Now that California has signed into law a tax reform that counts internet business associations as establishing legal "nexus" for state taxes to apply, Amazon has dumped all of its California internet sales associates. That means I can no longer earn a commission on referring you to Amazon to buy my books, or other books that I think are worth reading (which I had been doing in my Richard Carrier Recommends Amazon store, with my top recommendations in history and philosophy, as well as my favorite films and novels). This isn't because it costs Amazon anything (sales taxes are paid by the customer, not Amazon), but solely because Amazon wants to maintain it's edge in price competition with other vendors (like Barnes & Noble, which, having brick-and-mortar stores in California, already had nexus and thus was already paying California sales taxes on its internet sales).
I think that's lame. Amazon is actually going to lose a lot of business and market share to Barnes & Noble and other vendors, as Amazon's 10,000 abandoned sales associates in California switch to the competition, which I doubt is worth the tiny advantage they can offer in pricing. But there's nothing I can do about that. Except dump Amazon in return and associate with Barnes & Noble. Notably this switch has occurred in many other states, due to similar laws passing all over (it's why the Secular Web was forced to switch to Barnes & Noble over a year ago). Even Texas forced Amazon to close a warehouse there after sticking them with a massive back-dated tax bill. And it seems apparent already that Amazon is actually starting to lose market share in the online book market, just when it had started to dominate there. If Amazon recognizes this grave error and comes back to California, I'll switch back to them, because I think Amazon is a superior service organization in every other way. But until then, I have relaunched my bookstore with links to Barnes & Noble, and will continue hereafter hyperlinking all books I recommend on my blog to Barnes & Noble.
So if you want to help support me, please don't be afraid to complete your purchases through Barnes & Noble when using my links and bookstore. Note that my commission comes out of their end, not yours, so you don't pay any more buying through me. You pay exactly the same as if you came to Barnes & Noble yourself, so the fact that I get a kickback is purely a bonus result of buying from them when you click through me. With Amazon, the income I earned from this was small, but enough to buy a few books every month on the cheap (at Amazon!), and that's how I will likely use my Barnes & Noble money, too.
I can't afford the labor to go through my last 150+ blog entries and rewrite the URLs of all book links from Amazon to Barnes & Noble, so old blogs will still point to Amazon, and I just won't get any commission from those referrals. But I have updated all my permanent links (in the template and margins of my blog, and on my official website) and have created a new Richard Carrier Recommends bookstore, all linked up and ready to go. If you haven't perused that before, please do (I've also made a few additions). I apologize for the inconvenience of having to buy through B&N. But I sincerely thank you for all your support. Enjoy!