I have just removed some buttons from my website. They were yellow banners and they said: “Press here to buy my book on AMAZON.” The colour was a garish yellow and, if anyone ever used them, I never knew about it since I never received any payment.
I was part of a scheme called Amazon Associates, which offers its users a percentage of any books sold through their own website. But all I ever received was a monthly email telling me: “This Associates account did not earn any referral fees”.
But actually the reason for removing them is not because they didn’t pay but because I want to encourage anyone who might be contemplating buying one of my books to do so from their local high street bookshop. This is Independent Booksellers’ Week – although shouldn’t every week be Independent Booksellers’ Week? – and although I have nothing against Amazon (there are occasions when, like everyone, I have found their services invaluable) this week I want to tell you about my local bookshop, called The Open Book. My local bookshop helps me find books I wouldn’t otherwise know about, tells me of a similar book if the one I first thought of isn’t available, provides me with signed copies and recommends books they have read and enjoyed. Not only that, when I go into my local book shop I come out with a smile as well as a book. Try it and see what I mean.
In order to Find Your Local Bookshop button go to www.societyofauthors.org