Amazon refuses to publish my book The Hypochondriac’s Survival Guide to COVID-19. So I’m giving it away free.
My friend Frank Daley, who edited it, has posted the saga on his website, The Daley Post.
Proceeds from the sale of the book were to go to Grapes for Humanity (www.grapesforhumanity.com; for American visitors, www.gfhglobal.org). At the end of this post you will find the URL to download your copy with its amazing cover. Please feel free to pass it on.
THE DALEY POST
CENSORSHIP, STUPIDITY OR BOTH?
Amazon Joins the Nanny State
You might remember reading two of Tony Aspler’s short stories last year (new members, you’ll get them!).
Well, he recently wrote a series of humorous “takes” on the corona virus and how it is affecting us.
Tony asked me to publish these on Amazon in a short book. He wanted to send the net proceeds to his favorite charity, Grapes for Humanity, grapesforhumanity.com – click the Donate button – or for American visitors, http://www.gfhglobal.org/donate.
COMEDY IN CORONA?
You may ask how and where we found comedy in the face of Covid-19!
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” —Mark Twain
“Censorship, Stupidity, or Both?”
The Hypochondriac’s Survival Guide to COVID-19.
Clearly, Tony’s response is evidence that after weeks of fear and isolation people are seeking a way to lighten their mood.
This is our contribution to that effort.
So, we uploaded the book to Amazon’s Kindle operation under the title Coronamania!
Days went by.
Finally got a note saying Amazon was terribly busy.
We waited some more.
Then we got this from Amazon:
We’re contacting you regarding the following book(s):
Corona Mania!: A Hypochondriac’s Survival Guide to COVID-19 and other Disasters by Aspler, Tony
Due to the rapidly changing nature of information around the COVID-19 virus, we are referring customers to official sources for health information about the virus.
As a result, we are not offering your book for sale.
Amazon reserves the right to determine what content we offer according to our content guidelines.
WE OBJECTED: (SEVEN EMAILS from different people)
PLUS, MINE HERE:
As the publisher of Mr. Aspler’s book I am astonished and concerned at the lack of understanding by the first reader of it at Amazon who apparently has the power to decide to not publish the book for specious reasons.
This arbitrary and wrong-headed decision is due to a lack of understanding of the book’s content and purpose which is to amuse and entertain.
It is censorship under any guise, an example of the nanny state gone mad.
‘Coronamania!’ is a lighthearted, amusing, satirical look at the pandemic and should be seen as such by any rational reader.
It interferes in no way with accepted medical commentary on the virus. It is not medically prescriptive; it is funny.
Nothing for days then Amazon sent approximately the same email to Mr Aspler as the previous one saying they are still not going to publish it, for the same specious reasons.
Mainly, “we get to decide what to publish whether our decisions are right, wrong or stupid.”
To be fair, they did say they would publish the book if we removed any mention of the coronavirus.
“Please consider removing references to COVID-19.”
(The bold emphasis is Tony’s)
So maybe a bot read it the first time and some person who does not speak English well or who has no sense of humor read it the second.
But in my view the decision is beyond comprehension.
THE BOOK IS FREE HERE!
Tony has offered you the book free.
It was to go for 99 cents for a week or two then move to $1.99 or $2.99.
NOT BECAUSE IT IS WAR AND PEACE
BUT because it’s amusing and a way to help a charity.
ALL THE NET PROCEEDS ARE GOING TO
GRAPES FOR HUMANITY
CANADIANS DONATE HERE
Grapes for Humanity (www.grapesforhumanity.com).
There is a Donate button there to make it simple.
AMERICANS DONATE HERE
Americans should donate through Grapes For Humanity Global (www.gfhglobal.org/donate)
in order to receive a tax receipt.
If you find Amazon is right in censoring Tony’ s little book, let me know.
If not, let me know too!
I’ll pass your remarks on to Mr. Aspler.
If you are amused (or even if you’re not!), maybe donate a few bucks to
GRAPES FOR HUMANITY EITHER IN CANADA OR THE U.S.
(This charity helps people in distress. For example, it builds schools in Guatemala and helped build a home for street kids in Tanzania. In Ontario, GFH donated to Camp Ooch, a summer camp for kids with cancer.)
Frank (and Tony)
Get your copy here!
(It’s a PDF, 8.2 megabytes.)