Amazon and Publishing

Friends have asked me about getting a copy of my book while avoiding Amazon. I also have an Amazon ban. And I support the rights of Amazon workers to unionize.

On the other hand, I acknowledge that Amazon is printing and distributing my book. It’s what the publisher, MGraphics, used for this purpose. And I must admit that this model is much better and allows for a book to be published and sell without having to fit the strictures of a dying business model, one that requires publishers to choose books that will sell vast amounts only instead of, well, simply propagating art, perhaps not as popular as Fifty Shades…but culturally valuable for sure. We Americans, with our ideas about freedom ever to make a buck, sometimes forget about the social and cultural responsibility of publishers, especially corporate ones, “major” publishers. Perhaps we forgive them more than Amazon since what they do seems more innocuous.

An example of a publishing company with which I would have published is Simon & Schuster. I’ve reviewed books they’ve published. I have a sense of what’s in their catalog. However, I would be disappointed that they are publishing the memoir of who I think will become known as one of history’s worst enablers, Mike Pence. If we’re going to hold Amazon accountable for how they affect the various industries in which they’re involved, shouldn’t we hold publishers accountable for the cultural effect of their products as well? I would, nonetheless and with my desire to do so, still publish with Simon & Schuster. But I don’t think of them as more “ethical” than Amazon at this point.

Not with S&S, but I did have a choice. I published with MGraphics. And Amazon prints and distributes my book. However, if somebody is still not sympathetic with the awkward position I’m describing here and still wants to get my book, please get in touch with me. We can work something out.