There’s a lot of backlash building against Amazon over the Parler fiasco. And while it’s entirely understandable (and I might even agree on a certain level), it presents some serious logistical problems for many of us.
Amazon isn’t just a monolithic, faceless, leftist corporation. It’s a set of infrastructure that a lot of indies and small businesses use. I’m one of them. Amazon has been the 800lb gorilla in the room for some time now, and, like it or not, there aren’t a lot of good alternatives out there. The granola-eaters have been pushing “Bookshop.org” for a while, but they take a much larger cut than Amazon.
It’s entirely possible that the backlash might amount to a drop in the bucket. Inertia is a real thing, and people tend to forget outrage for convenience over time. But it is only prudent to start looking at alternatives.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a huge number. The obvious one would be simply to start publishing here, through AmericanPraetorians.com. I already sell paperbacks through the shop (though currently not many). I’d have to move ebooks there, as well, and (and here’s the hard part), figure out marketing. Locals.com has been brought up as a possibility, as well. I’ve even started to think about trying to build some sort of author conglomerate that turns into a sort of digital Gold Eagle, setting up a subscription and a regular publishing schedule, operating almost exclusively via email. Don’t know yet.
Email is, either way, going to be a huge part of it. If you’re not already signed up for the newsletter, please do so. Social media is going to be dicey for a while. I’ll still be posting, but Facebook already doesn’t like the fact that I’ve refused to pay them to show my readers my posts for the last several years. My reach there has been getting smaller and smaller. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
There’s an old Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” I’ve made a modest career so far writing about interesting times, and they increasingly seem to be upon us. I hope that you’ll stick with me through them, and spread the word.