And so it came to pass that Amazon took over the world. Its electronic tentacles squelched across the globe, crawled into every orifice of disposable income, and everyone came to be nurtured and sustained by the great beast. It automatically downloaded software into the brains of all Its followers whilst they slept, and when they woke in the morning and fancied a cup of tea, it arrived in a delivery van in a brown cardboard box, carefully packaged in that weird enormous bubble wrap so that none of it got spilt. And such was Its supreme efficiency that the tea was still hot…..
I speak, of course, of the earth-shattering news that my paperback is now also for sale on Amazon. There were solid, business reasons for me to keep the paperback exclusive to just my website (not least that I have to pay Paypal a lot less than Amazon for each sale!) but truth be told there was a little part of me that wanted to make a stand, be defiant in the face of the corporate behemoth, rage against the machine.
“You can have the hardback, oh and of course you have to have the Kindle, but the paperback is mine, all mine, you hear!?!” I roared, theoretically.
But of course It didn’t hear, because It’s a company and It doesn’t have microphones in my house (or does it?) and because I didn’t really shout it out loud but just thought it to myself, and It certainly doesn’t have microphones in my brain (or does it???) Certainly It didn’t care about my piffling little paperback whilst It was marching towards global domination. When It was playing Risk as a kid, It certainly wasn’t interested in the missions like “destroy all blue armies” or whatever – it sought total annihilation.
And it got it. Total sales last year of $110 billion, profit of $600 million. 240,000 employees, 320 million customers. That was enough to fund one and a half episodes of The Grand Tour, you know. It is estimated that by 2020 everyone in the world will shop with, work with, eat with, sleep with and be owned by Amazon. Most of you bought the hardback on Amazon, even though It was more expensive than my website, because…..well, because It’s Amazon.
And It got me too. Truth be told, It got my whole family’s purchasing power long ago. Christmas presents – tick. Electronics – yep. Music and video – of course. Recently, vodka cheaper than Tescos and those favourite sweets you can’t find anywhere else now. Soon, your weekly food shop and your fossil fuels.
So yes, I have sold my soul to Amazon. You can now purchase my book in whatever format you choose from Its glossy virtual pages (as long as that format is one of the three already mentioned – 3D printed spaghetti version still under development). But if just a little bit of you still yearns for the days when you bought your Christmas presents from the department store on Christmas Eve, your electrical goods from Rumbelows, your sweets from the Sweet Shop and your vodka from Oddbins, then you too can make your own little protest for independence:-
My books are still available from my website www.atried.com/shop, they are still cheaper, and they arrive in a small red Royal Mail van rather than a white Transit – how cute is that?