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  • Jack Hornwood

Solidarity with Amazon workers

Updated: Jan 24

I'm going to be donating 50% of my royalties from my Amazon sales in January to the Amazon Labor Union's solidarity fund.


It means that for every dollar Amazon makes from selling my books, a union helping Amazon workers will get roughly the same amount.*


It's part of an initiative I'm trying to get off the ground called Indie Author Solidarity. It's for independent authors and self-publishers to be active in advocating for positive change at Amazon, when it comes to how they treat their workers, their authors, their tax responsibilities and the environment.



The idea behind it is that while small-time authors like me can't make much of a difference individually, maybe we can have a louder voice if we join together. So the group is a place where independent authors and self-publishers can work together to show solidarity with Amazon workers and other authors who don't get a fair go from Amazon.


For a long time I've continued to feel uneasy about selling my work on Amazon because I've heard about the way they treat their staff, their attempts at union-busting, and how they've made bank off the pandemic while failing to pay a fair amount of tax. For a while I thought about taking my work off Amazon, but in the end I thought maybe it would be better to use my role as part of the Amazon ecosystem to help make a positive difference.


You can find out more about it at the Indie Author Solidarity website or by following their Twitter @indiesolidarity.


So this month if you buy my work off Amazon you'll be supporting a worthy cause. And if you too feel some type of way about supporting Amazon, you can buy my books from Smashwords, Google, or direct from my store.

 

* It's kind of hard to calculate. Amazon takes a 30% cut for sales in most countries, and a 60% cut in a few smaller countries and for books sold for under $2.99. That means 50% cut of my royalties works out to be either 35% or 20% of the total sale price. So in the majority of cases Amazon is getting 30% and the union is getting 35%, while in few cases Amazon is getting 60% while the union is getting 20%. I figured rather than trying to calculate exactly what Amazon took, I'd just go with 50%.

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