It’s common practice, especially in the theo-blogosphere to link to books at Amazon. In fact, my whole desire to blog started after reviewing books on Amazon for a few years. However, as Wipf & Stock co-conspirator and fellow theo-blogger, Chris Spinks has recently admonished us, theology bloggers who wish to support and theological study and promote new theological books and monographs really should be directing customers, not to Amazon, but to the publishers themselves. Generally you will get as good, or better pricing through direct orders to the publisher and you’ll be supporting the industry that actually publishes the books we all love. If you need to order used book, I strongly recommend that you use AbeBooks. It’s an excellent service which lists books for nearly all the major used book dealers that list online.
I’ve tried to avoid just hating Amazon for the sake of hating Amazon, but I’ve finally been pushed over the edge and will not be supporting them in any way anymore. As of yesterday, Amazon has announced that all publishers who use print on demand services other than their own company (BookSurge) must either switch, or have the “buy” buttons disabled on their products on Amazon. In other words, Amazon is saying to publishers that all their print on demand books must either be published by them, or they will not be able to sell through Amazon. This kind of attempt to strong-arm publishers in to lining the purses of Amazon just that much more is pretty despicable in my view, and bloggers who love theology and theological publishing should not support such a distrbutor. I hope that my readers who blog will join me in no longer linking to Amazon, but linking directly to publishers and taking the few minutes of extra time to order direct from them, rather than fattening up the Amazon fat cats just because it’s a little bit faster. Support theology. Support the publishers.