I want to tell you why Amazon.com is valuable to me, and why I respect Jeff Bezos, and consider him to be a visionary. I’m an author, my late husband was an author. I’m a senior, and I’m an amputee. You may wonder what being an amputee has to do with Amazon. It has plenty to do with it for me. Six years ago I had to have a below-the-knee amputation of my left leg. I was very lucky to have great medical care and rehabilitation and most people have no idea that I’m an amputee and wear a prosthetic. But I do, during all my waking hours. The one drawback is that I’m unable to walk long distances without suffering some pain. So I do not go to places like shopping malls, Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, or any large stores where walking could be a problem.
I admire Jeff Bezos for his desire in 1994 to have the largest bookstore in the world. And since, he has given authors incredible opportunity to publish through Amazon’s Createspace for print books, KDP for Kindle ebooks, and audio books at Amazon’s ACX. It has allowed me to publish new books, and put out of print books back into print and ebooks. That includes not only having control over the works, but receiving decent royalties and payment schedules. But Jeff Bezos’ business vision expanded beyond books to a store for just about anything a consumer would be looking for.
And a store especially for a consumer who is unable, for whatever reason, to go out shopping in his or her community. I can order just about all things I need or desire, whether it be books, electronics, supplies, or even something as simple as light bulbs. And I am a Prime member so I have additional perks: fast shipping, video streaming, Kindle lending library. I’ve not been in a brick and mortar bookstore for nearly a decade, except for two books signings at a local independent bookstore.
Now, as a self-published author I do not miss NY traditional publishing. I no longer have the headaches that often go along with that. I have freedom, control, and decent royalties, and I love it!
I do not apologize at all for loving and supporting the Amazon company, and I often speak out when I encounter the ongoing attacks from some in the publishing world. And I left my membership in the Authors Guild last year after 22 years because of those attacks by the Guild. Change is here, and it is too bad some were not willing to get into the game from the beginning. I don’t mean authors, I mean publishers who have refused to consider decent royalties on ebooks. I wrote about the resistance to ebooks and self-publishing twelve years ago, and it seems the attitude coming from traditionalists has not changed.
And along came Amazon! For many of us who made a business decision to self-publish, it has definitely been the right decision.