I guess I'm super proud of my little online shop at ETSY.com. I keep roaming around it straightening up items, making sure the inventory is pristine, and cheering each time I get a visitor. You might have wondered why I sell on ETSY. I can make more selling on Amazon, and many other such sites.
Because it's not as much about making money as it is about controlling my own creation. Recently I went through a lot of stupidity with Amazon. For over a year they removed and then blocked my BDSM short story Blair and the Emoboy. At first they claimed the 'description' didn't meet their guidlines. They claimed a reader had complained. I jumped through hoops changing the description but they would never state what the exact problem was, even though I asked. It became apparent to me that my story had been censored. I felt outraged, I'm a liberal after all ... any stink of censorship reminds me of all the -ISMS (racism, sexism).
They also pulled Love Intertwined Vol 2 because it included Blair and the Emoboy. The act successfully buried some very nice short stories. So recently I dug them out of the Amazon censorship graveyard and re-released the short stories as single reads. Each one was published separately as an individual read and each appeared on the Amazon top 100 erotic reads for many weeks...most are still there!
So ... I decided to re-submit the actual volume that the stories appeared in--mind you ALL of the stories individually were successfully uploaded AND top sellers on their very own sites. Again, I was hit in the head with the Amazon censorship shovel. I wrote them a very nice letter explaining this very fact and while I won't say what the response was exactly, lets just say that if I want to continue publishing on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) I will stop asking because Love Intertwined Vol 2 is now BLOCKED as a digital book.
In case you are wondering--the volume was uploaded to sit nice and securely in the erotic genres and no child or individuals with a dislike of such subject matters would ever 'stumble' across it. As I recall it was in the same category as SEX WITH BIGFOOT, and NAUGHTY DADDY DAUGHTER PARTY. Indeed, you can read a story about a lady being raped by Bigfoot and a lady having sex with her Dad but you can't read Blair and the Emoboy ...
I digress. I think by this point I was just happy that my short little BDSM story was available in digital format on Amazon so I decided to stop 'poking' at it. But I did start thinking about ways to cut out 'The Man' and to do it all myself.
Selling digital books on ETSY was an experiment. When I charge .99 there, which is the sales price for The Way Home I actually get .99. When I sell a .99 book on AMAZON I only get .35. The lions' share goes to Amazon. And whether or not they deserve the lions' share is debatable. I don't mind giving it to them ... but don't treat me unfairly. Because I don't think it is just censorship that keeps that book on the BLOCKED list.
Anyway, the only way I can fight the system is to do what I'm doing. Will it make me a millionaire? A Thousand-aire? Nah ... maybe a hundred-aire. But I FEEL better that I've done something proactive. Despite it's mistakes Amazon is THE most important format for an author to sell and to be seen. It is where the majority of my readers have found me. As much as a I appreciate Nook Press for not giving me any problems I don't make much selling books there.
When you sell on your own site it effects your rank on Amazon's top selling list, which then effects your exposure to new readers--that is if the same story appears on both Amazon and your own private site. In the event that you sell only on your site, then you will get a swift kick in the pocketbook from lost Amazon sales. It's not a win-win situation if you are thinking of money. But in my case I am hoping that if more people do this, begin loosening the apron strings and weaning off the KDP tit than maybe the authors will have more of a say.
I don't believe in censorship. I don't want to read a book about the superiority of one race over another, nor do I want anyone else to. But I won't stop you from reading it. I'll stop you from reading a book that exploits children but I won't stop you from reading a book about incest. I've written an incest story, as a matter of fact--two. One is between two cousins that never did the deed and one between siblings that get married. Maybe one day it will appear on my ETSY page but you won't ever see it on Amazon.
Hey! Don't raise your eyebrow at me! Go to Literotica.com and find the story if you want to read it for free. It's not that hard to find if you are truly interested, but I won't tell you how (so please don't ask). And if you don't want to see it than even that is fine. Remember, I am a liberal--I won't judge you (smile).
Anyway, this is why I keep talking about my little ETSY shop. Soon I will be selling PP attaire! And calendars! And more book marks and books--items that you can't purchase anywhere else. You never know, I might even get kicked off Amazon and the only way that you can find my books is through ETSY. So don't be shy, stop by, take a browse, have some hot tea, listen to the soft tunes of Little Dragon playing in the background. And if you leave owning your own piece of Pepper Pace than that is fine, if not just knowing that you were there makes me happy.