Well it’s happened. As I worried, back when Amazon rejected my ad campaign for A Shifting Alliance because “guns bad,” that this was just a precursor to Amazon banning books outright, so we’ve seen now.
Yesterday, Jon Del Arroz’s upcoming book Glorified, and Delcan Finn’s Deus Vult, both of which were up for pre-order (and had a good number of pre-orders already made) were suddenly gone from Amazon, the pre-orders refunded. This only affected the ebook versions of these books, but as any author these days knows, the vast majority of Amazon sales are ebooks, and this is a big hit.
As of now, a day later, word is that the books will be restored to Amazon, though anyone who had pre-ordered them will have to do so again. There also doesn’t appear to have been any good explanation from Amazon as to why, specifically, this was done. Neither author did anything wrong in terms of having the book ready for release and delivery, so far as I know.
So what prompted two books, both of which were written by unabashedly Christian authors, and both of which can be defined (to what degree I can’t say, having not read them) as Christian fiction, to be targeted like this? Rogue Amazon employee(s) is a possibility, as has happened in other instances before, but considering this was two books, a more likely answer is some sort of mass reporting (on what basis G-d only knows), intent on getting them taken down. Could’ve been standard anti-Christian SJWs, could’ve been Jon’s obsessed haters in the spergfest known as War Campaign. Declan’s book might’ve been simply hit by association, being also a Christian book (and from the same publisher, I believe.)
We’ll probably never know precisely what happened, but again, this underscores something else I said when my ad was rejected. When anything like this happens, we need to make noise, and not let up until Amazon relents. At present, it’s really the only viable way for an indie writer to even hope to make a living, and we must be vigilant, lest the usual suspects successfully cut us off from it. This won’t be the last time something like this happens, and we cannot let them get away with it. It also should serve as a reminder that we should be working on building other ways to support ourselves and our work, in the event that Amazon does get fully converged and we lose it as a platform to sell our books.
Also, to those retards who decided they were ok with it because they don’t like Jon, or who’ve decided he was lying about it, and that Amazon didn’t do nothing wrong, we’ve taken note. When this happens to you one day, we’ll oppose it, but don’t expect any sympathy from me. You’ve made it clear that you aren’t actually interested in fighting and winning the culture war; you’re just out for yourself, ruled by petty egos. You’re well within your rights to do so, of course, but as I’ve said before, don’t lie to us and claim you’re actually trying to make some change.
The enemy, the real enemy, is in this to win. If you aren’t going to actually help, the please step out of the way, or at least don’t take potshots at people who are on your side. It might not end well for you.
My next book, with a cover that might also be problematic in terms of Amazon ads, launches in under two weeks, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Hopefully its release will go off without problems. This is going to be a long fight, and I am in it to win. Great stories, which push back against what the left has been forcing on us, is how we win, but we need to do so together. There will be interesting times ahead.
Addendum: As I was writing this, Jon released another update. While Amazon allowed his publisher account access again, they are STILL holding up Glorified’s release via some nonsense about copyright. Some details here, with more on twitter. It seems more clear that this is something deliberate, and most likely the work of more than one Amazon employee with either a grudge against Jon personally or against the type of work he’s putting out. Hopefully it gets resolved quickly, but once again, remember that it’s not about this individual incident. It’s a much bigger, more troubling issue, and we must remain vigilant.