Downloading Christmas

Red-Christmas-decorations-christmas-22228015-1920-1200Christmas is just around the corner and as usual I have found myself jotting down a list of what to ask ‘Father Christmas’ for. But this year is different to previous ones as I can guess quite accurately what I’ll be receiving – vouchers. With each holiday that passes I find my pile of presents decrease and a small stack of envelopes in their place; gone is the excitement of tearing open the wrapper and finding the long awaited gift, and in are the paper cuts as I slide my fingers in to the pouch to reveal yet another Amazon or iTunes card. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate anything that isn’t a lump of coal, but it does take the excitement out of it when it is all you’re faced with.

In some ways vouchers are the perfect present, they require little thought, easy access and a content recipient, but there is a small sadness in instead of receiving a brand new book, you are given a Kindle voucher. Society seems to have changed so much that all our gifts to one another are digital; even the film industry has taken advantage of this as Lovefilm and Netflix have started to provide their own gift cards.

voucher_2monthsOf course there are differing opinions as to whether ‘digital presents’ are a good idea or not, for some they provide a range of choice, the receiver can choose whatever they like to be their gift and there’s a smaller chance of disappointment; for others they provide yet another decision to make in a day, sometimes it’s nice not to have to decide what to get, or to do, but to be provided with one option.

iTunes gift vouchers-580-90At the moment I am in the belief that the best option is that which allows you to enjoy Christmas, whether that be spending time choosing individual gifts, or taking the stress away with vouchers, after all presents are not what Christmas is truly about. Is it?

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Is Amazon Destroying our Writers?

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Until recently I have loved using the Amazon site, having it as my go to destination for new books and other products. Its low prices are enticing for anyone, and as a student I have found its convenience unparalleled. However recently, after listening to a lecture on the dynamic company, I have come to realise that it is not as great as we have all been led to believe. For the consumer it works wonders, giving such a wide choice of books, with different prices for varying qualities and cheap, if not free delivery. It also provides synopses and reviews so you can read up before you purchase.

So what’s the harm? To a lot of people there is none, but for writers, Amazon is helping destroy many careers. Because they are an international company they are easily able to send their books all over the globe, as well as providing online via Kindles, doing this takes away each territorial right. Usually a writer would get paid for each country their book is released in but this has now been revoked due this scheme. As an aspiring author this is not good news for me or anyone else in my situation. It means that unless your novel is a raging success, it would be very difficult to have a career through it. So though it may be easier to get published (as an e-book) the royalties are lost.

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Since learning the lack of income writers get from this system I have made an effort to buy more of my books from stores instead, usually Waterstones but when possible I get them from independent stores. Unfortunately Amazon is still my main provider, due to cost and convenience, and it worries me that this will continue to be the way in the future.

We have to start to wonder whether our good writers will suffer and survive through the ‘Amazon Revolution’.

One ‘pro’ of Amazon is their imagination and communication with the public, it can be very enticing