How do you feel about #BlackFriday? It seems more important this year because of the pandemic, with lots of non-essential shops closed during the second lockdown here in England. These shops now have to step up their efforts to sell more products online, competing with big brands and established internet stores. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I believe in not over-commercializing holidays such as Christmas. However, I sell books for a living. If I don’t sell the books I write, I won’t make any money, and that could negatively affect my children and husband.
I propose a compromise: think about the small business owners, including indie authors, craft businesses, local produce etc. They rely on income from the sales of the stock that they lovingly create by hand. We should support those businesses. When I hear about #BlackFriday, my thoughts turn to Amazon. Well, they are made up of small business owners, like me, who rely on royalties paid via Amazon for the sales of our books. Amazon is not necessarily the big bad giant that some people believe. Most of the books published on Amazon will pay decent royalties to their authors, myself included. Check the names of the sellers when you shop, and you will find some small, independent retailers.
Why not search for alternative Christmas gifts for your friends and family? Find them a book written and produced independently by a new author. Try a CD by a young musician. Or even search for some handcrafted bespoke trinkets, jewellery, furniture or bric-a-brac. The small business owners will be far more grateful for your custom and will make more effort to give you the personal customer service that makes you feel good about parting with your hard-earned cash. Thank you.
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