Operating in “Good Faith.” I’ve decided not to distribute my newest photo devotional book through Amazon. Why? My first two books are there. Pretty much every author has their book on Amazon. Remember that their initial business model was singularly all about books.
Every entrepreneur and business owner makes decisions, weighs the pros/cons, opportunity costs, etc. My primary reason for this decision is Amazon doesn’t uphold copyright law. The Big A has created a system allowing resellers and scammers to sell copyright material and the author doesn’t get compensated. It’s also confusing to customers (deceptive). I’ve filed infringement reports, but Amazon doesn’t care to see the easily visible issue. They don’t take action to eliminate it. I thought operating in “good faith” was a standard business principle, but it’s often not practiced. Additionally, Amazon.com should only be selling my book on Amazon.com (not the 40+ re-sellers and scam links). Amazon allows anyone to attach to an author’s ISBN and sell, this doesn’t follow the distribution agreement, but Amazon gets their cut so why care about the owner.
The Big A is money over morals. Multiple state Attorney Generals have current lawsuits filed against Amazon for putting start-ups out of business (deceptive practices and algorithms). Basic business tenet: Be careful who you do business with. Same applies with technology and platforms for your business. There are unintended consequences when you don’t own, nor have control for your distribution channel and income generation. Case in point: Amazon stopped selling my first book in paperback (In Plain Sight: Faith is in The Everyday), when it’s the one most purchased. This book is still on Amazon in Hardcover. Why? I don’t know. It’s a rabbit hole to find out. I’ve considered closing this book (stopping the open distribution), but haven’t because there are many customer reviews for this book and it’s searchable for a wider google audience. My first two books are also on Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble. For now, I’ll leave it. If you want to buy my first book, which is my best seller, go to Wal-Mart or B&N, or even better, right here!
I like economies of scale, but examine the costs. I weigh margins, but I don’t do business by placing money over morals. The primary reason I’m not distributing my new book through Amazon (which includes other online bookstores) is due to Amazon’s lack of copyright protection. My decision is based on morals— what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s a sticking point for me and is not well with my soul. In my 25 year HR business career, holding senior-level positions, within for-profit organizations, I’ve done the same. That’s been a proving ground for morals. Well, yes, as a business you can do that, but is it what should be done (this doesn’t match who the company says is it (values), or consider liability, or is this morally, ethically right)? The right decision isn’t always the easy one. Handling difficult employee relations decisions, weighing liability business considerations, I’ve challenged top leadership when my viewpoint was different from everyone else around the table. Those situations test your moral compass.
Not selling my new book on Amazon: will it cost me money? Probably. People like buying things on Amazon. But I don’t make my business decisions with money as the sole primary factor. I believe in the foundational business principle of operating in “good faith.” Faith, now that’s a good transition into my new book.
We need more faith in our lives. Faith in our ideas. Faith in our decisions when they’re different from others. Faith in doing something different from what everyone else does. Faith in community and connection to each other. Faith in God and the goodness that surrounds us everyday (are you missing what’s right in front of you?). God gives us gifts to be used. My new book delivers on these messages to help others see the connection, raise hope, show positive reminders and inspire faith— in photo and word. In Plain Sight Volume II: Finding Extraordinary Faith in Ordinary Days is sold exclusively at amybretall.com.
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