Monday, November 10, 2014

Free eBook For Amazon.Com. Not Amazon.Ca.

     So I'm giving Blood Tied I away for free on Amazon.com starting Nov.11 and continuing through Nov. 13.
     If I were you (and I lived in the U.S.), I'd grab it--I am not an author who ordinarily gives books away. In fact, I may yet experience a panic attack of cheapness during the three-day giveaway and cut it short, so don't hesitate.
     Too many years of writing for a living as a reporter makes me loathe to part with work for free. I have badgered myself into using the KDP Kindle countdown on occasion. But I dislike the amateur tinge that colors authors who give their books away for free.
     Because Blood Tied I is the first of a series, however, I decided it wouldn't kill me (cheap as I am), to give a few copies away. It will certainly give readers a good sense of what the series is about.
      But now that I've finally convinced myself to do it, something else bugs me. I can give an eBook to the Brits for free or to the Americans for free (just not during the same promotion), but I can't give it to readers in other countries.
      This strikes me as more than ironic, considering I'm Canadian. On Amazon, Canadians are lumped in with the Americans when it's convenient (as per services), but we do not get the best of their benefits (It's like the difference between Canadian and U.S. Netflix).
      I don't blame Amazon for this: they are a business and take the most cost-effective route to success. As well, the Canadian government (this is a very odd attitude in the wake of free trade agreements) is rabid about keeping American publishing interests away from Canadians. This has rewarded Canadians with having to purchase books through Amazon.ca (which offers nowhere near the stuff available through Amazon.com). As well, the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program is not available to Canadians.
     I could go on, but you get the drift. I've always thought the attitude somewhat peculiar considering how rotten 90 per cent of Canadian TV shows are (yes, The Beachcombers was a modest hit back in the day, but that was only because the rest of Canadian TV was so bloody, bloody awful).
      I've often wondered who our government is trying to protect: us or them? If the former, then it's already been too late for decades.
     Like the vast majority of the Canadian population, I was raised within 50 miles of the U.S. border. I have numerous American relatives like many, if not most Canadians. Until I reached third grade, I believed I was an American: I watched Brakeman Bill, Captain Kangaroo, and Romper Room religiously--I pledged the Allegiance to the U.S. flag, holding a sofa pillow to my chest, every weekday morning while watching the last show). It was already too late to be a standoffish Canadian because even in those early days, all the good TV shows came out of the States (in my area, from Seattle).
     I still remember my confusion (and anger--I had liked doing the pledge of allegiance) when I found myself singing to the Queen in weekly assembly when I got to first grade. I thought we were singing to be nice to an old lady, for some inexplicable reason. And I still believed Canada was a part of the U.S. It wasn't until Grade Three, when we began studying geography, that I finally realized I was not an American and put the sofa pillow away for good. Reluctantly.
     So lighten up, Canada. We're always going to have stronger beer, better poutine, and apologize to everyone like our lives depended on it.
     But don't tell me what I should read or watch, eh?



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