I have been very busy here. One problem with doing too many things at the same time is that there is the nagging feeling that you don’t really accomplish anything…

One thing I did accomplish is to finish a new “books” page for the blog here, see the new link in the menu on top. It simply lists all the books I have reviewed on here so far, and repeats the synopsis and my review. Every book includes a link to amazon in case you’d want to read it yourself, but: caveat emptor! The links are now running through my brand new amazon affiliate account, which means I’ll get a little percentage of every purchase you make through any of the links.

This is something I thought of doing for a while already, but I always held back. Mostly because amazon’s affiliate program is…. let’s say, not very friendly to anyone outside of the US. It must be a US thing, somehow, because quite clearly they have never heard of something called “international bank transfer” or, worse yet, “paypal”. If I ever manage to make enough money so they’ll pay me out, you know what’s going to happen? They’ll send me a check.

Yes. A piece of paper. Through the mail. Surface, for all I know. Which will cost me a fortune to cash on this continent, I’m sure. At least they are waiving the 15 $ fee they would charge, because without an American bank account, this is the only way to get paid. Except for an amazon gift card, which is not  optimal either. The main reason I signed up for the affiliate program after all is that many of my readers are from the EU, and there I can transfer the money to my account in Austria. That’s the reason why – if you click on a link – you should be redirected to whereever the “closest” amazon store is to your computer’s location.

Not that there will be any of that anytime soon. A book sale earns a commission of 4%. With a standard price of a paperback of say, 10 $ or EUR, one book sale will earn me 40 cents. And with the minimum payout per check of 100 $ or EUR, that makes a sales volume of 250 books. I guess I can expect that first check from the US by the time I’m retiring. Maybe I shouldn’t make big plans for the money just yet.

However, the main reason I thought so long about monetizing the blog in any way is that it is more of a private endeavour, and most of you who are reading this I know personally. And it’s just not fair to make money off your friends… So, don’t worry about it, this is not going to turn into one of those sites where you need an ad blocker to get rid of all the bouncy stuff running left and right. And there will be no google Adsense that will put a link under every second word I write and bring you to somewhere I cannot control. And no, I will not start writing posts about random stuff to buy – I’m sure if you need something, you can find amazon on your own.

However, I will keep posting my book reviews. I love books, and I have a long reading list for Japanese literature. And I guess if you’re here reading this blog you might be interested in that as well. From the beginning of writing here I wanted to post one book review per month; I didn’t quite get there (so many other exciting things going on in Kyoto), but with work keeping me behind my desk more than I like, I might just (have to) do that.