Monday, July 20, 2015

Amazon Love, a mini-Rant, and Some News

I know there's a section of the populace that can't stand Amazon.  I honestly don't understand it, but I get that people have preferences and I respect their choice to hate Amazon. 

For me, Amazon is my happy place.  Has been for years.  Whatever I want, whenever I want it, Amazon.  I want a book - I can get one in a flash.  I want new pots and pans - I can order the exact set I want right now and have it delivered to my door in like two weeks. 

I detest driving around looking for stuff.  And even if I find Widget A at Ace, how do I know their price is better than further up the road at Sears or Walmart or Meeks that indie store across the way?  Stop at every place and then find out the widget was only at the first place?  And forget calling all those places.  Half the time they don't know whether something's actually in stock at any given time.  Oh, when you call, the computer says they have 4, but when you get there, they really only had two and you needed three, or some such thing.  But hey, they're pretty sure their location in the next town over and an hour away has 4 in stock - do I want to order them and have them shipped to the location I'm currently standing in so I can pick it up in three days??

Umm, yeah, I'm not bitter.  Ri-ight.

Anyway, I don't run into that problem with Amazon.  They generally have what I want, and if they don't, it's right there on the product page - 'out of stock' - with suggestions on other products that might do me just as well as the one I can't order right now.  Yay.

But setting aside the buyer portion of Amazon, I love Amazon for the fact that without them, I would not be published - or, if I was, it wouldn't have been so easy and I wouldn't have nearly the number of sales I have today.  Case in point, for roughly 2 months, I had Dying Embers up everywhere ebooks are sold.  In that time, I sold 5 books outside Amazon - and those were one day back in May when I ran the ENT ad.  Meanwhile, Accidental Death was only at Amazon, and enrolled in their Select program.  I wasn't making huge sales there either, but they were steady, and the borrows alone outstripped Dying Embers at other sales venues. 

So, yeah, I love Amazon.  And it totally pisses me off that some people calling themselves 'Authors United' - as if they speak for us all - are attacking Amazon.  Well, screw them.  They don't speak for me.  I'm making 70% commission compared to their 15% (minus 15% to their agent), and I'm loving it.  You know, I hope to hell they don't get their way, because then authors like me will be screwed hard and ain't no one even going to leave a dime on the dresser. Of course, they don't care about me - and I don't want them to - but they shouldn't act like they do either. 

Basically, I made the decision over the weekend to stick with Amazon exclusively from here until things change more favorably outside Amazon.  Dying Ember is no longer at any other sales venue and I won't be putting Accidental Death out there either.  I had thought I would send Wish in One Hand out into the world across the board to see what happens, and then take WIOH through the KDP Select program, but delisting books at those other venues is such a pain, I think I'll just save myself the hassle.

To those of you who are staunch Amazon haters, I apologize.  Let your venue of choice know that because of their policies, you're losing out on some quality work (not just mine, but other authors who've also made the same decision).  To those of you who don't hate Amazon, but still have some other ereader, Amazon has apps for pretty much everything.  And a recent informal poll shows that other ereader owners typically buy through Amazon when the books are only available there, so no biggie for them.  If this causes any of you distress, I apologize.  I have to do what makes sense for me in the long run.  And hey, the books will still be available in hardcopy through multiple non-Amazon sellers. 

I hope you'll stick around and buy some books.  Once I'm sure Dying Embers is free of encumbrances at those other sales sites, I'll be putting it into the KU program to see what this new 'pay per pages read' thing can do for me there.  (Accidental Death has 13984 pages read so far this month.  Pretty cool stuff to watch, and I recently heard that we might be paid something like .006 per word, which would totally work for me.)


  1. See.. I disagree with you on one thing: Only selling on Amazon. I don't believe in putting "all my eggs in one basket." But hey, it's your books. You can do what you want. I believe in being seen everywhere I can. A lot of that has to do with Kensington, too. I want my self-pubbed books to be seen in the same place as my Kensington books (well...everywhere except Google Play--I don't trust them so much, yet).

    If Amazon sold epub books, I'd probably buy from them. But they don't. And that's what I dislike about Amazon. They say they sell everything, but they don't.

    Glad your sales are going well. Let me tell you, after that Bookbub ad Kensington set up for My Sunny Vampire, my sales took off (for me; for someone else, probably not) for all my books. Amazing what an ad will do, huh? I'm told I'll get another ad next month. Can't wait! :)

    1. I swear I replied to this already. Stupid Blogger.

      Anyway, I totally expected you to chime in on this, Stacy, and I respect your opinion. I did think of you before I made my choice, but it's just something I have to do. It's a business decision. I may find out later, it wasn't the best business decision, but for now, it's the right thing to do.

      Yay for your advertising and your sales! I knew once more people heard about your book, they'd snap it up. Fingers crossed for next month's ad!

  2. Not being part of the writer's community I wasn't aware that there was a problem for authors. As a consumer I used to love Amazon, because I could pre-order books and only pay for them when they were despatched. I even had an Amazon credit card just for the purpose. After a bit of a to-do with them I cancelled the card and I haven't used them much since.

    I like the fact that I can go into their Kindle store and pick up book for free. Often they are the first in a series and I can then judge whether I want to buy the next books. I'm not buying many print books just now as I'm running out of bookshelf space, I've got 7 full ones and they are double shelved. On the whole I like Amazon and the service it provides.

    1. It's probably a U.S. thing, Fran. There isn't a problem - not really. Just some big name authors got their undies in a bunch or some such nonsense, so they're trying to sic the government on Amazon, and with our government being such a mess, they just might get away with it. Sorry you had a to-do with Amazon, but I'm glad you still buy from them. =o)