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David V Goliath: Amazon Turns The Screw

By David Sedgwick | March 16, 2022

It’s tough being a writer. It’s even tougher when your work is being actively suppressed by the world’s biggest market place for books: Amazon.

Reputed to account for 80% of world book sales, for an author there’s no getting away from the online giant, no escaping its tentacles.

My problems with Amazon began when I had the audacity to publish a couple of BBC critiques; birds of a feather stick together and the broadcaster wasn’t too happy about these exposes of mine.

In normal times, they’d just have to suck it up. But these are not normal times. McCarthyism lives again only this time, co-ordinated by Big Tech. It’s a far more frightening prospect than it ever was in the 1950s.

Anyway, I’d said what I wanted viz the BBC and moved on to a new project: solving a mystery which had occurred in Provence in 1973, the savage murder of a British headmaster and former intelligence agent, John Cartland.

In a vain attempt to escape censure for my previous ‘crimes’ I even adopted a nom de plume: ‘Stockton Heath’. Almost two years later the task was complete: the mystery had been solved!

As an independent project there was no alternative but to publish via Amazon. While Amazon will plug certain books linking them to other books and ensuring their visibility on its platform, my little effort had no such benefits and duly dropped off the radar.

Reviews were hard to come by. On one occasion I noticed a positive review and my heart leapt only to find it had mysteriously vanished the next day.

How many more reviews have been deleted without my knowledge?

All was not lost. In France the crime is still referred to and remains one of that country’s most perplexing mysteries. Would I have better luck there?

After paying a French contact to assist with translation and six months after starting what became a long and complicated process, ‘Imaginer Un Meurtre: L’affaire Cartland Revistee’ was finally completed in February this year.

Initially all went well. It seems like my hunch had been right: the book sold relatively well during its first week on Amazon France. And then, nothing.

Just over a week ago sales stopped dead. More Amazon antics? It looked that way. I had started to receive a few emails from associates in France: ‘Where was the book? Hadn’t I published after all?’

I checked Amazon France: searching for the book’s title ‘Imaginer Un Meurtre’ auto-corrected to ‘Imagier Un Meurtre’.

The word ‘imagier’ in French means ‘colouring book’ and so instead of my book I was presented with children’s colouring books.

It soon became apparent that unless customers typed in the full title of the book + sub-title + author’s name, henceforth it would be effectively invisible to browsers of Amazon France.

Having spent hours on the telephone to Amazon reps is enough to drive one to distraction: they deny everything, even when viewing actual proof captured on film which shows how the Amazon website is subverting searches for the book. (Video can be viewed below)

It’s all due to the “algorithm” and that is that. Have a nice day.

So what happened? I have a theory: having suddenly become aware that I had published on Amazon’s French platform and the book in question was doing ok, Amazon stepped in to subvert the book’s visibility by ‘tweaking’ its searchability.

And it worked too: the book is now headed the same way as the English language version: to oblivion.

Once you’ve upset the establishment that’s your card marked, or so it seems. MSM (BBC) and Big tech is crossed at one’s peril.

This amalgamation of political parties/politicians with mainstream media and Big Tech into one immoral and corrupt uni-party was predicted by Orwell in 1984.

Orwell’s world is one of fear and paranoia where citizens are subjected to 24-hour surveillance by a brutal authoritarian police state – just the kind of society warned about by the so-called anti-fascist busily taking Orwell’s dystopia for their ‘Build Back Better’ blueprint.

Where does one go from here? Having resisted the lies for so long, the hero of 1984 finally submits to the Party orthodoxy at the end of the novel.

While he was right about everything else from The Thought Police to Big State propaganda channelled through ubiquitous tellyscreens, let’s hope that as far as his ending was concerned, Orwell got one thing wrong.

David Sedgwick is a writer and bon viveur based in Malaga and Split with occasional visits back to Liverpool. He writes about a wide range of topics from F1 and film to true crime and travel. http://www.stocktonheath.net

March 16, 2022 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , ,

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