Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let's make this a happy holidays for bookstores, too!

Every year I post a plea to think about buying books for the holidays but this year, I'm adding an additional thought. Please think about where you purchase those books, too.

I love online shopping, I do it all the time. And I actually don't have any animosity towards Amazon either. My books are often considered niche and aren't usually in stores. If it weren't for Amazon, many of my books probably wouldn't be sold.

But, this recent promotion of Amazon's is rather a low blow (paraphrasing from the ShelfTalker blog):

The promotion: quite simply, to walk into any store, take a picture of the item with the price with your Amazon price checker app, and get $5 off on that item when you order it from Amazon. You’re allowed to do this three times on Saturday.

So, Jeff Bezos has decided or at least approved this scheme that all bricks and mortar stores should be visited, left empty-handed so folks can shop on Amazon while giving them price info from other stores. Wow. The thoughts I’m having about this promotion cannot be printed here. If I weren’t so riled up, I’d be despondent at such a horrible attack on stores. Perhaps folks will go to chain stores, and not arrive at small, independent stores, scan a QR code and leave.

As much as I love online shopping, I also love bookstores. And as an author, I need bookstores. I've seen one of my favorite bookstore go out of business and I'd hate to see more. Local bookstores pay taxes, donate to schools and keep the love of books and reading alive on a true grassroots level. I shudder at the thought of Amazon wiping them away--it's quite dangerous when there is only one entity selling your books.

So,  please keep your local stores around by shopping at an independent bookstore, toy store or giftshop. Or, if you are so inclined, help me to help keep my local bookstore alive and kicking: if you are interested in giving any of my books as holiday gifts, instead of clicking on Amazon, click HERE! I am happy to add a personalized autograph. And, if you pre-order my book Dumpling Days there, I'll include  a red envelope with an exclusive URL to read deleted chapters and behind the scene images (and maybe even more goodies from the launch party!)

Happy Holiday Shopping, all!