How Amazon made me a hypocrite.

The title is a little unfair, Amazon didn’t *make* me a hypocrite, they just enabled me to do so and I just didn’t realize it at first…

A little back story first! The other day, I wanted to buy a song. For those of you interested in what song, it happened to be “Cool Night” by Paul Davis. It’s a great song! That’s neither here nor there though. Now sure, I could listen to it on Youtube for free, but I wanted to put it on my phone which I use as my portable music device.

So I went to Zune to go buy the song and discovered that I couldn’t. Zune found the song in it’s library just fine, but it was grayed out, I couldn’t purchase it. Now, I know why I couldn’t purchase it (Zune doesn’t have license to sell some songs — this isn’t a unique problem to Zune, for years you couldn’t purchase Beatles songs digitally anywhere), but it didn’t stop me from complaining on twitter about it.

“WHY WON’T YOU TAKE MY MONEY!?!” I lamented. I *wanted* to pay the artist (well, I guess his family or his record company more likely since Paul Davis is dead) for his work, and was told “Nope, go away.” Why on earth would *anyone* refuse to sell their work to someone, that seems completely ludicrous!

Err, wait a minute. A while back I made my latest book available through a program Amazon offers called KDP Select. This makes my title available for free borrowing to members of Amazon Prime and allows me to have “sales” days where I can give my book away for free, but in order to join this program I have to list the title on Amazon exclusively for a period of 90 days (it auto-renews at the end of every period unless you opt-out before the renewal).

When I first heard about the program, I thought it was a great idea! I signed up and was happy about it. Yet, looking at it now, I’ve just done the exact same thing I was complaining about a few minutes ago. If someone with a Nook wanted to buy my latest book, they *wanted* to give me their money, I would be telling them “Nope, go away.” Pot, meet kettle.

Unfortunately, this epiphany happened a few days too late so I’ve already been auto-renewed in the program until September, but after that (and all future books) will be available on as many platforms as I can manage, and “exclusivity” will not be something I give in to again. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon and the Kindle, but I don’t like being a hypocrite.

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