Other self-published authors will know that marketing and promoting (well, I suppose it’s selling really) our books is in many ways the hardest part of the whole process. I used to be shy about telling people that I had written my novels, but now I blab to everyone – and so do my family and friends, which is jolly decent of them. Through one of these connections this week I received a request: could I tell someone where to buy my books (she wanted the paperback not e-versions) that wasn’t Amazon. She is boycotting Amazon because she thinks they are being immoral with their tax arrangements – their head office is in Luxembourg and it seems that there might be a fiscal reason for this.
In my other life I am of course very interested in the tax issue, but as an author, it has reminded me of the importance of getting my books “out there” in as many formats and venues as possible. Thankfully I was able to point my potential buyer to the Book Depository, and if she had been interested in e-books, I could have offered at least four non-Amazon options. Physical bookshops are more of a problem, with the big chains concentrating only on known authors and those they can source through wholesalers like Gardners and Nielsen, but I shall battle on. Ironically, when I am trying to persuade bookshops to stock “Fatal Forgery” and “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”, I have to make reference to the excellent reviews that they have received…. on Amazon.