Saturday, December 13, 2003

wow-- you amaze me

A big thank you to the people who continue to buy my hymn to all things scatological, Scary Spasms in Hairy Chasms. [see sidebar for details and links] It appears that, once again, has run out of stock. My nipple hairs wave proudly. Thank you. Books, once bought, don't usually constitute repeat business. When they do, it's often because a buyer reads the book, laughs hard enough to shotgun a blast pattern of diarrhea, elbows their friend in the ribs, shouts, "Dude! Check this fucked-up shit out!", and places an order for more books for their diarrhea-coated friends. I can only assume that that's what's happening in this case. No turd travels as swiftly as turd of mouth.

It's flattering to know I produce fucked-up shit the public likes. Scary Spasms continues to build street cred as a minor underground hit. One day, maybe it'll become major, and dominate the market the way my enormous buttocks dominate my body.

I haven't received the order to ship the new stock to Amazon's warehouse, but in the meantime, think about ordering directly through me.

Lemme 'splain you why.

You already know that Amazon takes 55% of my cover price, makes me pay a $30 annual fee to maintain my ad on their site, and asks me to pay my own shipping when I deliver my books to their warehouse. I hate this. It's why I constantly complain about Amazon. But the problem is: most buyers, for whatever reason, seem to think it's easier and quicker to order from Amazon than from the author. If you're a PayPal member (and you can sign up in 5 minutes while you're buying a product!), this is manifestly untrue. Ordering through PayPal is just as easy as ordering through Amazon. And for me, of course, the selfish bonus is that I receive my entire cover price.

Each book cost me about $4.25 a copy to print; my profit margin, when you buy from Amazon, sucks leprous donkey dick. I receive about $6.75 after Amazon deducts its 55%; that leaves me a whopping $2.50 per book in profits. If you're Stephen King, and you're so famous that your name is bigger on the front cover than the book title, $2.50/book is no big tragedy, because when you multiply that by 5 billion, or however many books it is King sells, you end up with a shitload of money. We pissants with our underground hits don't have the pleasure of knowing we have 5 billion loyal fans who'd gladly eat the peanuts out of our shit if we asked. As a result, pissants have to be more attentive to profit margin.

Why not just stop using Amazon? you ask. And that's a good question. After all, it's quite possible I'm losing money through them, when you factor in the annual fee and shipping costs. Thing is, Amazon provides me something every fledgling author craves: a real platform from which to hawk their wares. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Amazon is also a known quantity; there's an aura of legitimacy about buying from them, whereas you, Dear Blog Reader and Potential Buyer, look at those photos of me in the sidebar and think to yourself, "Jesus, the man is fucking wacked. He's posing as a floating deity, for Christ's sake! Do I really want to place my hands on something he's touched?" So Amazon affords me some credibility, and lets you imagine I haven't touched the book you're holding. If I get rid of my Amazon cyber-presence, I probably lose business, and I definitely lose the chance to showcase the book to a much larger audience than views my blog. It's a vicious cycle, but as the rate of Amazon-buying increases, there's hope that that will change. So, like it or not, I have to stick with Amazon.

But this doesn't mean I have to like the situation. You should also be aware that Amazon alters the "shipping time" designation-- you know, the part where they say "Ships in 24 hours" or "Ships in 2 to 3 weeks." This designation changes depending on whether I have any books in stock in their warehouse. Even if NO books are in stock, Amazon will still sell: they send me an email asking for more books. Usually, this happens fairly soon after their stock runs out. In the meantime, they put up the "Ships in 2 to 3 weeks" sign. That means they're out of stock. As soon as a shipment arrives in their warehouse, they're back to "Ships in 24 hours."

So there's a huge time lag involved, especially now, during the Silly Season. When you order directly from me, you get faster service, and no worries about the whole 2-3 weeks thing.

Think about it. Try ordering directly from me. I don't bite, and you'll get your book faster than a premature orgasm.

All the same, whether you're ordering through Amazon or through me, THANK YOU. I love you and will have your babies. If I were in North Korea, I'd also eat your babies, finger by succulent finger.

[NB: My other blog, Only the Chewiest Tumors, continues to feature special deals: buy 2, 5, or 10 copies of Scary Spasms and get impressive discounts. Much like a hydrochloric acid enema, that's something you can't get through Amazon.]


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