel. There are still a few more kinks that need to be worked out, like getting the rest of the articles off of loversquarrel.wordpress.com, but hopefully it’ll be up and running and better than ever. In the meantime, happy reading everyone!

3 Bookish Activities You Can Do With Your Family Over the Holidays (Reading Beverage Recipe Included)

The holidays can be a stressful time. Between buying presents, welcoming extended family into your home, decorating, holiday parties and huge meals, there is very little time to relax or time for yourself. And if you are anything like me, small talk and extended family is exhausting and awkward. Here are three book-related activities you can do with your family to break the ice and relax a bit.

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Read for a Better World: December Edition

Lover’s Quarrel’s mission is to make the world a better place through the power of reading, which is why 50 percent of all affiliate commissions go to charity. The “Read for a Better World” series features books with high percentages of affiliate earnings, which means more of your money goes to charity with every purchase. However, these high earnings are only guaranteed for December 2017. After that, the authors may lower the amount they give to affiliates, so don’t wait to buy your next favorite book and read for a better world.

Don’t forget to send a screenshot of your receipt to loversquarrelbooks@gmail.com to enter to win a $10 Visa Gift card. The winner will be announced on December 31. 

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