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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good-bye Amazon store, hello Goodreads group

by Connie Rossini

File:Jan van Eyck 059.jpg
Madonna des Kanonikusby Jan van Eyck (photo in public domain).

Beginning July 1, Minnesota, the state where I live, is charging sales tax for online purchases from major retailers with a presence in the state. Amazon does not want to deal with charging sales tax, so the company ended its relationship with all affiliates in Minnesota. This means the CSBN Amazon Store is defunct.

I've been looking for other ways CSBN authors can promote our published books and e-books as a group. Yesterday (Saturday, July 13) I set up a new Catholic Spirituality Books group on Goodreads.

If you're not familiar with Goodreads, it's a book review and discussion site. You can rate books, write full-scale reviews, recommend them to friends, and join discussion groups. If you are an author, Goodreads will provide you with an author's page that showcases your work and includes your latest blog post.

The Catholic Spirituality Books Group is a place where anyone can join a discussion of books about orthodox Catholic spirituality. I have started discussion topics for each CSBN published author. You are free to organize a chapter-by-chapter reading of a book or have less formal conversations. You can link to book reviews on your blog, keep readers up to date on your latest projects, and poll fellow members. I haven't explored all the possibilities yet.

Please join us at Goodreads. Be aware that, like other social media, it can suck up all your time, if you allow it to. But it can also be a tool for evangelization.

As for a new store at CSBN, I will continue to look at new opportunities for ways to offer our books to blog followers.

Connie Rossini is administrator of Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network. She blogs at  Contemplative Homeschool.


  1. First, let me say thank you since I didn't even know these sites existed. Secondly, I want to share with you that after viewing a Kindle commercial promoting same sex marriage, as well as millions in support toward that end, we made the painful decision as a family to discontinue our patronage with Amazon. We have 3 Kindles and we were Amazon Prime Members! Now, the list of companies who support the agenda is long, so we are discerning in baby steps. It was very painful, but after the commercial especially, it was almost impossible to ignore. Michelle

    1. Michelle, this is a hard one. You're right that the list of companies supporting same-sex marriage is long. I expect soon they'll have monopolies in some areas of retail. Without being alarmist, it reminds me of the book of Revelation, where people can't buy or sell unless they bear the mark of the Beast. I'm not saying it's the end of the world--just pointing out the parallels.

      I am just getting into publishing ebooks as you know, and I struggle with all the crud that is sold or promoted by the major ebook publishers. In general, I do try to boycott companies that support the Culture of Death. But if we pull all our Christian books from Amazon, what becomes of evangelization? I don't know if there's a straight-forward answer.

    2. Connie, your comment is personally helpful to me. No clear cut answers, as you say, but comfort knowing that some of us are struggling with this TOGETHER. Someone wise and holy, whom I very much respect, has said that things are so thoroughly interconnected now that if we try to pull out of everything connected with the culture of death, we will essentially pull out of relating to the world altogether. I've been thinking of this lately in regard to medicine, health insurance, and various et ceteras. Your remark about the mark of the beast is sobering!

  2. I was engulfed in grief over this. I was very dependant on Amazon. I have gotten a lot of helpful and spiritual books there, as well as saved a ton of money. I questioned whether my withdrawing financial support to a such a large conglomerate would make any difference at all. Would they even care? Would my small letter of respectful reasoning go unnoticed? What was I trying to accomplish? Was I exhibiting complacency in the assurance that I am right, therefore blocking understanding and kindness? The evangelization/infiltration thing really threw me.

    Then it hit me. It is a battle of principalities! God surely notices everything I do for his greater glory. It does make a difference. So often I go by sight and not faith. My father also explained Revelation to me as a child. I imagined that it was a literal event that would happen suddenly. I was given an understanding of this truth in the process of letting go of a company that was a part our family life to a large degree.

    Is this a call to all Christians to abandon Amazon? I am not sure. Maybe we are called in different ways, to do difficult things in order to fulfill His prophecy. If God wants me to go back, I will listen. If he convicts me of another, hopefully I will have the courage to “do whatever He tells me”.


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