Other Details, Ethical Issues


I see that you sell your books on Amazon. Isn't Amazon evil?

ALL successful corporate companies are more than likely intrinsically terrible aren't they,  that's how "free-market" capitalism works sadly. The same can be said for everybody's use of Twitter or Facebook, it's a dubious business isn't it but has to be done because Facebook and Twitter have basically cornered the communications market. Then there's the device (laptop or smartphone) that people must use to post on social-media or to edit books or to do accounts, that's more than likely manufactured in some horrific sweatshop by some major corporation but seems largely unavoidable. The world is a mess. Neoliberal capitalism is a mess.

Why use them then?

It's the only way that our weird little thing can exist. Createspace means that aside from our time in helping to get books ready for print and trying to do what we can to publicise them and designing covers, we have to pay out £0 for each title and that's the only way we can work. We're pretty skillful designers and book producers so we're able to use their digital proofing so even that costs us nothing. We still lose money on any time we put in. If our authors are good enough to support Dostoyevsky Wannabe then we do receive tiny amounts from royalties occasionally but that's usually not enough to keep us in teabags for a month (and even that depends on how we work with our authors because we're very flexible with them too and they keep all of their own copyright IN EVERY CASE so should their book suddenly do really well and they go off to be published elsewhere then it's no problem). We realise we're not sounding like neoliberal masterminds here or even good business people and that's because we're not.

The problem with trying not to work with huge soulless corporations is that you often have to be quite rich already to do so, it's almost a form of privilege in itself. Huge soulless corporations are of course able to offer the lowest prices because of their economies of scale.

Overall, our take on all of this is: YES, all major capitalist corporations are horrible. We agree. YES, it is ironic given the kind of work that we produce and that all independent literature produces that we have to work with such companies. NO, there's nothing we can do about it (although feel free to come and offer us loads of money so we can do without them. We'll accept. It just has to be free money)

For the most part, we're totally in agreement with the ethics of people who won't use Amazon but there are many intersecting ethical positions to consider and sometimes we do detect a nagging attitude in certain over-privileged quarters of the middle-class book world where we see that people are cherry-picking their ethics somewhat to protect their own interests and to protect all of the old heteronormal, patriarchal structures. If anyone is able to live ethically enough to prove to us that nothing that they purchase is benefiting corporate capitalism and they don't have a Twitter or a Facebook or an Instagram account, and that they use an ethical search engine that isn't Google and they don't have rich parents who give them everything for free then please come and educate us on how to live that way and we'll change the way we do everything. It would certainly be a relief.