I am. Ever since August, when that first glitch in the system happened, my ebook sales have declined to almost nothing. Now, I can't sell the damn things to save my life. Now, Amazon has decided to start giving away books and expects me to just absorb the loss. On Dec 10 it is starting another giveaway sale which will net (as usual) nothing. I am planning to put my ebooks in "draft" status until the sale is over in protest. Everyone who is disgusted is welcome to join me. Those of you who are actively selling books for 99 cents, keep doing what you're doing, and I wish you luck selling them for real money, but as for me, I have worked too hard and long to give it up anymore. I am going to concentrate on selling mine direct and forget about this nonsense.
What sale is this?
Personally, I'm staying with them - not only have I not had any problems selling here (though I think I sell less than you) but the ebooks drive people to the print copies of my books, too.
It's probably a good idea to try to build up sales through other channels, of course - Amazon getting a monopoly wouldn't be good for anyone - but I'd at the very least leave your books available on the site, given that they have something ridiculous like 85% of the market for ebooks.
I think someone should use their prime membership and checkout my story. I will also be offering the book for free in the next day or two. So if anyone can read it and either give me feedback on the book or post a review that would be very much appreciated.
In State Captivity: L.P. vs New Jersey
Not being guilty of anything if only abandoned by my family; I grew up in state run mental institutions.
Locked up behind dreary walls and surroundings during the most important developmental stages in a child's life. I endured heavy medication and conditioning to keep me quiet. Through all I had endured I kept my spirit intact while I adapted to severe harsh conditions that would put an adult over the edge. I was intent to be myself which placed me at odds with the institution which got me labeled as a behavior problem. While most teenagers were enjoying prom night galas I was introduced to maximum security prison for the criminally insane at age 17. At age 18 I was kicked to the curb. The struggle to survive continues as I was never prepared for daily life on the outside.
Amazon is offering a free "price checking" app which allows shoppers to walk into a bookstore, scan a barcode and then walk back out again and order from Amazon. For this, Amazon is offering $5 off the price of the book, and the bookstore loses out. This is not fair, and this kind of thing is causing people to actively check out of Amazon. My sales has not been the same since August and so I don't see any point in uploading any more ebooks. You guys who keep posting that they're seeing an increase are lucky, because most of us are not making any kind of money. In fact, my sales on other devices have gone up beyond my wildest expectations.
I noticed you have a really cool set up on your website. Do you have to manually control sending people their books when they order or is it automated. I don't offer books from my website because of the delivery, but I thought yours was really well done.
I don't see how this app will result in lost revenue for an author. Amazon can charge whatever the hell they want for my paperback, I don't care if they discount it to zero. Amazon has to BUY the book from Lightning Source for the retail value minus the wholesaler discount. 20%.
They can sell it for a loss if they want, but I get my money from LS, not Amazon, and LS only sells the book at one price, my price. Amazon wants to give it away, thats fine, but they have to buy copies to do it, Lightning Source isn't going to give them away. I would love for Amazon to make my paperback free, "sell" 20,000 copies because I will see $4 for each one regardless. http://www.TheEternalGateway.com
I might be wrong here but therrimouse isn't arguing the same thing you're arguing it looks like. Effectively what Amazon is doing is stealing customers from brick and mortar stores and also stealing authors from other venues using the KDP Select as a 'tool' to lure in exclusivity on titles.
For any author who was actually selling product at B&N, Sony etc etc, they will earn less by switching to Kindle only. As Coker pointed out, loss in sales rankings, sales and availability at other venues has the ability to make Amazon a monopoly. Monopolies are never really all that great seeing as how they can make the rules and force things. Where else would you go if you didn't like it?
On the other hand, it's all buyers and sellers who are mostly (currently) deciding where, when, and at what price they are buying our ebooks. As long as it remains that way, there's no reason to challenge Amazon.com's practices I think. Here's how I see things and it's just my opinion. I currently have a nice job doing something I like and I can earn a little on the side by also doing something I love. When I'm selling nothing at all, then I might have an issue.
Ethics? Fair business practices? What, in America? What Amazon is doing, obviously, is using its size to bulldoze its competitors.
How does that affect me? Well, the Trad Pubs made me wait two years for an answer to a manuscript, then another year of dickering over the publishing contract, which I ended up declining. Then there was another ebook publisher whose genera was exactly what I wrote. They made me wait 9 months and said it wasn’t their genera and suggested I read their books to get a better idea of what they are looking for…which I already had, it’s my favorite genera after all, and then, then, like an angel from heaven…
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing!
I loaded up my novel, made enough to buy a (used) truck. Loaded up my trilogy, made enough to buy a house (in a small city adjacent to a military base in the heartland) and sure, my sales slumped drastically last month and are limping along right now.
But Amazon let me in and I made mo’ money from my writing than I ever thought possible.
So I’d say no, I’m not through with Amazon.
If smashwords intends to be a viable competitor, they they are going to have to find a way to streamline their system to allow books a faster entrance into their catalogue. Four weeks is down right rediculous. Also, if eight out of ten readers go to Amazon to purchase, it becomes obvious where an author should push their books.
I have never seen a smashwords commercial extolling their service. We struggle to promote out books and what do they do, not much. They make themselves known to authors but nothing to the reading population.
I don't like the trend toward a monopoly, but thousands of sales a month does help one forget it.
Amazon is the only game in town. The only chance we've got. They piss me off just about everyday with their shoddy service and monopolistic policies but what choice do we have? We are minows in a mighty ocean.
I wasn't going to sign up to Kindle Select, but then when I thought about it I have had only 2 sales at Smashwords in 3 months and none from any other distributor. Do Smashwords actively promote themselves to the reading public - no. Do they do anything at all to help the author once their book is published - no. On the other hand Amazon are emailing me every other day promoting Kindle books as I have purchased a few. I never had one sales/marketing email from Smashwords. Infact not one email at all! So sorry but in terms of customer base and service for me Amazon win hands down. I'm an extremely small fish in a very large pond, but at least with Amazon my books have half a chance of exposure.
Judging by your responses the majority of you are with me. Having said that, I can safely say that further participation on Amazon depends on Amazon. Meanwhile, last year I realized more sales through other venues, so the idea of exclusivity is vomitous. Good luck on your own ventures, everyone.