Monday, March 13, 2023

Dear Amazon:

As a long time customer and book buyer, I'm incredibly grateful for your existence. I became even more grateful when you opened the world of publishing to people who don't want to sell their souls for the chance to see their name in print on their very own book. I love the Kindle Unlimited subscription, and generally don't mind your marketing, because you've recommended some very cool new stuff for me to read, based on what I've read in the past.*


I have noted recently that your recommendations have

I haven't read very many traditionally published books in years. And almost all of your recommendations are trad pub. They're...tired. Trite. Boring as fuck. And preachier than they are boring.  Some of them are okay, but never more than that. 

I haven't ever read women's lit, romance, romance-themed urban fantasy, book club fiction, or the whining naval-gazing of any women's memoirs. None of that is entertaining, and the women's memoirs make me want to fling the book, scream, and slap the shit out of the writer. 

And let me share a few key words in your book descriptions that make me run the fuck away from ever looking at any particular book:

  • "Critically acclaimed"
  • "groundbreaking"
  • "Best Seller" 
  • "New York Times best seller"
  • "award winning"
  • "Hugo Award winning"

If your ad blurb mentions any of the above, I nope the fuck out. If your ad blurb is nothing but reviews, awards, "everyone's reading this book," I nope the fuck out. 

Wanna know what I want to see in the ad blurb? I want to see what the book is about. I want a basic, one sentence plot summary. I do not give a flying fuck that other people are reading this book. In fact, the popularity might make me nope the fuck out, too, because the standard, average person is, at best, a vapid twatwaffle that needs a crowd of twatwaffles around them, all exclaiming how cool the latest thing they're reading is...and most of them won't enjoy it, or possibly even understand it. 

Want to know what I do read? What you can improve your bottom line by pushing? 

That's easy. You're doing it already. You're already tracking my husband's and my reading habits.

I'd ask why you're pushing dreck that I wouldn't read on a fucking bribe, but I already know. I've heard about the internal memos chirping happily about pushing trad pub (in spite of what it's going to do to the bottom line), and the latest "sensitive" or "nuanced fiction." 

I know why, too. 

Marxist-trained business majors are not who you want running a company. They don't understand that making money is more important to a company than "moral business choices." If, in fact, they understand what "moral business choices" actually are.  

And given what I've heard about warehouse working conditions and worker safety? I strongly doubt they actually do.  

There's a good reason I haven't even considered using your advertising services. I don't think I'd get a good return for my money, and with the way you've screwed the pooch on choosing trad pub dreck over much better stories published independent through your services, where you get a cut of any sales I make, I don't think you'd get good value, either.  

I probably won't stop shopping for books on Amazon.  But I'm certainly going to just be deleting the "Recommended for you" emails as soon as they hit my inbox from now on.  

Or maybe I'll open those so I can see who you're pushing hardest so I don't trip over more crap in my escapist reading. 

*Tracking spending for advertising purposes is creepy and intrusive as fuck, but USELESS if you're not paying attention and using it for making recommendations.


  1. I agree. I just buy books written by friends and the occasional military history.

    1. Other Half really likes Robert Massie's *Castles of Steel* and his *Dreadnaught.* Covers the buildup to and part of the naval history of WW1.

      I need to do another "book recommendations" blog post...

  2. I know this is an old post, but I just found your site. I actually took the time and waited on hold forty-five minutes to talk to a human about the garbage they offer for first reads and recommendations. After explaining every title you offer and recommend is not a single genre that applies to me, the snarky lady on the other end of the line put me on hold for another twenty minutes to come back with "we have no control over the titles. They come from current lists which are automatically generated".

    You would think that my past purchases would account for something, but no. I am stuck being subjected to all the woke, lecturing, agenda-driven dreck that passes for books these days.

    I will definitely be getting yours and OldNFO's to add to my library. I already have Mary Isaacs and others I have found. I have many locals as well. Keep up the great work.

    1. Also look at Peter Grant, Dorothy Grant (yes, a married couple), Cedar Sanderson, and Sarah Hoyt. All excellent writers, and no matter what genre, you'll find something you enjoy.


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