Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Day to Give Up Quaaludes

by Marinka on November 10, 2010

And to become an Amazon Affiliate.

This weekend, I spent about 80 hours trying to set up my Amazon Affiliate account. It’s in the right hand side bar. See it? It’s the one that says “Check What Marinka and Family Are Reading!” and then links to books that we’re reading and products that we wish we hand (pseudo-hint) and then I sprinkled little adorable comments to melt your heart.

It was a fun list for me to put together, except when I called mama to ask what she was reading and she said that the last thing she read was Franzen’s “Freedom” which she didn’t like because “it was pointless and he writes like a woman.” I’m not exactly sure what she means by that, but I’m pretty confident that it’s not a compliment. Let me know if you’d like mama to attend your next book club meeting.

And then I thought, hmm, maybe I should do a post to (a) announce the Amazon Affiliate link and (b) disclose that every time you make a purchase through the link, I get some cents from Amazon, so that if it is your goal to have posts titled STILL CAN’T AFFORD FOOD! on this blog, maybe you should steer clear of the Amazon affiliate widget, because of the whole “conflict of interest” thing. (Full disclosure: So far I’ve made 14 cents! I KNOW!)

And then earlier today, it came out that Amazon is selling a self-published book about how to make ped’p’philia more acceptable. To be honest, I couldn’t even look at the Amazon page, although I did read through some of the comments about it. And then I followed some of the discussion on Twitter.

Amazon has refused to stop selling the book.

Some were calling for the boycott of Amazon and everything that starts with the letter A, while others seemed to be hedging their bets and limiting their boycott to the Amazon kindle store (this book is only available for the Kindle). One writer terminated her Amazon Affiliate relationship, pulled her Amazon ads and is not going to buy from Amazon again.

I admire people who stand by their principles (and also those who don’t confuse principles for principals), but I’m not ready to give up my Affiliate link yet. I want to think that’s it’s because I have some big moral stake in the matter–freedom of speech! But I’m worried that it’s really because I spent so much time setting up that damn widget that I can’t bear to give it up yet.

Besides, they sell Mein Kampf and Jodi Picoult, so eh?

One year ago ...

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Tweets that mention yeah, so about my Amazon Affiliate thing -- Topsy.com
November 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Can I double high-five you really hard from across the country?

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Bitchin Amy
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Co-Signed.

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Absence Of Alternatives
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Wow. Didn’t know about the P… eh Piece of shit’s self-published book. I say let him do it. If I were in the FBI, I’d monitor who buys that piece of shit and get myself a handy dandy list of people to watch.

As for your moral dilemma… to be honest with you, I’ve never actually stuck with any of the boycotts. Now I have some soul searching to do too and I shop on Amazon for everything that is not food. In fact I buy food from them too… *sigh*

btw, this is going to make me sound like an awful daughter, but somehow the fact that your mom reads not only books but a tome (even a bore at that) such as Freedom is making me wish I had more in common with my mother…

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Maria November 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I used Amazon affiliate links on two websites I maintain, and I won’t be taking them down either.

The site has for a LONG time caused a LOT of controversy on the web. Over many books, most of the time fictional accounts of issues that most sane people find to be really appalling. And while this particular weird self-published e-book certainly crosses every line imaginable, it doesn’t negate the fact that I feel like Amazon.com has been pretty awesome about helping people self-publish (good authors, not pervs) and has also been resistant to those who would bring up the same amount of rage over, say, a homosexual love story.

So.

My links stay. Plus I made thirty whole dollars last year. That got me an entire box of diapers!

Sigh.

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Maria
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Hear, hear. I love sharing a name with you on days such as today.

Marinka, I’m jealous of your 14 cents – the affiliate program is not available in my state! BULLSHIT!

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Susie Kline November 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I like your Amazon widget. And did someone say $30?! I get so confused by what I’m supposed to be boycotting. I think I managed to stay out of Target for 3 days before I was back.

xo Susie

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Libby November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Nothing good ever came from banning a book. No matter what book. Also, I have never heard anyone say “I would be a peodophile, but I kind of want to read up on it first.”

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Alexandria
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm

HA! Funny & good point!

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dusty earth mother November 11, 2010 at 9:34 am

Love that, Libby.

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ladyday November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

LOL Libby, you make a very good point.

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anna see November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Grossed out and outraged by the pdphl book.

Looking forward to seeing the good stuff on your bookshelf, however.

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TripleZmom
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I don’t think it’s about freedom of speech because Amazon doesn’t run our country (yet). Would you feel the same way if Fox was running a commercial for this guy’s How-To guide?

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Marinka November 10, 2010 at 7:24 pm

It is in a way, though. I definitely don’t think that it’s a First Amendment violation, but I think that one of the hugest booksellers in the country not carrying a title definitely has a chilling effect. Please understand that I have no sympathy for this person and personally I wouldn’t mind if they dropped this title (AT ALL) but aren’t there other books that we’d want to add to the “do not carry” list?

I don’t know.

I wrote a post explaining why I’m not dropping my Amazon Affiliate widget and why I’ll still buy from them.

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Alexandria
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I at first was one calling for a banning of the book and a big ol boycott. And I also was going to pull my Amazon AD’s but after reading another blog post I started rethinking the whole thing. And it’s starting to get pretty close to censorship. And although I am extremely offended and disgusted by the matter of the book, I don’t think that we should ban the book (or boycott Amazon). This very right for this man to publish is disgusting opinion is what makes America great. Freedom of speech. Freedom of press.

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Gray Matter Matters November 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I dunno guys. Amazon has no imperative to make that book available. Not every book published is available through Amazon, and there are actually books that B&N refuse to stock. (Having said that, if you walk in and ask them to order you “The wife-beaters guide to how to inflict internal injuries without leaving marks” they will get it for you).

This book seems like something the sicko who wrote it should make available directly through his site and yes, those who buy it should be monitored. Do we really want to defend his right at the expense of potential child victims? Don’t they have rights too?

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Jennifer
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I was going to say pretty much what Libby said, but she said it better. Are they really reading how-to books?

It’s sick and revolting, but I get really uncomfortable at the idea of that kind of censorship.

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Avitable November 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

They should ban Lolita, by Nabokov, too. And the movie Hard Candy. And the Bible, because they talk about marrying off children in there.

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Faiqa
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I love how you’ve handled this issue. This was a refreshing post on a topic that’s starting to bore me. Also, I love ordering books from Amazon…

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I just want to say that you have the best Amazon Affiliate Widget that I’ve ever seen on a blog.

I now feel guilty for my lame-o content generated widget that thinks most of my readers want to buy sewing machines or tents.

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Glamamom
Twitter:
November 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I agree. That’s one FINE looking widget. Any chance your next post is going to be a how-to?

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Anna
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

while i am disgusted by the book, i am a little shocked by the rapid move to boycott etc. i dont even know if anyone boycotting amazon over the self-published book has read it – what if the self-publishing ididot never even wrote anything more then a horrific title? do you know if anyone has actually read it? maybe i’m old-fashioned, but i like a little more information before joining a boycott.
and last, another title by the same author is available at bn.com – should they be boycotted as well? here’s the link to bn.com: http://tinyurl.com/2ddgasr

if i wasnt feeling lazy i’d keep searching online to see if any other outlets also have his book.

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Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm

When I wrote my post on the boycott (which I’m not participating in — shocking since I’m still boycotting Walmart and that other store — five years and counting — I think.), I found this post by someone who had read the book in question: http://iasshole.org/?p=2138

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Deb rox
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

You are a brilliant business woman, because pedophiles make huge Christmas toy shopping lists. It’s a neglected market, I’ve heard.

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Michelle Saunderson November 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I just recently put up the amazon affiliate link on my blog too…I don’t think I have made the 14 cents yet. I am with you though. I am not bashing Amazon. They are agreeing to take the book off their site, so it isn’t like they are trying to tick us off. In fact, I wonder how much publicity they got for the whole mess……hmmmm

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Marinka November 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Did they agree to take the book off Amazon? I didn’t think they did. I hope they don’t think they’re going to park it on my wholesome widget!

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Keyona
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Well I sure as hell missed this debate. Are they selling George Bushes book, because THAT is scary!

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Marinka November 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm

You know, you need to make sure that you’re following the right people on Twitter, so that you know where to direct your outrage at any given moment. Really, Keyona.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Hey, this gave me an idea for a book to write and self-publish on Amazon: “How To Hunt Down Pedophiles, Castrate Them, And Safely Toast Your Marshmallows On Their Burning Bodies In Your Town Hall’s Parking Lot.” A perfect stocking stuffer!

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Fairly Odd Mother
Twitter:
November 11, 2010 at 7:24 am

Maybe this book is really an FBI plot. Like each one has an electronic chip that tells the FBI where each buyer lives and then imprints him with a virtual tracking device. And Amazon is like, “shut the hell up everyone, this is going to catch the muthafrackers!”

Oh, maybe that is an even scarier premise than the book.

I think this book is pretty sick, but then again, I can’t believe Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho got published (and purchased) either. I read an article yesterday that this guy hadn’t sold a single copy of his “how to” guide which at least gives me a little faith in humanity.

BTW, you have two of the most colorful parents ever. You really should let them do an advice column for you every month or so. I can only imagine the advice they’d dispense.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
November 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

Forget Amazon. I really applaud your ability to stand up to people who don’t know the difference between principles and principals.

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zchamu
Twitter:
November 11, 2010 at 11:14 am

The more I read about Amazon yesterday, the more I realize they are the devil. Worse even than Microsoft.

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Kimberly November 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm

It’s one of the oldest arguments ever. The bottom line is, don’t read it if you don’t want to. When we attempt to control what people can read, that is where the scary comes in.

Just don’t buy it. Boycotting, brings free advertisement.

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Issa
Twitter:
November 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Eh. It’s semantics. It’s an age old argument. Boycotting vs. Free Speech.

It set me off bad yesterday. The link to that book, or really the existence of said book, not the whole argument. But I recognize that my issues are only mine. It really won’t stop me from buying things at Amazon.

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Loukia November 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Mein Kempf was pulled from the book shelves here in Canada a few years ago, at Chapters/Indigo. Not sure if it’s back, actually. I am very much against a book that is such a part of our history to be removed, no matter how awful.
I am completely against this pe*dophile book, though, and I posted about it with passion on my blog.
I love that I can see what books you’re reading now. I don’t care if it’s through Amazon. I never said we should ban Amazon, by the way, just that the book shouldn’t be sold. Because of what the book is about.

Reply

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