Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Around In Circles With Amazon

It's no secret that California is up the financial creek.  Jerry Brown is doing his best to fix things but he's getting little or no help from the other elected folks in Sacramento.  All of that is in the news every day.  Here's something that didn't make the California woes headlines.
Small businesses can generate a little bit of revenue by putting links to Amazon products on their websites.  Why, this little blog used to do the same thing.  It was part of a program called Amazon Associates.
Now, navigating the maze of Amazon is no simple matter.  There's the Amazon Associates program.  And then there's the Amazon Affiliates program.  There are a lot of other Amazon programs, too, but naming them right now would just confuse this already possibly pointless diatribe.
Meanwhile back to the Affiliates program.  Authors and publishers and just plain folk can sell books and stuff through the Affiliates program.  For example, my novel But This Is Different can be purchased, if the potential buyer can locate it in the Amazon listing maze, through my involvement in the Affiliates program.
This blog earned us a few bucks through my participation in the Associates program.
A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to announce that But This Is Different was now available on Kindle through Amazon.
Somehow the Kindle sales got linked to the Associates program.
And then several days ago Governor Brown signed into law a little bill requiring that on line folk pay sales tax.  That wasn't good news for Amazon, apparently, so all relationships with California Associates were terminated.  Down the muddy Amazon drain went my book on Kindle.  I started sending the Amazon folk emails asking what I might do.  Each response gave a slightly different variation on the same tune:  We have discontinued the Associates program for California residents.  If you want to protest contact this person and if you want to move someplace else let us know.  I sent four emails asking for assistance with Kindle products and received three replies, variations on the same theme.  The fourth message remains unanswered.
I spent most of yesterday dropping bread crumbs as I wandered through the Amazon mazes and finally fixed the problem myself.
But This Is Different is once again available on Kindle.
And I still live in California.
Go figure.
Oh, yeah, and you can still make a sandwich out of bread crumbs.  The trick is gathering them all back up.

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