An Open Letter to Parnassus (or those with a peeve against Amazon)

Dear Parnassus,

I’ve been reading quite a bit of news lately about Amazon losing the PR war against Hachette. As a disclaimer, I’m an indie author who was being denied space in my LOCAL INDIE store. Yes, it was Parnassus.  Please don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the independent business owner. My father was one when he owned a restaurant and I fully appreciate the fact that you have to turn your life over to your business in order to build it. I have friends who have built their own business that I support. And as quite a few of my friends know it has taken me YEARS to build an audience for my Children’s Steampunk Books. But in all my years of writing I’ve come to appreciate those who have supported me and remember those who have not even when there are those who don’t understand my logic. I say the latter because I know there will be some who will not understand why I would come to the defense of Amazon.

But I do remember who supported me. I don’t say that bitterly or with any resentment. I have been traditionally published before and it was considerably less enjoyable than doing it myself. I’ve learned so much in what it takes to put together artwork, build a website, put together a marketing plan, format the interior and the list goes on and on. I took that knowledge from being traditionally published and transferred to the self-published arena.

And I have no regrets.

But here’s the thing. Amazon supported me. You did not. As an indie author, I’ve been in the Nashville area for close to twelve years and now consider me and my family to be Nashvillians. When Parnassus first came on to the scene it was heralded as the new independent store for independent people. Naturally, I thought that was me.

I was wrong.

Now the store that also set itself up on the platform of being for the “little guy” is not so little anymore. As a Nashvillian, I asked for one slot of space to display one of my books and was denied. Now, Parnassus is part of a war waged on behalf of non-Nashville writers (some) who are being “shunned” by Amazon and cheered on by established authors like Stephen Colbert who already have an audience. I now see the “I didn’t buy it on Amazon” stickers and they make me cringe.

You’re creating a negative social awareness that is now set to hurt people like me.

That really seems like a double standard to me.

Has Amazon been perfect about all of this? No.

But Amazon gave me a shot. I am eternally grateful for that. I can now take great pride in my work and hope that others will enjoy reading my work as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I fully realize that I will probably never receive a response for this letter. That’s OK because no matter what, I will keep writing. And no one will ever stop me from doing the one thing that bares my soul and that I love the most.

Stop this nonsense.

HERE’S AN UPDATE:

Soon after posting this, I was contacted by Parnassus and they have graciously listed my books on their site. Thanks to EVERYONE for their support!

Best,

signatureLeonardo Ramirez is an author of Steampunk and Fantasy. Visit Leonardoverse: Science Fiction for the Human Condition