Leaving Amazon

As of 14 November 2018, I am no longer supporting Amazon.com or distributing my books to them. That’s it, I’m done! Bearing in mind, as an indie author, it’s incredibly difficult to get sales (even when distributing through Amazon via my publishing platform, to be brutally honest), and despite that, most of my sales still come from Amazon channels – this is a matter of conscience for me.

Firstly, Amazon is known for taking the majority of the income from each sale anyway – when someone buys a book for around $15, I literally get only about $0.28 for that sale. The poor author basically has to sell a container full of books in order to make something worthwhile out of the endeavor, while Amazon’s CEO coins it and takes the lion’s share simply for re-sharing other people’s wares shared from other platforms (which invariably pay the author more than Amazon does anyway). When it comes to ebooks, Amazon also does authors in by shamelessly passing on the data costs for downloading purchased ebooks to the author!

Even worse, for some time I’ve seen headlines reporting on Amazon’s billionaire owner’s treatment of his workers, and that every time the minimum wage comes up for debate, Amazon’s billionaire owner vocally opposes it before reluctantly paying his workers the legal minimum wage. Amazon has also shown in recent times, a contempt for human decency by funding, sponsoring and showing support for fascism and anti-human rights groups and initiatives, up to and including now marketing a facial recognition system to what is essentially America’s own Gestapo (in the shape of ICE), to assist them in rounding up and persecuting minorities, not exclusive of legally valid asylum seekers, immigrants and long-time residents of the USA. I shudder to think what other right-wing terrorist groups Amazon is or will help around the globe in future, all in pursuit of another buck.

As a human rights advocate and fervent opponent of fascism, and also as a struggling author battling to reach new markets, I have wrestled with the issue of indirectly supporting Amazon’s greed and their inappropriate choices regarding what they have been using their wealth for. It is a matter of conscience for me, so the point in the end, is moot. I just won’t do it anymore.

Consequently, as much as it may yet come to cost me in terms of future sales which I may have accrued via Amazon, I am formally announcing the withdrawal of all my books from Amazon and their channels.

Amazon is not the only sales channel open to authors – even writers unfortunate enough to live in South Africa. There are other channels too, and I will continue to use them, including my own author website and shop pages.

I sincerely hope that you, my friends and readers, will support me in this, and rather buy your books (and mine) elsewhere, rather than from Amazon.


Christina Engela

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. lhall06
    Nov 16, 2018 @ 15:47:25

    This is a brave and bold move that I am in full support of Christina. The way amazon operate is exploitive and almost impossible for indie authors to make this whole deal viable. Considering how much we pour into our work its just not fair. I have heard only whispers but there are alternatives out there and the more writers who do what you are doing will give us a chance of a fair deal. I am currently considering publishing my next project without amazon and reading this has inspired me to think about it for sure. Best of luck with it and keep us updated. LH



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