Thank You, Amazon

Well, that’s one decision finally made and out of the way. I’ve written about my decision to see how well my books can do without Amazon. And about my willingness to examine all the pluses and minuses before making a final decision. Over the last few months, Amazon has done nothing to change any of my already-existing objections to publishing for the Kindle. Just the opposite. The more I’ve learned about the fine print in the publishing agreement, and read about authors being more or less screwed by Amazon in a variety of ways, the less inclined I’ve been to change my mind.

I haven’t spent a huge slice of my time thinking about it, but now I don’t have to think about it at all. Amazon managed to give me, not one but two more reasons to continue on my own way. First, the probably legal but highly unethical price-cutting offer. Scan a book in a real bookstore, send it to Amazon, and get money off on your Amazon purchase. I think the amount is $5.00. Second, the KDP loan program in which you make your book unavailable anywhere but Amazon in return for (maybe) getting a cut of the pie set aside for that purpose. If you’re selling lots of books on Amazon and none or hardly any anyplace else, this could be a good deal. If you’re hardly selling any on Amazon, but selling a decent amount elsewhere, you exchange those sales for Amazon money that will probably mean a net loss for you. The web is full of discussion, pro and con. Go read it.

Amazon just loaded its last straws on this camel’s back. I still buy books from them, but always look elsewhere first. That chances that I’ll ever see my books for sale on Amazon? Pretty much zero to none.

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13 thoughts on “Thank You, Amazon

    1. I don’t know much about the contest except that your book has to be unpublished. That lets me out, even if I was tempted. I don’t see the point of keeping a book in limbo in the hope that it might win a prize (very unlikely,) when it could be out there getting readers and making me a bit of money. If I were a more prolific writer and had more time to wait around, I might consider it. That kind of contest is sort of pie in the sky.

          1. And in the last stages of winnowing, Amazon lets the general public vote. Even if my novel would somehow make it to the finals, at that point it would more than likely go down in flames. I already know my novel isn’t a mass-appeal novel.

            1. Good point. I hadn’t even thought about that angle. For sure, they’re going to be looking for a book that has a chance of making it to the best seller lists. That would let me out, too.

  1. The Kindle devise is awesome, and Amazon is definitely leading the pack in customers. The only way Amazon could screw-up now is by alienating writers. But then, writers are such desperate creatures.

    It’s a strange world we live in. The middle-man, the assimilator, the administrative people always collect the booty and not the creator, the craftsman or the artisan.

    1. I’m not sure that even alienating a portion of writers would do any real damage to Amazon. They’ve practically conquered the ebooks market with the Kindle, and as long as they can keep readers happy and encourage the belief that ebooks *means* Kindle, they have it sewed up. I’ll never buy a Kindle, for the very reason that made me first consider cutting Amazon out of my publishing plans–the only format you can read on the Kindle is Amazon’s format.

      Ironically, my final decision about Amazon may make me look more seriously at eventually submitting work to small online publishers.

  2. Looks as if you and I can have an interesting point/counterpoint, since I have basically bought into Amazon hook, line, and sinker for my first published novel. It remains to be seen how subsequent ones pan out! (And thanks for following my blog).

    1. I have no argument with people who sign up with Amazon. Admittedly, it’s the biggest retailer, and the most likely to bring success to its authors. But I’m basically a maverick who cherishes control over my life and enjoys a big challenge. I’m at the beginning of my writing and publishing career and just as fascinated with seeing where it goes by defying the elephant in the room as I am with creating stories.

  3. I didn’t realize I had a problem with Amazon until lately. And then there it was, all of a sudden, a full-blown distaste for the way Amazon is taking control of the book business and how everyone is running to them to self-publish. But they are not self-published. They are published by Amazon. I also don’t like the idea that barely literate “books” are flooding the marketplace, but if that’s what people want, well, there isn’t much I can do about it but hope perhaps I can someday find a readership despite it.

    It was nice meeting you, Catana.

    1. Actually, Pat, Amazon isn’t publishing your books any more than Smashwords or Barnes & Noble is. They’re merely providing a sales platform. They don’t invest anything in the books or take any rights. It’s just like using WordPress to host your blog posts. The only difference is the scale and the fact that your sales are split between you and Amazon. Amazon does have a publishing arm, of course, but that’s completely separate.

      I know the struggle you’re going through. Even with a publisher, it’s hard to find readers. But keep at it. I’ve earned a little over $100.00 for the first five months of my first novel and four months of my second. Some people would see that as a reason to give up. I see it as a reason to keep going.

      1. Yes! A reason to keep going. I’ve never kidded myself about my books going viral. 200 rejections told me that the books don’t have mass appeal. Luckily for me, Second Wind likes my books, and I am slowly finding readers who love my books.

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