I love Amazon.
I really do. I love them as much as Donald Trump loves Donald Trump.
And why do I love them? I’ll tell ya why. Because my latest predicament as a writer is what I’m going to do with all the freakin’ money Amazon is making me. It’s SO… DAMNED… COOL.
Actually, I know what I’m going to do with the money. I’m going to spend a significant portion of it on my wife, who has endured my starving artist years with the patience of a kindergarten teacher. I’m going to spend a bunch of it on my kids, who have managed to get through college without their own cars and who have scrimped and scavenged to get by for the past five years. I’m going to spend some on other people, too, people who have helped me out during the lean years. I might even save a little in case things go back into the toilet, but as long as I keep writing stories that people seem to like and as long as I stay loyal to the Amazonian hand that feeds me, I don’t see myself swirling around the bowl any time in the foreseeable future.
I still keep up with indie publishing, and lately I’ve been reading a lot about how Amazon has brought all these indie writers into the fold and that their grand plan is to eventually shaft indie writers the same way the traditional “Big Six” publishers do. They say Amazon is starting their own imprints and they’re only promoting their own writers. Eventually, they say, Amazon will cut royalties for writers and take the lion’s share of the money.
That’s a load of crap.
Amazon takes care of writers better than any company in the world. At the same time, they take care of their customers. Why? Because it makes them money. It seems to me, bottom line, that Amazon is about selling quality products at a competitive price, and if I’m not mistaken, that ideal has been the single most important driving force behind what we Americans like to call capitalism. I like capitalism, especially now that capitalism seems to like me back.
Amazon has sold more of my books in three months than the mighty Penguin managed to sell in three years. I don’t know exactly how they do it, but they do it. Folks who know about such things say it has something to do with algorithims. I play the drums so I have rhythm, but I don’t do algorithims. I’ll leave those to the Amazon mathmeticians, God bless ‘em every one.
The new book in the Dillard series is almost finished. Finally. I’ve changed the title from “Finding Lindsay” to “Conflict of Interest.” I’ve imposed a March 1 deadline on myself to have it done. Then it’ll be off to the proof readers and then to the formatter and then, after nearly a year of struggling with it, it’ll hit that big bookseller called Amazon. The Dillard series is starting to hit its stride, despite the fact that my big New York agent told me less than a year ago that it was dead in the water and that I should write something else. The reveiws have been numerous and fantastic. I’m excited (can you tell?) about the future.
By the way, did I mention that I love Amazon?
P.S. I know a lot of you are concerned about Kristy. I’ve spoken to her many times about whether she wants she wants me to continue to air her business in public, and she always says yes. It might help someone who is going through a similar struggle, she says, so go ahead. Right now, she’s going through radiation. The cancerous tumors on her spine have fractured three vertebrae, so the doctors thought radiation was imperative because if those tumors aren’t dealt with, she could wind up paralyzed, or worse. If the radiation does what it’s supposed to do, it’ll kill the cancer cells and those cells will be replaced by healthy bone. While she’s going through radiation (another week and a half) she’s off the chemo, but the radiation makes her extremely tired, it has irritated her throat so much that she can barely swallow, and it makes her nauseous. She continues to lose weight. But you know what? She still goes to work every day. Radiation is at 1:30 p.m. She’s out by 2:00 p.m. She usually starts her dance classes at 4:00 p.m. She does it every day. She is truly amazing.
And finally, I told you last time I’d let you know I’d let you know what I got her for her fiftieth birthday. I got her a brand-spankin’-new Jeep Wrangler, cherry red, hard-top convertible with a six-speed manual transmission so she can shift to her heart’s content. When I told her I was going to buy her a car, I said, “Pick something. Anything you want. Within reason.” And she picked a Jeep, and I think I know why.
Can you say, “Tough?” That’s my girl. Tough as a pine knot.