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Author Topic: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran  (Read 9935 times)  

Offline David VanDyke

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Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« on: August 12, 2017, 11:34:30 AM »
Surprised nobody's made a topic for this, so I'll be the one.

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/#more-4494

One more reason to consider diversifying wide, at least partly.


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Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 11:41:19 AM »
'the only rule that Amazon really cares about' - and we're what, surprised?


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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 11:57:47 AM »
Thanks for posting this link. I can imagine how furious and frustrated David must feel.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 12:04:52 PM »
The conspiracy theorist in me is seeing Amazon gleefully rubbing its hands together, mumbling under its breath, 'we're tired of your [crap], Gaughran' and lauuuughing so hard right now. 'Don't like how we handle things, do you? Here, handle this!'


But don't mind me, I often imagine the Great And Powerful Zon as a moustache twirling villain tying people who get in the way of their world domination plans to railroad tracks.

Offline JsFan

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 12:49:52 PM »
DG's tribulations remind me of the other thread where people said things like, 'the only people who matter to Amazon are shareholders.' 'We mean nothing to Amazon.' 'There's no such thing as 'unfair'.' KDP is Amazon's playing field, not authors'.'

Those posts prompted me to do a little research into the responsibilities of businesses to their suppliers. I didn't spend much time on it and only found impractical articles, but when I stopped focusing on the US I found some info at the Australian Competition & Consumer Commision and Queensland Government websites:

Quote
The law sets out examples of terms that may be unfair, including:
  • terms that enable one party (but not another) to avoid or limit their obligations under the contract
  • terms that enable one party (but not another) to terminate the contract
  • terms that penalise one party (but not another) for breaching or terminating the contract
  • terms that enable one party (but not another) to vary the terms of the contract.

The following tips will help you maintain positive relationships with your suppliers:
  • Talk regularly and honestly with your suppliers. Good business-to-business relationships rely on strong, two-way communication. Where possible, you should look to make face-to-face contact with suppliers or their representatives.
  • Bring any problems or concerns immediately to your supplier's attention.
  • Pay your accounts on time. If you cannot make your payments in time, make sure you let your supplier know before the due date.
  • Avoid making unrealistic demands for products or services. Constantly changing or rushing orders will frustrate your suppliers.
  • Monitor and review your supplier's performance and measure it against their competitors. Be prepared to negotiate the terms of trade from time to time.
  • Be sure to carefully examine the reasons for problems before cutting ties with a supplier. Like everyone else, suppliers will have ups and downs in their business. Loyalty may earn you understanding during your own tough times.

The idea that Amazon has no obligations to fulfil to authors is dangerous and inaccurate. It only gives Amazon (or any other retailer) opportunities to manhandle us. The truth is, Amazon would lose lots of money if a good percentage of authors were to suddenly disappear. We're not powerless, nor are we beneficiaries of a benevolent godlike entity.

What do we have to do to get better terms with Amazon? At this rate, it's only after hitting rock bottom and leaving KU en masse that anything will change. Part of that process would be losing money, losing livelihoods and extreme frustration/stress. I would rather not wait.

And, I agree with the OP. I'm reconsidering going into Select/KU. It's exremely risky.

Offline Joseph John

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 01:12:31 PM »
This is unacceptable.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 01:16:59 PM »
This kind of thing goes on all the time in Amazon's world. The one and only book I had enrolled in KU in January was summarily tossed out without warning mid flight through a promo run. Why? Amazon bots decided part of the content was published by another author. It wasn't. I had asked KDP change my account name, but the process is klutzy and for a period both accounts existed. They offered to reenrol the book, but I said not to bother. It was getting good page reads, but who can be bothered with the angst?

Then, just for fun, someone decided I was in breach of copyright. For that Amazon immediately blocked one of my books (not the one on promo), told me to pay the claimant (that was odd), and then suspended my entire account (a bit of an over reaction to unproven and incorrect claim). The other person had made a mistake and thankfully promptly told Amazon. Everything was reinstated.

The lesson here is this is Amazon's turf and we often get thrown about for no reason whatsoever. Much like going through airport security our guilt is assumed and we're punished upfront.

It was a sharp lesson in just how much I mean to Amazon, which is zilch for anyone who missed the message. I've gotten so used to it that I just roll with the next throat punch. Even though I do nothing that challenges the TOS it's not a question of if I'll get punched only when.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 01:19:42 PM by TwistedTales »

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 01:20:08 PM »
DG's tribulations remind me of the other thread where people said things like, 'the only people who matter to Amazon are shareholders.'

Many Amazon shareholders would dispute that claim. It is one company that cannot be accused of privileging share dividends over other business concerns.


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Offline thesmallprint

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 01:37:48 PM »
Amazon fears nothing. The establishment of a global author's union - assuming the vast majority joined and obeyed the rulings of such a body - would have Amazon behaving much more kindly.

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 01:42:06 PM »
The conspiracy theorist in me is seeing Amazon gleefully rubbing its hands together, mumbling under its breath, 'we're tired of your [crap], Gaughran' and lauuuughing so hard right now. 'Don't like how we handle things, do you? Here, handle this!'


But don't mind me, I often imagine the Great And Powerful Zon as a moustache twirling villain tying people who get in the way of their world domination plans to railroad tracks.
I suspect Hanlon's Razor applies.

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Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 02:11:07 PM »
Amazon fears nothing. The establishment of a global author's union - assuming the vast majority joined and obeyed the rulings of such a body - would have Amazon behaving much more kindly.

I sincerely doubt that.  I worked in a billion dollar company some years back and even then Amazon was quite clear that their contract negotiations basically amounted to "Take it or leave it". 

Mind you, the concept of a global author's union sounds equally as onerous, especially the whole "assuming the vast majority ... obeyed the rulings of such a body". 


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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 02:15:58 PM »
Pish.

They did this to me three times while I had stuff in Select. I was never able to run a single Countdown deal until I gave up. No, the books were not discounted and they were "virgin" books, never published anywhere before. Amazon never replied to my emails.

Offline Kessie Carroll

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2017, 02:58:31 PM »
It's still a better deal than we'd get from trad pub. We can pull our books from Amazon and walk. Trad pub, we're in for the life of the contract +70 years. :-p
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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2017, 03:02:15 PM »
Is that an excuse for crappy behaviour? I don't think so.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 03:21:09 PM »
Trad pub, we're in for the life of the contract +70 years. :-p
Not sure where you got those numbers. First, with trad pub, you negotiate. I never let a book's copyright be in any name other than my own. I always made sure there was a reversion of rights clause. That would have to be negotiated differently now due to e-books never going out of print. The point is a trad publishing deal is based on a contract. You get to negotiate before signing. If they want your work enough to send a contract, they'll negotiate.

But then, maybe things have changed. My last trad contract was in 2013. Sigh.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2017, 04:01:40 PM »
It's still a better deal than we'd get from trad pub. We can pull our books from Amazon and walk. Trad pub, we're in for the life of the contract +70 years. :-p

Having a job is better than no job at all--but that doesn't mean it's okay for the company to exploit the workers beyond the bounds of ethics. The two things are unrelated.

This is an argumentative fallacy (the excluded middle).


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Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 04:08:39 PM »
Amazon fears nothing. The establishment of a global author's union - assuming the vast majority joined and obeyed the rulings of such a body - would have Amazon behaving much more kindly.

A union for authors would be illegal under U.S. law.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 04:54:58 PM »
Surprised nobody's made a topic for this, so I'll be the one.

https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/the-only-rule-amazon-truly-cares-about/#more-4494

One more reason to consider diversifying wide, at least partly.

Moral of the story. If you sign up with Amazon you must abide by their rules and that means you are responsible for checking to see that your books are not listed elsewhere. If they are you have to deal with it. No point him crying when he agreed to their rules.

Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 04:59:00 PM »
Moral of the story. If you sign up with Amazon you must abide by their rules and that means you are responsible for checking to see that your books are not listed elsewhere. If they are you have to deal with it. No point him crying when he agreed to their rules.

Did you even read the article? He DID check. The fault was not his.

With me, when they cancelled THREE CONSECUTIVE countdowns unilaterally, these were books that had NEVER been published elsewhere nor had their prices reduced, EVER.

There was no reply to my emails. I did not get my days back. I paid for promo and it was all wasted.

That is somehow fair?

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2017, 06:24:15 PM »
Poor David. The tin foil hat wonders if this is payback for him being so vocal about various Amazon issues. I'd like to hope not, but it is odd.

I think when I go wide, I'm not going to tick the boxes for some of those "little" stores, since they seem to have issues getting and keeping books down when delisted.
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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2017, 06:55:03 PM »
Poor David. The tin foil hat wonders if this is payback for him being so vocal about various Amazon issues. I'd like to hope not, but it is odd.

I think when I go wide, I'm not going to tick the boxes for some of those "little" stores, since they seem to have issues getting and keeping books down when delisted.

Nup. It's often the Kobo affiliates. Not the little stores.

If you go wide, one thing you don't do: you don't flip-flop in and out. Apart from the fact that it's risky, you just annoy the [crap] out of everyone.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2017, 07:00:31 PM »
Moral of the story. If you sign up with Amazon you must abide by their rules and that means you are responsible for checking to see that your books are not listed elsewhere. If they are you have to deal with it. No point him crying when he agreed to their rules.

Did you actually read the article, and what happened? This was neither his fault, nor could any reasonable person say he was negligent.


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Offline WHDean

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2017, 07:18:28 PM »
Made me cringe. This is what happens when a firm monitors and enforces its terms of service with bots that can tell the difference between your actions and those of third parties. 

The gibberish I've gotten back from simple queries sent to Amazon never ceases to amaze me.

 

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2017, 07:29:54 PM »
It's still a better deal than we'd get from trad pub. We can pull our books from Amazon and walk. Trad pub, we're in for the life of the contract +70 years. :-p

Who told you that? I've had better deals from trads, and I'm far from famous,
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Offline Seneca42

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Re: Amazon's fiasco for Gaughran
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2017, 07:33:17 PM »
There's a reason Amazon sells KY Jelly. If you're in KU, I suggest picking some up. It's usually on sale, just make sure it's not a Chinese reseller or you might experience a burning sensation.