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Friday, January 13, 2012

Blogger Aaron Worthing's new novel, "Archangel," now available

My blogospheric friend Aaron Worthing, known to me (and perhaps you) as a regular guest-poster at Patterico's Pontifications and author of his own blog, Allergic to Bull, has self-published his own novel — "Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History" — on Amazon.com, where it's now available for painless and quick download to your Kindle or other e-book reader.

'Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History,' by Aaron WorthingI have today ordered a copy with an eye toward a potential review or note here, but I haven't yet read it, so all I can say for sure yet is that the premise is intriguing. However, Aaron's a good writer and keen observer of our times, well-read and clear-thinking.

I'm a fan of the new self-publishing paradigm; Knowing that my purchase price is going mostly to Aaron as the content-creator (rather than mostly to a big publishing company that thinks it and its fellows should be entitled to decide what we all get to read) pleases me.

And last but not least, Aaron's another lawyer-turned-novelist — a fairly common species that I (like just about every other lawyer I know) have often wistfully contemplated joining, but haven't yet gathered the diligence and creativity to manage.

Accordingly, I'm publishing a link to Aaron's book here. (If I've managed the link properly, it should also rebate a further small portion of the purchase price, at no additional cost to you, to Aaron's blog through the Amazon Associates program.) 

If you join me in buying Aaron's book as an impulse purchase, please feel free to leave your considered reactions in the comments to this post, or at Aaron's blog.

Good luck, Aaron!

Posted by Beldar at 06:02 PM in Books, Global War on Terror, History, Weblogs | Permalink


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(1) Aaron Worthing made the following comment | Jan 13, 2012 7:02:07 PM | Permalink

Thanks for the linkage, but i am not in amazon associates. but maybe i will join, i will have to see.

(2) Patterico made the following comment | Jan 13, 2012 11:28:32 PM | Permalink

"at no additional cost to you"

"at no additional cost to you"?!?!

Oh, yeah.

At no additional cost to you.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Jan 14, 2012 4:18:25 PM | Permalink

Yes, I have adopted your formulation, Patterico, despite my having (pedantically, as I admitted at the time) criticized essentially that same formulation when you used it on your blog as implying that there is such a thing as a free lunch.

I no longer participate in the Amazon Associates program here — by choice, and with no implied criticism of anyone who does. I prefer to keep this blog entirely non-profit, which should improve my position if there's ever a dispute over whether my quoting something copyrighted is or isn't within the "fair use" exception. That means I foot my subscription/bandwidth costs through TypePad without any reimbursement, but they're quite modest.

The reason, of course, that Amazon has this program is because its managers believe — and I'm sure they have objective data to support their belief — that on a net basis, it brings the company more profits. They believe the referrals they get through links to their website justify the costs of the commissions they pay to participating blogs (a/k/a "Associates"). It's just another kind of promotion and advertising. And as with advertising generally, in a macroscopic sense, it's facilitating a free flow of information that's essential for markets to function properly, and those benefits may indeed be sufficient so that despite its costs, the advertising transactions nevertheless generate additional wealth.

The commissions, then, are cost-free to you, the person who follows the link and buys the product from Amazon, except in the very limited sense that if Amazon were not able to use this form of advertising, they'd no longer be incurring its costs; and if they're wrong about the Associates Program's cost-effectiveness, and on a total net basis it's not generating wealth but adding an additional marginal product cost that the consumer would not otherwise have to buy, then all of Amazon's customers are subsidizing these subscription fees. On a single-transaction basis, in isolation from Amazon's overall costs and expenses, it's true beyond any doubt that Amazon doesn't quote a different price to customers who are referred to its website through an Amazon Associates link from a blogger, so "at no additional cost to you" is correct enough for most purposes, and the "to you" correctly implies that there is a cost to someone (which is also undoubtedly true; we just don't know if that cost is netted out by advertising efficiencies).

So: Even in my quibbling world, it's far from certain that there's any net cost to choosing to structure one's transaction with Amazon in a way that generates a commission for a worthy blogger like Patterico.

I am not the enemy of this program, nor the enemy of bloggers who participate in it! To the contrary, when I've linked books or items here that I want to provide an Amazon link for, lately I've used the URLs generated by the Amazon search widget on your website, Patterico, so that the commissions would go to you. Had I known Aaron's not participating in the program — and he might want to consider doing so, but that of course is up to him and he doesn't need my advice — I'd have used your search widget on your blog to generate a link that would have, I hoped, paid a commission to your blog on Aaron's self-published book. I have no idea if any of the attempts I've made to use your blog's Amazon Associates code in the link URLs has generated any commissions for you through your blog. But obviously, I hope it has, and I chose your blog as the beneficiary thinking you might still be miffed about my quibble. (Besides, the other bloggers I might have considered supporting, such as Profs. Reynolds or Althouse, already have plenty of traffic and, I presume, nice commissions from their Amazon Associates links.)

Seems you might be. So if my apologies for being pedantic at the time didn't cut it, I repeat them here. I don't understand you to disagree with me about the economics, you just think I was being a jerk; and to that I plead no contest.

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