It's really hard to sort through the information because some of it is contradictory.
I think it's important that people ask questions, I don't know if they will get any answers though.
I do think that the overriding problem is that there is a lack of confidence in Amazon.
How does anyone know that they're getting the sales that they are due?
If there is no independent audit of this, then you will never know.
I imagine the software is pretty complex and there are a lot of books to keep track of,
so there are a lot of opportunities for error.
I feel like my sales have been frozen this whole week. I even bought one of my own books just to test my theory and it has
yet to show up in the sales report. This is discouraging but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one
Unfortunately any sales made to myself or to people known personally to me have gone through, sometimes with a bit of a delay. So, while I'd like to think I have sales hiding somewhere, I think my books just don't get seen.
Someone I know told me he had received an email advertising my new book (he had bought the old one), so there is some marketing going on. It would be nice to have your books pushed in the same way to people who are never likely to find you 10 pages down in the searches!
I've searched in my categories, using relevant words, to see where I am when other people look. The answer is, sometimes I'm not there at all, other times I have to really go through all the pages to find my book - often past books less relevant to my search criteria.
There might be lots of variables at work; the problem is that none of them work in our favour. If Amazon makes enough change that work against Indies, then it's no great surprise if Indie books don't sell.
I guess one question might be, what kind of place would Amazon be without the Indies? And more importantly, how would it compare now that so many other sites are open to Indie authors?
I can't compare as I only joined in September, but in October even searching the title of one of my books, without using speech marks, brought it up on the second page of results and returned other books, with some of the key words but not all, higher in the search results.
This month, doing the same thing brings me up on the top of the search results again.
The only difference is that i now have the print copy as well as the ebook available, and the print copy is distributed by Lulu, so I do wonder if that means I'm treated less like an Indie? Or is that paranoia at work?!
Don't worry about it. I think the authors here are just fed up. Since this thread can be goggled by anyone, maybe all the authors should individually start a thread to Amazon, "Why won't you tell us why our sales are considerably down?" to get their and the public's attention. I know this might sound silly. But if there are thousands of this then maybe Amazon would have to say something. Just a thought.
The settlement of Amazon's litigation with the "big six" allows Amazon, not the publishers, to set prices. I don't know if this has taken effect yet. If it has, then we indie authors are suddenly competing more directly with bigger names who are now available at lower prices. Such a situation could definitely affect our sales. Does anyone have any details about this?
I find the search function sort of strange. When I search for my books using the key words, my second book shows up first which has had a lot fewer sales than
the first book. You would think the other book would show up higher on the list. And when I search for my book under bluegrass music,
there is a book about Taylor Swift on the list. As far as I know, she isn't exactly a bluegrass artist.
I don't know... considering how things are setup, KDP might be a good starting point for some authors, but because of the open market, free books, questions of glitches, it's only a starting point. You need real publication to get some place in your career. People can deny that one, but in the end, that's what is all about. Although I think the push is on to eliminate paper books, clearly paper books still are the ruling force when it comes to extreme career advancement. In the end, while there's some extremely talented authors out there, getting published means securing a contract with publishing agency.
Much of that, again, is because the onslaught of free books, or subpar books, that end up in the ebook arena. The way the ebook system is setup right now, 99.9 percent of all authors (and that's an understatement) cannot win, or even more, have a shot. They can get trivial gains, but for the most part, that's all. I think if the system was revised, that could change. The thing is, it won't. Too many authors are interested in giving away free books, and getting noticed in that way, to ever allow it.
I haven't sold a book now in a week. This isn't because my book is subpar, or at least I don't think it is. It's because once the ranks drop, the system is set up so you must give away more books to pull it back up, in which case you can sell a few more books. It hardly seems like a fair system, Some authors don't seem to want to look at that reality, or perhaps are desperate to get their book read.. I'm not sure... but in the end, it doesn't work for authors. It only works for the company, and I'm not so sure that'll be the case in the end either.
I was a fairly new self published author last winter but saw a huge increase in sales in Nov, Dec & Jan. I didn't have as many e-books then either. At that time everyone agreed that sales go way up in those months from all the new people getting kindles for Christmas.
This winter is just dismal ever since about September. I just cannot figure it out. All summer I had steady sales and then it all just dried up.
My B&N sales have been hit even worse than my Amazon sales.
It is so odd to me that my sales dropped on both venues at the same time. So strange.
In septembers crash!! hmmmmm I have 30 people past 2 days alone write me saying they enjoyed my book...only show 6 sales. KDP's answer is all is fine. KDP sucks and are ripping thousands of dollars from thousands of pockets. If they made 3 grand from me a month since september, how much do u think all together?