(*This blog post was updated on June 29, 2014 to reflect modified number of e-books sold and given away during free Amazon promotions.)

My name is Joanne Lewis. I am a writer but I am not Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Michael Connelly or Stephen Colbert. I’ve had two agents and am now unagented. I had a publisher but now self-publish. I am of the majority of serious writers who write at 3am, when the baby is down for a nap and when not at our paying jobs.

I have five published novels and, as of May 31, 2014, I have sold approximately 21,500 and have given away about 27,750 e-books. That’s at least 49,250 of my books that are out there for people to enjoy. This is beyond my expectations. I am thrilled.

This would never have happened without Amazon.

As I understand it, Amazon wants a bigger cut from the Hatchette Book Group’s e-book sales. Hatchette is a French conglomerate, which includes U.S. imprints Little, Brown & Company, Grand Central and Hyperion. When Hatchette refused to comply with Amazon’s request, Amazon removed the pre-order buttons for Hatchette books, which in turn incensed Mr. Colbert and others.

Amazon says it is looking to strike a better deal with Hatchette that Amazon claims will be beneficial to its customers. Hatchette and its affected authors are stating, in general, that Amazon is a bully who is trying to own the sandbox.

I am not going to claim to know all the ins and outs of this feud however in all that I have read, I have heard little from the voice of writers like me. Writers who would never have had a chance to prove to the world that even though they are not Mr. King or Ms. Rowling, they can design plots and character arcs, create suspense and mystery and provide entertainment to readers.

Amazon has given me this chance. My books are available at Barnes & Noble, on iBooks, and many other sites, yet I would venture to say that 99% of my sales are through Amazon.

Thank you, Amazon.

To me, this battle between Amazon and Hatchette is a case of Goliath vs. Goliath. Is Amazon really protecting their Davids? Is Hatchette looking out for the best interests of their Davids too? Or is this merely about the mighty getting mightier?

I do not believe that when Mr. Colbert tells his readers to not buy from Amazon, that he is trying to steer sales from independent authors like me. He’s trying to bring down Goliath. I get that. However, what I would like him and others to know is that while I understand and respect this dispute, without Amazon, myself and other indie authors do not have the opportunity to sell tens of thousands of books across the world.

I’ve heard the argument that indie authors are part of the problem and that the agent and traditional publishing pyramid allows the worthy books and talented authors to funnel through while keeping the muck out of the way. I dispute this, as the business of publishing and the joy of reading are subjective. Proof is evident through the many well-received books that are not published traditionally and the poor ones that are. Here is the case of the traditional publishing industry wanting to rule the sandbox.

Throughout the world and time, big corporations and conglomerates have arm-wrestled each other while claiming to have the best interests of the populace at heart. I do not know how to settle this conflict except to offer the following:

David slayed Goliath once. How about if we call a truce and let all of us, whether your last name is Connelly or Lewis, get back to the business of writing, publishing and selling books?

Can’t we make room in the sandbox for everyone?

joanne lewis

When Joanne Lewis is not practicing law, she is writing. She pens murder mysteries, historical fiction and historical fantasy books and is the author of several award-winning novels. As an author, she hopes to entertain, to educate, and perhaps to enlighten. As an attorney, she is most proud of her work as an assistant state attorney and as a guardian ad litem representing the best interests of children.

Her books are available on Kindle, as paperbacks, and as audio books.

Her latest release is Bee King, a historical novel that is about the first person in the United States diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and takes place from the start of the Civil War until 1910. Just like the people who inhabited Five Points in lower Manhattan during the 1800s and the turn of the century, Bee King traverses the pentagonal streets where abolitionists battled copperheads, immigrants clashed among social, religious and political strife, and doctors and psychologists strained to help patients. Told in Five Points (sections), Bee King is dramatized through conventional literary devices as well as through newspaper articles, a manifesto, and other non-traditional tools.

The Forbidden trilogy consists of the novels: Forbidden Room, Forbidden Night, and Forbidden Horses. Forbidden Room is her best-selling novel.

In Forbidden Room, the first book in the Forbidden trilogy, new attorney Michael Tucker has few clients, yearns to be like his famous grandmother and cannot afford to move out of his parents' home. Sara Goldstein is an heiress accused of killing her uncle. When Sara hires Michael, he gets the chance to defend an innocent person, a beautiful lover and notoriety like his grandmother. But is it more than he asked for? Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer?

Forbidden Night, the second book in the Forbidden trilogy, delves further into Michael and Sara’s complicated relationship, as well as into Soldier Boy’s psyche, into their family histories, and into the creation of the carousel horses. The question posed in Forbidden Room, the first book of the Forbidden trilogy—Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer—is answered.

Forbidden Horses, the final book in the Forbidden trilogy, travels to the eighteenth century and takes place in Austria to reveal the troubled history of the creation of the carousel horses.

Michelangelo & Me is a series of five novellas in the genre of historical fantasy.

In the first book of the series, Michelangelo & the Morgue, seventeen-year-old Michelangelo defies religious and political powers in order to capture a serial killer who is murdering the artists of Florence. In Sleeping Cupid, the second book, Michelangelo’s believed-to-be lost statue narrates his journey from fifteenth century Florence, Italy until the present day where he lives in an attic in a sleepy Florida town. Future books in the anthology include Space Between, School of the World and Michelangelo & Me.

The Lantern is a historical novel about a modern-day woman's search to find a girl from 15th century Florence, Italy who dared to enter the competition to build the lantern on top of Brunelleschi's dome. Across time and space, three lives collide as they battle abuse, disease, fear and prejudice in pursuit of their dreams. Along the way, they intersect with some of the most famous figures of the Renaissance including members of the Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello and a young Michelangelo.

Wicked Good, a different kind of love story, begins in Bangor, Maine. Fifteen-year-old Rory is not defined by his diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome and Bipolar Disorder and lives life to the fullest. Archer, his adoptive mother, is Rory's biggest fan. Rory searches for his birth parents to find out why he is the way he is. He discovers his roots in Salem, Massachusetts where the Salem Witch Trials had occurred, and in Gloucester, Massachusetts where fishermen went down with the Andrea Gail during the Perfect Storm. He also learns his true roots are closest to his home in Bangor. As Rory discovers truths about himself, Archer learns about herself too.

Make Your Own Luck is the unforgettable and moving novel of Remy Summer Woods, a young attorney who refuses to believe thirteen-year-old Bonita Pickney killed her father, Patrick Pickney. Remy risks her relationship with her own father as well as her life to prove Bonita's innocence. Along with learning what happened the night Patrick was murdered, Remy discovers hard truths about her family and herself.

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