Author Topic: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon  (Read 2207 times)  

Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2018, 01:54:11 pm »
Quick question. Are you guys worried about the international income sources (I.e. Amazon storefronts) for tax purposes, or just general bank balancing?


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    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #26 on: March 01, 2018, 02:07:46 pm »
    I wish you could update the price without having to resubmit the entire book. It's already approved and we're not changing anything internal, so it shouldn't have to go through any review.



    I agree wholeheartedly and add my own appeal to this.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #27 on: March 01, 2018, 02:10:00 pm »
    ...give me a head's up if in KU, people stopped reading at page X (like give me a line chart about it--I'm sure the data is right there!) because I'd happily go in and speed up the plot around that page if it's dragging for readers. (No, to defer this sort of comment, I don't want betas who are writers guessing at that for me. I want my customers telling Amazon by putting the book down forever and Amazon telling me. It's a customer satisfaction issue, which is supposed to be their big thing,  yes?)



    YES!!!!!!

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #28 on: March 01, 2018, 02:12:19 pm »

    You can. If you only go to the edit price section, you just have to change your price and click on publish.



    But we shouldn't have to re-publish the book just to change the price.

    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #29 on: March 01, 2018, 02:14:55 pm »

    • Make book subcategories much more granular, so that readers can drill down to exactly the type of books they want.
    • Limit all publishers to two subcategories only, so that if they miscategorize their books, they'll be missing their best opportunity to connect with readers who are really looking for what they're selling.
    • Make all category choices direct and intentional, rather than relying on keywords.




    Heck to the yeah!
    « Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 08:30:59 pm by Cherise »

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #30 on: March 01, 2018, 02:17:37 pm »
    Resurrecting an old Bezos nickname: Beelzebezos.  :P
    I had actually typed that in there then took it out before I hit Post.

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    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #31 on: March 01, 2018, 02:25:01 pm »
    Kneel before General Zon!

    I really need to put this on an appropriate pic of Bezos and use it for my profile picture...




    Offline JumpingShip

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #32 on: March 01, 2018, 02:38:03 pm »
    AMS reporting. When I'm spending hard earned money on ads, I think I have paid for a lot more data on how those ads are performing than what is provided. Isn't that all factored into the cost of the ads? I want to know if someone clicked on my ad and then borrowed my book as a result. How hard can it be to add that data point? I don't know why they keep everything so secret and close to the vest. Instead, they fill the AMS dashboard with a lot of mostly useless data, I guess just to make it look like they're sharing. Jeff Bezos is a businessman who would never stand for the lack of disclosure he expects all of us to just accept and be happy about it. The thing is, the ads do work, I can see it in sales and ranking, but if I had hard numbers, I would be inclined to spend even more and I have a feeling others would too. It's the uncertainty that holds me back.

    Offline kathrynoh

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #33 on: March 01, 2018, 03:09:32 pm »
    • Make book subcategories much more granular, so that readers can drill down to exactly the type of books they want.
    • Limit all publishers to two subcategories only, so that if they miscategorize their books, they'll be missing their best opportunity to connect with readers who are really looking for what they're selling.
    • Make all category choices direct and intentional, rather than relying on keywords.
    • Institute an "adult products shown/not shown" search toggle and get rid of the dungeon.
    • Query copyright and check for plagiarism the first time a book is submitted for publication. If it passes muster, don't check again unless the book file has been significantly altered.
    • Hire more people at KDP who are trained well and then granted autonomy as thinkers and decision-makers, rather than relying on employees who are only permitted to send canned responses.
    • Put human eyes on each book briefly before publication, with a goal of catching scammers.

    Great list. I'd add automating processes that shouldn't need human intervention, like adding books to a series page or changing books to permafree.

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #34 on: March 01, 2018, 04:43:06 pm »


    But we shouldn't have to re-publish the book just to change the price.

    Publishing doesn't just mean publishing a book. When you change the price, you do want to publish that new price to the product page, right? Just look at the "Publish" button as a "Save" button.
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    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #35 on: March 01, 2018, 05:20:24 pm »
    Publishing doesn't just mean publishing a book. When you change the price, you do want to publish that new price to the product page, right? Just look at the "Publish" button as a "Save" button.

    The last time I got in there to make a small change, I had to go through the whole copyright rigmarole again, so I think platform really does execute the whole publication process every time you push that button. Huge drag, and sort of scary, as I'm never sure whether they'll accept my avowals of copyright.

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    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #36 on: March 01, 2018, 05:41:58 pm »
    Publishing doesn't just mean publishing a book. When you change the price, you do want to publish that new price to the product page, right? Just look at the "Publish" button as a "Save" button.
    Yes, but the way Kobo does it is a million times better. Go to the section you want, make your change, save and exit. There's no excuse for a UI like this in 2018. People have been building web apps for over 20 years now, and it's no longer rocket science.

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    Offline Rosie Scott

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #37 on: March 01, 2018, 05:49:00 pm »
    I don't know if this would be possible or not, but I'd like the ability to change the DRM setting on my books after they're published.

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    Offline Cherise

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #38 on: March 01, 2018, 08:33:29 pm »
    Publishing doesn't just mean publishing a book. When you change the price, you do want to publish that new price to the product page, right? Just look at the "Publish" button as a "Save" button.


    OK, but it shouldn't take up to 12 hours. It should be instantaneous.

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #39 on: March 02, 2018, 12:58:05 am »
    You suggested he really shouldn't trouble himself with the "likes of self-published authors" on "HIS Platform". Seems a suggestion that he should be insular in his approach on these matters, and since it's his company it makes sense that the company culture would follow suit. At least that's how I read it. I'm not strawmanning you.
    I thought he was saying that he'd managed fine without tips from us. You know, when you know your job perfectly well and some genius comes along and suggests you try something only he has thought of, only it is something you've thought about, tried and discarded.

    I don't know what strawmanning is, so I won't comment on that.


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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #40 on: March 02, 2018, 04:36:52 am »
    I would like to know where the clicks come from if someone clicks on my books.

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    Offline GeneDoucette

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #41 on: March 02, 2018, 04:46:06 am »

    OK, but it shouldn't take up to 12 hours. It should be instantaneous.

    In fairness, they have to do it in all their stores.

    Offline CassieL

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #42 on: March 02, 2018, 05:28:43 am »
    Quick question. Are you guys worried about the international income sources (I.e. Amazon storefronts) for tax purposes, or just general bank balancing?

    For me it's probably more general bank balancing. At the end of each month I list out everything I'm owed from all channels and then check that off as those payments are made to make sure I get the money I'm owed. But that also factors into quarterly tax payments for me. I could probably be fine with the quarterly payments, though, since I could look at my bank business account to see the total amount received for the period.

    I did have a payment from Amazon Italy that didn't come through a couple years back that I would've probably missed if I didn't actually pay attention to these things.

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #43 on: March 02, 2018, 05:33:06 am »
    I thought he was saying that he'd managed fine without tips from us. You know, when you know your job perfectly well and some genius comes along and suggests you try something only he has thought of, only it is something you've thought about, tried and discarded.

    I don't know what strawmanning is, so I won't comment on that.

    Correct. I find the hubris of some of these topics cringy. It's usually presented in a very condescending way as if a couple self-published authors know more about business than one of the most successful companies on earth.

    Offline Spin52

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #44 on: March 02, 2018, 08:03:38 am »
    I'd really like them to not fill my book pages with advertising for other people's books but I figure that's not going to happen.

    I so agree, especially when the genres are totally different. I have e-mailed several times to complain and was told that these books are displayed on the basis of popularity and availability. Nonsense. If it was popularity, only best-selling authors would be shown, and as for availability -- are they going to run out of e-books?

    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #45 on: March 02, 2018, 09:10:21 am »
    You can. If you only go to the edit price section, you just have to change your price and click on publish.I can see where all these things might help you (I mean individual you, not general you) but I can see nothing that will help Amazon sell more books. Personally, I don't want anything else cluttering up my dashboard and I've never had a problem with the description. However, I think Amazon are doing very nicely on their own. :)
    It may work for price, which is admittedly the thing we might change most often, but a couple of days ago, I had to make a contributor change for several titles, and I couldn't find any way to evade going through the whole process. In a couple of cases, the book even recompiled, although neither content nor cover had changed. Ideally, you should be able to change individual components without reprocessing the book. That should only be an issue if the book itself changes.
     
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    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #46 on: March 02, 2018, 09:20:29 am »
    Does the richest man in the world who has increased his company's value tremendously really need so much advice (and snark) from the likes of self-published authors on HIS platform? :o
    "Pride cometh before a fall."

    Yes, he does need it. The further removed the leader is from the nuts and bolts of the organization, the more things can go wrong--and not just for us. Things like category issues and the description interface also affect the customer experience. Bezos's head is off in the clouds of commercial space flight, and I'd be willing to bet he isn't spending a lot of time seeing how the bookstore actually works anymore.

    I've seen other (admittedly much smaller) organizations where the leadership made decisions--or failed to make them--based on attitudes of leader far removed from the reality of how the organization was actually functioning. In virtually every case, the people closest to the actual customer/clients/students were the ones who knew what was going on, but their suggestions were generally ignored. The end result was almost always a whole bunch of problems that could have been avoided.

    Amazon can afford to ignore us now because it has such a large market share. An author might go wide, but most won't start selling everywhere but Amazon. Who knows what may happen a few years down the road, though? I doubt Amazon is going to collapse any time soon, but I can imagine scenarios in which that retail dominance could start to erode. The day may come when non-Amazon wide may become a thing, and if the store starts bleeding out content, that will be more of a problem.

    Most of the changes that would make things work better wouldn't require that much time or that many resources to implement. I know the bookstore is far from being the most important cog in the Amazon machine these days, but why not maximize its potential?
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    Offline H.C.

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #47 on: March 02, 2018, 09:34:51 am »
    "Pride cometh before a fall."

    Yes, he does need it. The further removed the leader is from the nuts and bolts of the organization, the more things can go wrong--and not just for us. Things like category issues and the description interface also affect the customer experience. Bezos's head is off in the clouds of commercial space flight, and I'd be willing to bet he isn't spending a lot of time seeing how the bookstore actually works anymore.

    I've seen other (admittedly much smaller) organizations where the leadership made decisions--or failed to make them--based on attitudes of leader far removed from the reality of how the organization was actually functioning. In virtually every case, the people closest to the actual customer/clients/students were the ones who knew what was going on, but their suggestions were generally ignored. The end result was almost always a whole bunch of problems that could have been avoided.

    Amazon can afford to ignore us now because it has such a large market share. An author might go wide, but most won't start selling everywhere but Amazon. Who knows what may happen a few years down the road, though? I doubt Amazon is going to collapse any time soon, but I can imagine scenarios in which that retail dominance could start to erode. The day may come when non-Amazon wide may become a thing, and if the store starts bleeding out content, that will be more of a problem.

    Most of the changes that would make things work better wouldn't require that much time or that many resources to implement. I know the bookstore is far from being the most important cog in the Amazon machine these days, but why not maximize its potential?

    But they aren't ignoring us. They've created amazing platforms and technologies for us to profit from. You make it sound like there is no one looking after their platforms. They have hundreds (thousands) of people working on just the book side of things and there are well trained in the know managers finding ways to improve their systems.

    They get millions of data points and opinions/feedback. They aren't just ignoring things...they are one of the world's top companies for a reason...whether some self--published authors like to admit it or not ;D

    Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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    Re: Public suggestions for the almighty 'Zon
    « Reply #48 on: March 02, 2018, 09:45:07 am »
    Correct. I find the hubris of some of these topics cringy. It's usually presented in a very condescending way as if a couple self-published authors know more about business than one of the most successful companies on earth.

    I'm struggling to wrap my head around this. Now you're strawmanning *me*. I never implied I know more than Amazon does about running their business. But there's some obvious areas of improvement to some of their interfaces, at the very least. Honestly, I've been sticking to issues like descriptions in one panel overriding the other, and that sort of thing. Source: 20 years working in I.T.

    It's not hubris to provide feedback to companies. You seem to think Amazon's practices are sacrosanct just because they have more zeros on their balance sheet than we do. You're welcome to your take, if that's it, but it's not mine. There's always room for improvement, and oftentimes folks outside can see things in a different way that is valuable.

    Quote
    You make it sound like there is no one looking after their platforms. They have hundreds (thousands) of people working on just the book side of things and there are well trained in the know managers finding ways to improve their systems.

    Great! Let's help them improve those systems.

    That's just my take.
    « Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 09:46:54 am by Jonathan C. Gillespie »


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