There are a lot of Amazon haters out there, and I get it. Really, I do. Amazon has done a lot of shady things from deleting legitimate reviews to making algorithms that seem designed to beat-down the indie writer. As an indie writer, I have experienced both of those problems. Still, I don’t hate Amazon. Before you pull out your hair in frustration of my love for Amazon, let me explain.
I’m not just a writer, I’m also a reader. In fact, most of the times I prefer reading over writing. (Writing can be freaking hard!) I’m also an expat who has lived in a variety of countries. When I first moved overseas, it was the dark ages. Things like the internet and eBooks were the fodder of sci-fi novels. You had to rely on bookstores for books. (I still LOVE bookstores.)
Initially, my love for books didn’t take too much of a hit from living overseas. The military, of course, has their own bookstores full of English books (although choice was always limited to the bestsellers). And when I left the military and eventually moved to The Netherlands, I didn’t fret. Anyone who has visited Holland knows how international the country is. This was true twenty years ago as well. English books are widely available, including at train station kiosks!
But then I moved to Germany. The only English books available in my town were the Penguin classics the German high schoolers were required to read – most of which I’d already read or, frankly, didn’t want to read. This is when my love affair with Amazon began. I could get almost any English language book I wanted on the site. My mailman and I became friendly. I may have even hugged him when the final Harry Potter book was delivered – on my birthday no less!
After a year or two in Germany, I threw away my legal career. No longer could I afford to buy a load of paperbacks each month. I’d been fighting the ereader revolution, but after I discovered most classics were available for free on the kindle, I bought the cheapest version I could find. I spent that first year reading Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
And then I moved to Istanbul. Frankly, I would have NEVER survived living in Turkey without my ereader. English books in Istanbul are few and far between. Those that are available are over-priced and often limited to bestsellers or non-fiction titles. No thanks.
Although I’m no back living in the Netherlands where English language books are plentiful, I still use Amazon regularly. As an indie author who is addicted to reading, I simply can’t afford to buy every book I read in a physical format. Amazon and kindle unlimited allows me to continue my addiction to reading without breaking the bank.
And that’s why I still love Amazon.