Taxing time for Amazon et al – and me

Amazon, Google and Starbucks are not paying enough corporation tax in the UK. That was the excuse I needed to stop surfing the net about how to publish your ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing – an Amazon service. The coffee I could buy from Costa – a company that does pay their way.

But my problem goes deeper than boycotting multinationals who want to use our infrastructure but not contribute to its cost.  I’m trying to think of any excuse not to do, well, anything. A fellow playwright had told me to set the first draft deadline of my next play for the end of January. Ha! That was easy enough. It’s written in my diary. I just haven’t written anything else. Like the blog. Or the play.

Then I was going to e-publish my first play (Martini Bond) over the festive period. It’s just that, well, I haven’t done that either. Of course, Amazon not paying its tax was the excuse I needed to boycott them, which was easy seeing as I don’t actually shop there. It just gave me a different problem – where am I going to sell my eventual ebook? But then I couldn’t use Google to find a rival to Amazon – so I still did nothing.

Well, I did think about doing it all. But that was exhausting and, erm, stressful because I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. And I couldn’t relax in Starbucks with an Americano. Not that I buy my coffee from there. It’s just now I couldn’t.

So I thought: “Stuff it” – and just poured myself a drink. Well, it was Christmas. And then I did this:

Martini Bond flyer for Kings Arms, Salford

Our flyer for the Kings Arms, Salford

Yea! I did something. A flyer for our next show: Martini Bond goes to Salford, near Manchester in March.

Are you bothered by companies who don’t pay their corporation tax? Where else can you sell your books other than Amazon? Did you suffer a loss of writing mojo over the holidays? I’d love to hear your views.


January 3, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Books, Comedy writing, Publishing, Writing.


  1. Carrie Rubin replied:

    There’s always Google Books and Barnes & Noble, or selling books on your own site, but it’s tough to match the reach of Amazon, isn’t it?

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      That’s the issue, isn’t it? How to beat a monolith into submission. Still, I hear Barnes & Noble are a good company…. Hope your book sales are going well

      • Carrie Rubin replied:

        Would you believe I have no idea? Don’t get my first royalty check until February. But I don’t expect to be knocked off my feet. 😉

      • WomanBitesDog replied:

        Let us know how it goes! Am wondering how much social media pays off…Or whether we do it because we love it!

      • Carrie Rubin replied:

        Well, I know without it, I probably would have sold only one book. 🙂

      • WomanBitesDog replied:

        Good point!

  2. granny1947 replied:

    Love your flyer.
    The festive season is very stressful.
    Takes away my Mojo for EVERYTHING.

  3. Judith replied:

    Pleased Martini Bond going to Salford

  4. Pauline Guerin replied:

    Yes, absolutely bothered by companies who don’t pay their corporation tax, even if they are franchises. It’s just plain wrong! How dare they!

    Yes a total loss of writing anything over the festive period. I had planned to add two more chapters to my book, which is now dragging on so long I think I’ve forgotten the plot myself. Somehow, one thing led to another and the writing just didn’t happen. I plan to buy myself a small notebook/laptop type thingy in the hope that I can sit and write in the evenings whilst he watches carp television. I can’t afford a notebook/laptop type thingy, so that’s not going to happen is it! I can’t get my head around writing manually only to have to transfer it onto the pc, and change it in the process. One day… one day….

    Facebook? everyone seems to sell everything else on Facebook, why not a novel or a play? 😕

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I’ve only got 18 likes and am still mystified by Facebook…Writing manually? How things have changed. That used to be called: writing!

  5. Mark replied:

    If you think it’s hard to give up Amazon, just think about what’s involved in boycotting Google. But you can take some consolation in refusing to drink that overpriced muck they sell at Starbucks.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I’ve frankly failed to boycott Google. I tried. But not very hard. Bing was not my thing. So now I have decided to boycott anyone who advertises on Google…Isn’t that how they make their money to avoid paying tax? Not looking at the ads. Have developed a dodgy squint.

  6. Val replied:

    Yes and no to the paying tax thing… yes, it’s annoying that they’re not paying their full whack, no, because there are much worse problems in the world.

    Try Lulu (dot com), I’ve known a few people who’ve used the company.

  7. WomanBitesDog replied:

    Aren’t many problems caused by inequality? The rich-poor gap. The one that can be partly caused by not paying tax. Still we all have to draw our own lines…Thanks for the Lulu tip! Will check it out. And thanks for your comment.

  8. robincoyle replied:

    Not so much a loss of writing mojo, but more like a loss of time! Geez, the last four months of the year were a blur! Oh, and Google, Amazon, and Starbucks have enough money to pay their fair share of taxes!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I don’t know where the time goes either! Thanks for your comment.

  9. jmmcdowell replied:

    What about Smashwords? You can publish and sell through them, and they also act as a distributor for outlets other than Amazon.

  10. Jonathan Caswell replied:

    Sounds like one of those “Sticky Wickets”, older English writers refer to. I can’t help you. My book was done by Publish America and isn’t selling…but then, it is a “specialty item.” Have it available in E-reader form on BOTH Barnes and Noble AND, and the softcover at Amazon. Only royalty check I’ve ever gotten is the initial $1.00 sent to new authors who publish with them. But then I can only afford so much promotion and have to work for a living. 🙂
    Interested in MORE POETRY? Come see and relax…at I think I even have a poem about the oo7 “rent-a-villian” process in my archives! Would be interested in reading your play (I “ain’t” an agent!).—Jonathan Caswell

  11. kateshrewsday replied:

    Glad Martini’s on the move. And now you’ve had Christmas and hit the New Year the mojo will be waiting for you as January hits double figures. Looking forward to seeing what your new year brings- all the best for 2013!

  12. Ray Colon replied:

    Boycotts are tricky. There are so many candidates competing for our collective ire. Walmart doesn’t pay it’s employees enough, but their low prices help me to feed my family. I’ve checked, the alternatives are almost always more pricey. BP pollutes the environment, but boycotting their service stations does nothing because they sell their oil on the global market and their service stations are independent resellers anyway. The list is endless.

    Amazon pays its tax professional well to exploit loopholes, so the burden falls upon government to close those holes. Politicians can rant and point fingers all that they want, but they themselves are the only ones who can fix this problem. Depriving yourself of Amazon’s reach can only harm you.

    Finding my writing mojo can be a drag. I sit and write every day, like everyone suggests, but it never gets easier. I love doing it, but it takes me forever to get to the point where I say, “It’s done.”

    Julia sent me!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks for your considered comments. I understand the dilemma of who to boycott – so many to choose from, but alternatives for consumers are limited. We can only do what we can!

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