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November 11, 2007



Well, since you asked, I have very mixed feelings about Amazon. I try to buy all my books from my local independent book stores. I don't always, though, and I have bought plenty of things from Amazon. I've switched to Powells.com, though, for my online book purchases because I love the physical Powells (one of the truly great independent bookstores in the country), and they have some wonderful online content as well: interviews with authors and thoughtful articulate reviews, to name a couple. Their online shopping mirrors the experience of actually going to a book store much better than Amazon, which is just a big online superstore. I suppose none of this really answers your question. I guess I'd rather see you use your blogging power to support something other than Amazon, sure. But then, I bought Raising Sands from Amazon after reading about it here, and if that would have helped you out, I would have been glad to do it. (And now I'm feeling guilty that I didn't go to my local independent music store.)


Thanks for the feedback! I too do my best to support my local independent bookstore, but, well, I guess I just don't always do it. As for music, I buy most of my CDs from Amazon because they have everything, whereas none of my local music stores have much of a selection (particularly in folk). I think Amazon has great reviews (from both professionals and users); I think the Wish List feature is terrific (for instance, for surprising someone with a gift without having to ask what they want -- or even where they live!); I like the recommendations -- I've bought many CDs based on the "other people who bought this item bought these other items"; and so on. Well, it wasn't an easy decision and certainly one I can reverse if it ends up giving me a bd feeling.


My two cents: I don't think you're a sell-out. I like having the handy Amazon link there and do buy some books and CDs from them. (They're usually a bit cheaper than I can find elsewhere. I'm a tight butt with my pennies, so I guess I snub the independent stores to save a dime.)

Now, if you get the flashing Vegas signs along the sides of your blog, I'll pull you aside for a little chat. Maybe give you a time-out to think about your actions. ;-)


I don't know....it's a little "commercial!"


It doesn't bother me. I shop at Amazon, I shop at the chain music & book stores and I shop at the Mom & Pop places. If I'm on-line anyway and I see a book or cd title that interests me the first thing I do is go to Amazon to at least check it out whether I buy it from them or not. If you buy something used through Amazon you can still select a Mom & Pop seller as they're just the marketplace that puts us together.
I read your blog because I feel you're an interesting person with a viewpoint I agree with and I appreciate some of your recommendations. Having said that, if you can hook me up to books or tunes I wouldn't have found any other way, it benefits lots of folks and if you're one of them, God bless you. It's fine that you disclose up front but otherwise I feel it's a non-issue. Thanks for your honesty.


I agree with Jeff. Plus, I LOVE Amazon, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm on a list of their favorite customers. I love their customer reviews. I've considered doing the affiliate thing myself, simply because I link to them so often (for informational purposes), so why not earn a few pennies? It would offset all those purchases I make with them a little bit! I'm not sure I like the idea of not being allowed to use your own links, though. I like doing that -- and I do it a lot even when the book is really bad!


Since you're linking to Amazon anyhow, I think you deserve to get something back.

I became an Amazon affiliate long ago. But I almost never take advantage of that and I rarely link to Amazon. Why? I dunno. For instance, I probably should have linked to Crooked Still's albums on Amazon.

Consequently, I have never made any money off the affiliate program. It wasn't a good fit for my blog. But it is a good fit for yours.


You're not forcing anyone to buy anything from Amazon. You're just using it as an easy, universally-accessible and generally quite informative reference point when you're talking about books, music, etc. Your readers are just as free to take that information and go down to their local indy bookstore or music store to pick something up as they are to click and buy via Amazon... the choice is theirs to make. The fact that you now make a couple cents if someone chooses to do the latter is almost absurdly irrelevant. "Sell out?" Yeah, right.


I've been asked to be an affiliate for BookSense, the distribution network for local independents, so if anything happens with it, it will benefit me as well as Quail Ridge Books, the best independent bookstore in the world.

I think we spend a lot of our time putting our blogs up...not only for our own entertainment...but to meet the needs and interests of our readers...so why not get a penny here or there! I would just spend it all on books anyway!

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