Now you know you’re WRONG opening this message hoping for some dirt on my man; though he and I are living in different cities for now, we’re still a couple.
The Jeff I ain’t messing with is Jeff Bezos, or more specifically his brainchild, Amazon.
Last year, I told you that I was laying off blogging about my adventures to focus on writing a book (part two of my career memoir) and launching a community storytelling platform.
As far as my memoir goes, my vision has long been to self-publish it as a trilogy and later entice some “non-me” publisher to do it up real nice, under a single title, with the look and feel of a book you’d find at Barnes & Noble.
Now that I’ve matured as a writer, part one of my trilogy makes me cringe a little, but mostly I’m proud of the work.
But the physical product itself has always bugged me: it’s too damn big.
I wanted the book to be pocket-sized, but that option wasn’t available to me if I planned to sell my product on Amazon, which at the time seemed crazy not to do given the opportunity.
But now, it seems crazy to ignore my vision for publishing my memoir, even if it means taking a pass on the world’s largest bookseller.
I’m guessing that you might be shaking your head, but here’s the deal:
A) I don’t make money selling books on Amazon, Amazon does.
I priced part one of my trilogy at $9.99—higher than I wanted—to cover costs for selling it on Amazon. Minus printing costs and other fees, the most I can make on the book is 99 cents. But Amazon even pockets most of that (without, as you may know, paying one cent of tax on its take from my labor).
B) Currently, my main objective with my memoir is to get it done.
Naturally, I want my book to sell very well…in its final form. I’m wrapping up the second part now and will release it without fanfare through a non-Amazon retailer at a price I want, in a format more to my liking, and for a decent royalty, while doing more living that I’ll write about in part three.
C) Amazon is corrosive to communities.
After deciding to kick Jeff to the curb primarily for the preceding reasons, I learned information that helped me feel even better about my choice. Just like I started feeling wary about Facebook and quit using it years ago during its heyday, I’ve been feeling uneasy lately about shopping on Amazon.com. The reasons are numerous, but here’s a small taste:
In 2015 alone, Amazon accounted for the disappearance of $1.2 billion dollars from the coffers of state and local governments; the company is also estimated to have displaced the equivalent of 39,000 retail storefronts and 220,000 retail jobs within a year’s span. The resulting financial losses from all this would have funded public works, public safety, and public education.
For the love of community prosperity, I’m stepping back from Amazon (and its acquisitions like Whole Foods). What this means for the final form of my book remains to be seen, but my dreams is to sell tons of copies through independent booksellers.