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Author Topic: The free book list - 1 year later; spoiler: the scammers are still winning  (Read 9131 times)  

Offline TwistedTales

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Just as a fun thought experiment. If every author pulled out of KU tomorrow, I guarantee you the bot issue would be fixed in 48 hours. Page read royalties would be doubled. And whoever is in charge of KU would be canned and Amazon would sincerely apologize to everyone for how they behaved in the past.

But, that's never going to happen. :)

So ya, Amazon is creating the system, but authors are enabling the system.

And I agree. The herd is gonna do what it is gonna do.

Ha ha! I just read your comment, "whoever is in charge of KU would be canned", as they would be "caned". I think I like that better.  :P

And, yeah, for every bad situation there are enablers, but it's always someone else doing it.  ;)

Offline A.R. Williams

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If you continue reading to the T&C Pricing Page, you'll find this, where Amazon explicitly discusses price-matching freebies and makes them an exclusion. Permafree does NOT violate the T&Cs. A lower non-free price, however, does.

"From time to time your book may be made available through other sales channels as part of a free promotion. It is important that Digital Books made available through the Program have promotions that are on par with free promotions of the same book in another sales channel. Therefore, if your Digital Book is available through another sales channel for free, we may also make it available for free. If we match a free promotion of your Digital Book somewhere else, your Royalty during that promotion will be zero. (Unlike under the 70% Royalty Option, if we match a price for your Digital Book that is above zero, it won't change the calculation of your Royalties indicated in B above.)"
https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/A29FL26OKE7R7B
Section D

Thank you for the link.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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You know, at some point, Amazon is going to have to employ Real People (TM) to manually vet everyone who wants to sell anything on their site. You know, like Apple does *gasp*.

If they don't, it will be the death of them. Not immediately, but long-term.

I've been saying for a long time that Amazon needs to put people on these issues. It wouldn't be that expensive, and they could actually hire people in America to do it. It's not like people are turning their noses up at decent jobs these days. Bots are good for some things, but you need a real person who knows what they're looking at to stop the scammers.

I'm not holding my nose waiting for it, though. And yeah, I'm taking advantage of KU. I've even been burned by Amazon for it, but prawns do what they must to sell books. I put some of that on the other retailers, who claim to sell books but don't really help me do that.
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Offline KelliWolfe

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I'm not holding my nose waiting for it, though. And yeah, I'm taking advantage of KU. I've even been burned by Amazon for it, but prawns do what they must to sell books. I put some of that on the other retailers, who claim to sell books but don't really help me do that.
I can easily make more money in a month on one 100-odd page novella in KU than I can with my entire catalog on B&N or iTunes or Kobo because it's next to impossible to get any real visibility on those sites. GP is better than those, but not by much. When you're in this to make a living, you go where you can make the most money. I don't like KU on principle, but principles don't pay the rent.

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Offline SC

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I can easily make more money in a month on one 100-odd page novella in KU than I can with my entire catalog on B&N or iTunes or Kobo because it's next to impossible to get any real visibility on those sites. GP is better than those, but not by much. When you're in this to make a living, you go where you can make the most money. I don't like KU on principle, but principles don't pay the rent.

The thing is, you have to look at it long term. If enough people go exclusive to Amazon so that self-pubbing anywhere else becomes non-viable (the stores shut down, the stores stop letting people self-pub, whatever), then Amazon gets a monopoly. And once they do, the percentage of money you get to keep from each sale tanks, they stop letting you set your own prices, and any number of other things that would make having control over your publishing and even having enough income to make a living things that don't happen anymore. Don't believe that will happen? Just look at how Amazon handles ACX, where they basically do have a monopoly on self-pubbing audiobooks.

You've got to look at the long game. It's not all about can you make more money there next month. It's also, if you're a career author, about will you be able to have a viable career (and not need a second job) in five or ten or twenty years if Amazon becomes the only way to get your books to readers.

Offline KelliWolfe

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You want to know long term? Here's long term. After 6 years on iTunes and despite quadrupling the size of my catalog, I'm making roughly the same there as I was in 2012. The needle hasn't moved for me on B&N in the last 2 years. It fluctuates roughly within a couple of hundred dollars every month. My earnings on Kobo peaked in 2013 and are running roughly 50% of what I was making there before their algo changes that killed the value of permafrees. I'm making LESS than half of what I was making on Google back in 2013/2014 because their algo changes in favor of tradpubbed books over indie titles.

That's the long term. I'd love to put my faith in wide, but I did that from 2011 - 2016 and got screwed even harder by the other distributors than Amazon, with even less to show for it. At least Amazon can freakin' sell my books, which none of the others seem to be particularly interested in doing. In Google and Kobo's cases they're actively working against me.

KU sucks for authors, especially in the long term. I've said that here quite loudly since the day they announced the program, and I was one of the first to anticipate exactly how the scammers were going to poke eighty different kind of holes in KU 1.0 because of the way it was set up.  But if it's a choice between going into KU and making enough money to keep from going back to my day job or staying wide and watching my income dwindle month to month because of the deliberate changes by the other vendors to prevent me from selling my books, I'll hold my nose and go with KU.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 07:44:57 PM by KelliWolfe »

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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The thing is, you have to look at it long term. If enough people go exclusive to Amazon so that self-pubbing anywhere else becomes non-viable (the stores shut down, the stores stop letting people self-pub, whatever), then Amazon gets a monopoly. And once they do, the percentage of money you get to keep from each sale tanks, they stop letting you set your own prices, and any number of other things that would make having control over your publishing and even having enough income to make a living things that don't happen anymore. Don't believe that will happen? Just look at how Amazon handles ACX, where they basically do have a monopoly on self-pubbing audiobooks.

You've got to look at the long game. It's not all about can you make more money there next month. It's also, if you're a career author, about will you be able to have a viable career (and not need a second job) in five or ten or twenty years if Amazon becomes the only way to get your books to readers.
I'm no fan of monopolies, either, but I question some of your analysis.

In order for self-publishing to crumble everywhere else, Amazon would have to do a lot of things it doesn't seem inclined to do, like fix KU page counting processes. I make about 50% of my money from the system, but the general lack of accountability and glitches are a turn-off for many people--and that's really about all Amazon offers for exclusivity these days. I known people who did pretty well with KU but dumped it anyway because they didn't like the way it was run. Sure, there's a fresh supply of newbies every day, but it's the people with real fan bases who bring in most of the self-publishing money, and many of them are committed to going wide, either because of the KU flakiness or because they do well wide. I don't see either of those situations changing. The other outlets will keep up their self-publishing programs as long as they make more money than they have to spend to maintain them.

As for the other outlets closing, some may. Barnes and Noble has been shaky for a long time. But if it closes, it won't be because of lost revenue from self-publishing. Amazon has always been the outlet that had the bulk of self-publishing revenue--by a wide margin. What's different now is that Amazon is now captured more of those trad-publishing sales, at least in the US market. Even the bulk of the paperback rebound is taking place on Amazon, not in the brick-and-mortar stores, Barnes and Noble or otherwise. However, regardless of what percentage of the market Amazon grabs, Barnes and Noble is likely to be the only major player that folds. Amazon isn't going to drive Google out of business, or Apple, or Kobo (owned by Rakuten, a big multinational). Nor will they stop selling books unless it costs them more to maintain that division than they make.

Yes, Amazon won't let people set their own prices on ACX, but I suspect that has more to do with the number of people involved in royalty splits than anything else. If authors could set prices themselves, they could drop them without considering the royalty-partner narrator, with the result that narrators might be tempted to drop out of the system. Sure, that shouldn't affect authors not involved in royalty splits, but that's just Amazon being Amazon. It's easier to set one pricing structure than to have two separate ones. I don't see the same motivation existing on the ebook side.


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Offline crow.bar.beer

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I'll be honest. I blame 95% of this on the authors for supporting KU. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame people for going in KU if it increases their money, but KU is what is driving the scammers.

So you blame 95% of it on authors who support KU, but you don't blame authors who support KU if it makes them more money, so you're only blaming the authors who support KU but don't see their money increase?

That's the only logical conclusion from your statement.


Offline raminar_dixon

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I don't blame authors. They were only going to the money. Can't blame someone for needing to pay their rent or make a better life for themselves.

I don't even really blame Amazon for the end result and shift that KU created, even though they created KU. That would be like blaming McDonald's for childhood obesity. Amazon came up with an idea to improve their business and make more money, because that's what businesses do. And if they hadn't done it, someone else would surely have. KU was and still is a resounding success for Amazon. It was and still is a resounding success for many authors. That might change in the future, but my crystal ball isn't plugged in right now.

The truth is, the monopoly (or near monopoly) that has developed in this segment wouldn't have happened if there was more and better competition.

So that's who I blame. All of Amazon's competition...or lack thereof. They had every opportunity to innovate, to improve, to give authors more choices. And they failed or never even tried.


Offline Seneca42

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I don't blame authors. They were only going to the money. Can't blame someone for needing to pay their rent or make a better life for themselves.

I don't even really blame Amazon for the end result and shift that KU created, even though they created KU. That would be like blaming McDonald's for childhood obesity. Amazon came up with an idea to improve their business and make more money, because that's what businesses do. And if they hadn't done it, someone else would surely have. KU was and still is a resounding success for Amazon. It was and still is a resounding success for many authors. That might change in the future, but my crystal ball isn't plugged in right now.

The truth is, the monopoly (or near monopoly) that has developed in this segment wouldn't have happened if there was more and better competition.

So that's who I blame. All of Amazon's competition...or lack thereof. They had every opportunity to innovate, to improve, to give authors more choices. And they failed or never even tried.

wow just wow. Do people live in some alternate reality where facts don't matter?

For 20 years amazon didn't make a single dime. In fact they LOST money. They aren't a monopoly because they are the best, they are a monopoly because they were supported by wall street investors for 20 years. No other business gets such a luxury to run in the red for 20 years. 

It's only the past couple years that they've actually been profitable.

So ya, give Kobo billions of debt, not worry about making a profit for 23 years, and they too could probably build a monopoly.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 08:30:44 AM by Seneca42 »

Offline AlexaKang

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Have you guys listened to the latest episode of the Sell More Books podcast? They got some inside scoop directly from Amazon about KU and page flip, and apparently a Amazon rep conveyed through their guest on the show was that KU problems are, while fixable, inconsequential to Amazon. You better listen to it for yourself as I'm rephrasing stuff so don't want to be sending a wrong message. But that's what I got out of it.

As for free, I've stopped doing free. I'm aware free works for authors depending on the genre and I'd never venture to claim I know more than Phoenix, but I've found free to be a dead promo option for me. Totally useless. In that respect, what happens to free doesn't affect me. I suspect that might be the case for some of you too so would suggest you look at how your business performed lately. Just because it works for others doesn't mean it works for you. I don't use my KU free days anymore except for rare occasions, and the occasions are not promos. I just don't promote free. If you're able to do that, and if Amazon continues to pay at their chosen .045 per KENP rate, then the scammers won't affect me. So not playing the free game may be a way to avoid all that headaches, if that is a business strategy that works for you.

Offline sela

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wow just wow. Do people live in some alternate reality where facts don't matter?

For 20 years amazon didn't make a single dime. In fact they LOST money. They aren't a monopoly because they are the best, they are a monopoly because they were supported by wall street investors for 20 years. No other business gets such a luxury to run in the black for 20 years. 

It's only the past couple years that they've actually been profitable.

So ya, give Kobo billions of debt, not worry about making a profit for 23 years, and they too could probably build a monopoly.

Thank you. I think we sometimes get caught up in the Amazon is so amazing mantra that we don't see what's behind it. The other eBook retailers are not Amazon. They don't sell other products and use books as loss leaders. With the exception of Apple's iBooks, they are primarily book stores. It's like expecting a gourmet bread shop to compete with Walmart that imports most of its products from massive producers, often offshore, for dirt-cheap wages and production costs. Amazon is a unique animal and can't really be compared to Kobo or Barnes & Noble. Even iBooks, computer hardware business, only does music and books as side hustles. Amazon is Amazon and it is unique in its approach to business, to profit, and growth.

It will mow down its competition leaving nothing in its wake. Some of us are making decent money in wide distribution for a variety of reasons. Last month, of my $28,000 in revenues, half were from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. So I earned $14,000 off those other retailers. Of course, I had a Bookbub and a new release, so that accounts for how well I did on those other retailers. If I didn't have a Bookbub and new release, I expect I would have made half that amount, and 80% would have been on Amazon. Amazon rules. If you want to sell on the other retailers, you have to do the heavy lifting with promotions, etc. Heck, you pretty much have to do that now on Amazon because it's becoming more of a pay to play venue than it ever was before now that KU and AMS are almost requirements for visibility...
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 08:34:40 AM by sela »

Offline Mari Oliver

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As a newbie, I definitely struggled with the KU or not question. But I had to do what was best for me and being a no-name, I went KU. My goal is to build a back list and eventually go wide. However, I think a lot of this depends on an individual author's particular audience. For example, I'll be releasing into the fantasy romance sub-genre in the summer. These books are mostly wide from what I can tell vs the historical romances my competition has in KU. I watch closely what these authors do and where they place their books because that's where my audience likely is.

Do I worry about my future if I stick with KU? Heck yes. I don't think it's safe to have all my eggs in one basket. Also, I'm not strapped for money. At the time, our family is doing fine and I had the luxury of saving some $$ before quitting my day job (due to injury, not because of my books ha). The way I see it, one audience is in KU while the other is not. And what bugs me about the free list is that everything is so confusing and jumbled in there. The scammers will always be there. Just like the haters in life, there will always be someone gaming the system and screwing the rest of us over. It's life and we all have to live with it and do what is best for our business.

Offline SC

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You guys make some good points about KU vs. wide. So now I'm wondering, does anyone have experience going with KU at first and then going wide (not switching back and forth multiple times, but just starting in KU as an author and then moving everything wide)?

I'm curious how well it might work for a new author to do KU to gain some traction, then move everything wide after they've built up a bit of a backlist.

Offline Alan Petersen

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Just finished returning my 3rd product in a row -- all over $50. Yeah. I'm done with the marketplace. It sucks.
Yeah, I no longer buy from the marketplace. You don't know if it's a scam or counterfeit item. If it's not direct Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon, fuggedaboutit. Even if the price is much lower, which is how the scammers get you.

Phoenix, Becca brought up a great point, perhaps that Forbes reporter would be interested in yet another way scammers are thriving on Amazon.

Offline Eric Thomson

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You guys make some good points about KU vs. wide. So now I'm wondering, does anyone have experience going with KU at first and then going wide (not switching back and forth multiple times, but just starting in KU as an author and then moving everything wide)?

I'm curious how well it might work for a new author to do KU to gain some traction, then move everything wide after they've built up a bit of a backlist.
I pulled out of KU1.0 when I had only two books - the first of two series - and didn't do squat wide.  When KU2.0 came out, I put both back in and made a mint.  Ditto for the next five books I published in either series, until KU revenues started seriously petering off last fall.  I pulled one three book series out of KU starting January of this year and applied for a US & International BookBub the moment the first installment was up on iTunes, Kobo, Nook, etc.  I got the Bookbub in February, probably in no small part because it was wide.  It launched me in stores other than Amazon to such an extent that I pulled my other four book series out of KU at the end of February and applied for a Bookbub for the first in that series, getting an International one in March.  At this point, none of my seven novels are in KU.  Since the February Bookbub tailed off, the non-Amazon sales channels are responsible for a steady 2/3 of my sales and Amazon the other third.  I'm putting out book 4 in the first series at the end of next week and it's going straight to wide, without a 90 period in KU.  We'll see what happens.

Would I have been able to establish myself that well in the other sales channels without the Bookbub?  Unlikely.  This is where luck came into play...(yes, I've been following the discussion re: luck in the Failed Novelist thread)... But I prefer to define luck as preparation meeting opportunity.  ;D


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Offline KelliWolfe

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I don't even really blame Amazon for the end result and shift that KU created, even though they created KU. That would be like blaming McDonald's for childhood obesity. Amazon came up with an idea to improve their business and make more money, because that's what businesses do. And if they hadn't done it, someone else would surely have. KU was and still is a resounding success for Amazon. It was and still is a resounding success for many authors. That might change in the future, but my crystal ball isn't plugged in right now.
Except that the others that tried the subscription model like this were heavily reliant on venture capital startup money and failed as soon as that money started to dry up. It is not a sustainable business model for books at any price level that offers any reasonable compensation for authors. The companies like Oyster and Scribd that have done it were heavily reliant on venture capital to make it work. As soon as that money dried up Oyster went kaput and Scribd had to axe the categories that people read the most in and curtail the number of borrows per month.

As for KU being successful, we really have no idea. The bookstore revenues are all lumped in with their digital division, which is much bigger than the bookstore. All of the numbers we see are Wild Ass Guesses thrown around by people outside of Amazon. But we have heard Amazon say that a) the bookstore - including KU - is essentially a funnel to get people inside the store to buy other goods, b) that KU subscribers spend more on those other goods than regular book buyers do,  and c) that the scamming problems don't make any difference to them at all.

So it sounds very much like they'd be propping up the program regardless of whether it ever made them a dime in and of itself because it brings more customers to the general store. And by playing with the algorithms to favor KU books and by treating borrows as (or better than) sales for ranking purposes, Bezos is gutting payments to a whole lot of authors who were doing far better when sales were sales and you didn't have to compete with Amazon in their own freakin' store. It's a heads I win, tails you lose situation for all of us in the long run.

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Offline Seneca42

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You guys make some good points about KU vs. wide. So now I'm wondering, does anyone have experience going with KU at first and then going wide (not switching back and forth multiple times, but just starting in KU as an author and then moving everything wide)?

I'm curious how well it might work for a new author to do KU to gain some traction, then move everything wide after they've built up a bit of a backlist.

* Dec 2015 - Dec 2016 I was KU (revenues 40% direct sales, 60% KU sales). scifi Trilogy + 1 stand alone (released during that year)
* Jan 2017 went wide - with all books, plus launched 5th book
* Revenues since then:  January 2017 equaled Dec 2016 (so no hit going wide). February month-over-month 50% increase. March m-o-m 100% increase. April m-o-m 75% increase at this point (i've doubled my units sold in April compared to January and the month isn't over).
* Since January (so 3.5 months) revenues have risen 250-300%.

Now, that's not all due to going wide. I spent about $200 in promos in those months, whereas previously I hadn't spent anything in my first year of publishing. Also, going permafree helped sales a LOT (I've since stopped that, but it was helpful for the period when I used it).

So it's hard to compare apples to apples because it's all tied to different strategies you are using. But at least now, when I implement a strategy it results in a full priced sale ($4.99) not some crappy $2.40 from KU (that's if KU even records the pages read).

In terms of my sales now:

* 50% from Amazon, 40% from kobo, 10% from itunes, 0% from B&N.
* This can fluctuate, some months Kobo beats Amazon, this month Amazon is kicking Kobos butt though with about 60% of my sales.

I have no way of knowing how much KU brought in fans who now read me through direct purchases. I know there are a few.

Generally though, I don't think KU bleeds into direct. The KU readers seem to be a segment unto themselves generally speaking. So building presence there I honestly don't think helps much on the direct side of your selling efforts.

And for whatever the reason, I find KU readers are utterly atrocious at leaving reviews (they simply hardly ever do). Whereas direct buyers, for whatever the reason, are far more apt to do so (or at least I find).

All to say, for all the stories of going wide being a disaster, I definitely haven't found that to be the case. But who knows, maybe that will change in time and the other stores will dry up for me at some point.

Offline raminar_dixon

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wow just wow. Do people live in some alternate reality where facts don't matter?

For 20 years amazon didn't make a single dime. In fact they LOST money. They aren't a monopoly because they are the best, they are a monopoly because they were supported by wall street investors for 20 years. No other business gets such a luxury to run in the red for 20 years. 

It's only the past couple years that they've actually been profitable.

So ya, give Kobo billions of debt, not worry about making a profit for 23 years, and they too could probably build a monopoly.

Whichever way you dice it, they beat the competition. They didn't have first-mover advantage with a subscription model for ebooks (that was either Oyster or Scribd) No, Amazon had financial advantage. That advantage didn't fall from the sky, and as far as I know, they didn't do anything illegal to obtain it, either. So, despite what you say, they were the best at surviving and securing investments and undercutting prices at the competition (much like Walmart did) until the thing we have now was formed.

I never said they were the best because they created KU. I'm certainly not over here throwing a celebration for them either, in case anyone here is thinking that. Believe me, I have plenty of my own problems with how Amazon has treated my fellow authors and associates. I daresay I've felt their sword and been cut more times than most. Also, I was pretty vocal about not going along with KU before nearly everyone jumped on the "gravy train." No one really listened though, not even me, because in the end the money was too good and standing on principles doesn't pay the rent. I WISH other companies would have provided more competition. Some couldn't, but undoubtedly others could (Google or iTunes, for example).

And when you're the one standing there looking at the other retailers and all they have for you is less...well, how the one that's willing to pay you more is able to do that isn't so important anymore, is it, as long as the actions that got them there are at least meeting your own moral standard.

It is not a sustainable business model for books at any price level that offers any reasonable compensation for authors.

Oh yeah, I agree with you there, as I've stated above. Never said otherwise.


Offline Seneca42

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As a newbie, I definitely struggled with the KU or not question. But I had to do what was best for me and being a no-name, I went KU. My goal is to build a back list and eventually go wide.

Yep and nothing wrong with that. Just want to clarify in case people think I'm bashing KU without reservation (as one earlier poster seemed to think I was doing). I myself was in Ku for a year, i get the need to be there for many.

We can both say that KU is a necessity for some and at the same time also say that KU is bad. Similarly we can both say that authors are enabling KU and hence are to blame, and that they are also not to blame (because they are stuck between a rock and a hard place).

This is what happens to markets when they get monopolized. Everyone must bend to the will of the monopolist.  ;D Some will benefit (for a while)... but one thing we all know about monopolies, in the end only the big companies wins.

Offline Seneca42

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And when you're the one standing there looking at the other retailers and all they have for you is less...well, how the one that's willing to pay you more is able to do that isn't so important anymore, is it, as long as the actions that got them there are at least meeting your own moral standard.


Hence the entire point being made is "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

Bezos pays you more for a reason, to destroy the competition. Which you clearly don't care about, but should. I'm not saying it's anything you can do something about. It's perfectly fine to say "ya, but i need my money so I have no choice." That's a perfectly sound statement to make.

But to say they are the best and the others suck. Give me a break. You need to do some reading on Amazon's history. They are a creation of wall street. And if you want to say "so? if they can get access to money others can't, good for them." then at least realize you are arguing FOR giant monopolies. Because that's how monopolies get created... by being able to issue and support bonds in the market that other companies can't (because wall street refuses to buy those bonds).

Anyway, it is what it is. It's the exact same phenomena as offshoring.... "Why should I pay $20 for this shirt when the chinese one is the same and costs $10?". People cutting their own throats without even realizing it.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 11:19:06 AM by Seneca42 »

Offline SC

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Thanks for sharing, Eric and Seneca. So interesting to see how different strategies have worked out for people.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Anyway, it is what it is. It's the exact same phenomena as offshoring.... "Why should I pay $20 for this shirt when the chinese one is the same and costs $10?". People cutting their own throats without even realizing it.
Oh, we realize it. Believe me that we realize it. It's just that the other ebook sellers haven't left us any choice. They've refused to innovate, they've refused to improve their storefronts, they've refused to do it anything to make it any easier for people to find the books they want, and they've deliberately made changes to their stores to make it more difficult for us to sell there by reducing our visibility and taking away the tools that we know help make sales in favor of tradpub books.

I can always buy another shirt. I can't find another ebook retailer who is able to successfully sell my books. And frankly, none of them are even trying. I know my books will sell on the other sites because I've done it. I blew past 4 figures a month on both GP and Kobo within a few months of setting up my accounts. But then they decided they were more interested in selling tradpub books over indie titles and pulled the rug out. iTunes seems to be more evenhanded and I've gotten some really nice sales when they've promoted my free-first-in-series, but it's very, very difficult to get any traction there because of their limited browse and search functionality. If you don't already know what you're looking for when you go in, odds are you're not going to find it. B&N? *sigh* I don't even know where to begin with them. They had so much potential and they just threw it away.

Olivia Blake | Lessons in Love

Offline raminar_dixon

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I'm not saying it's anything you can do something about. It's perfectly fine to say "ya, but i need my money so I have no choice." That's a perfectly sound statement to make.

But to say they are the best and the others suck. Give me a break.

Erm, I never said the competition sucked...I said they failed. Failed to provide meaningful enough competition. Failed to create any sort of reasonable alternative. Nothing came even close, not for authors. Some of the largest retailers with the deepest pockets probably could have too, but they didn't.

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They are a creation of wall street. And if you want to say "so? if they can get access to money others can't, good for them." then at least realize you are arguing FOR giant monopolies. Because that's how monopolies get created... by being able to issue and support bonds in the market that other companies can't (because wall street refuses to buy those bonds).

I'm not saying that, either. I'm saying that I wish the other companies with the capital or "wall street" investors to support them had given authors a reasonable alternative to KU. I definitely never said it was right or even OK or "so?", nor am I arguing for giant monopolies.

So many words, placed in my mouth. Where's the Listerine??

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Anyway, it is what it is. It's the exact same phenomena as offshoring.... "Why should I pay $20 for this shirt when the chinese one is the same and costs $10?". People cutting their own throats without even realizing it.


I think in this case, many DO realize it, at least by now. But most who are aware of this probably feel that it's too late to get off the train and none of those retailers really ever offered anything close so why should they hold out hope that they will now? If I were still pubbing full-time I certainly wouldn't be counting on any of the other retailers to bring an alternative to market now. Not after what they've shown me so far. I'd likely be all-in with KU on every new release and ride that money train till it was no longer worth it for me. If Amazon wants my stuff after that, they can pay me appropriately for it. Amazon has no choice but to to pay authors enough or they will bail and Chinese ghostwritten ebooks aren't likely to entice people enough to keep KU viable. They need us if they want to keep using ebooks and ereaders as loss leaders for the rest of their store.

Then again, I've made well over a million dollars self-publishing so what the heck do I know about anything?  ::)


Offline Seneca42

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Then again, I've made well over a million dollars self-publishing so what the heck do I know about anything?  ::)

Only a million? I'm at a billion. So I guess I'm right now.  :P