Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping Amazon's publishing imprints (Thomas and Mercer, 47 North, Montlake Romance, etc.) will eventually allow their ebooks to be sold on other retail sites. Then maybe the bookstores will stop boycotting them as well. Seems like it would be good for Amazon, and for the authors who write for them.

I understand why they didn't allow this previously, but with e-reader sales leveling off in favor of tablets, it would seem to be the next logical step. T&M has been a joy to work with, but I want my ebooks to be available everywhere.

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,229 Posts
Considering how much Amazon likes exclusivity on ebooks, I'd be surprised if they made these available elsewhere. I'm not even sure other retailors would agree to carry them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
B. Justin Shier said:
Jude, have they had any success getting your titles into B&M stores other than B&N?

B.
I don't know of any brick and mortar stores that are carrying Amazon Publishing titles right now. You can order the paperbacks and audiobooks through many online stores (B&N, Books-A Million, Target, etc.), but you won't find them stocked on any of the shelves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
When I worked at Chapters/Indigo in Canada, it was the same thing. No such luck... they refused to stock Amazon products.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Amazon is pretty much persona-non-grata with all other stores.

So the plus of a book or series with Amazon is they might promote you in their ecosystem, which is large. The downside is that you will never have those titles outside of Amazon's ecosystem, so don't make a mistake and sign for something you're not willing to be exclusive on.

In short: Amazon is a good deal if it's the right on the project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
The reason no other bookstores will stock them is because it's a conflict of interest on Amazon's part. Unlike most of the books on the shelves, Amazon books don't come from a dedicated publishing house -- they're produced by an actual competing store. Other publishers don't really sell many books themselves, but Amazon on its own is a very huge bookstore. Why would any other bookstore want to support a rival company by passing on profits to it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Gaia Revane said:
The reason no other bookstores will stock them is because it's a conflict of interest on Amazon's part. Unlike most of the books on the shelves, Amazon books don't come from a dedicated publishing house -- they're produced by an actual competing store. Other publishers don't really sell many books themselves, but Amazon on its own is a very huge bookstore. Why would any other bookstore want to support a rival company by passing on profits to it?
That reasoning only makes sense if the bookstore is dedicated to putting Amazon out of business (in which case they would want to starve the competitor of any potential income).

I don't think any of these bookstores have any reasonable expectation of accomplishing that, so instead they're deciding between profiting off Amazon's efforts (getting some of the money from those books sales), or just letting Amazon have all of it. The bookstores' position seems like a short-sighted and emotional one rather than a rational business decision, and it's really unfortunate. Especially for the authors publishing through Amazon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gaia Revane said:
The reason no other bookstores will stock them is because it's a conflict of interest on Amazon's part. Unlike most of the books on the shelves, Amazon books don't come from a dedicated publishing house -- they're produced by an actual competing store. Other publishers don't really sell many books themselves, but Amazon on its own is a very huge bookstore. Why would any other bookstore want to support a rival company by passing on profits to it?
I think it has more to do with the fact that the ebooks published by Amazon's imprints are exclusively sold by Amazon.com. If Amazon would allow their ebook titles to be sold by B&N for the Nook, then B&N would probably stock Amazon's paper books in its brick and mortar stores as well. And the other chains and indies seem to follow B&N's lead.

I'm hoping Amazon's imprints will start behaving more like other publishers and make their titles available in all ebook formats. I think they will eventually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,911 Posts
Aaron Pogue said:
The bookstores' position seems like a short-sighted and emotional one rather than a rational business decision, and it's really unfortunate.
I agree. I should stop being surprised by now with how many short-sighted and emotional decisions are made in this industry rather than rational business decisions, but somehow I still manage to be shocked every once in a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Well, to be fair to the other B&M bookstores, we have to ask what sort of discount they are being offered and what the return policy is. Also, are AP titles actually being promoted to B&M bookstores? I've seen them a few times in grocery stores. Why are they having success there? Does AP have salespeople visiting B&M stores? Are they doing mailings? Is there an Email list? Are they offering promotional tools to their booksellers like in store displays and posters?

B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
B. Justin Shier said:
Well, to be fair to the other B&M bookstores, we have to ask what sort of discount they are being offered and what the return policy is. Also, are AP titles actually being promoted to B&M bookstores? I've seen them a few times in grocery stores. Why are they having success there? Does AP have salespeople visiting B&M stores? Are they doing mailings? Is there an Email list? Are they offering promotional tools to their booksellers like in store displays and posters?

B.
In those regards, AP is similar to any other major book publisher. I would be interested to know which grocery stores you've seen AP titles in. But really, I'm more interested in having my ebooks available across the board. I don't think many B&M bookstores will even be around much longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Jude Hardin said:
In those regards, AP is similar to any other major book publisher.
So they do have a sales force now? That's good news.

Jude Hardin said:
I would be interested to know which grocery stores you've seen AP titles in.
Albertsons and Ralphs in California. All the titles were Montlake. Haven't seen any in Target, Walmart, or Costco, but others have reported seeing them there.

Jude Hardin said:
I don't think many B&M bookstores will even be around much longer.
Possibly, but print is still a huge chunk of the international book market, and 43 new independent bookstores opened in the United States during 2012. I'm off to visit this one next week. I'll be sure to ask what their feelings are about AP titles and if they've ever had a visit from the AP sales team.

B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
B. Justin Shier said:
I'll be sure to ask what their feelings are about AP titles and if they've ever had a visit from the AP sales team.

B.
Do publishers really have salespeople who fly around the country and walk into every independent bookstore? I'm thinking they probably just send out catalogs.

And I can pretty much predict what their feelings are. Most people in the business of selling paper books hate Amazon, in the same way the manufacturers of horse drawn carriages hated Henry Ford.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding why Amazon is signing authors.

It is NOT to sell books, it is to have exclusive content, and to drain content from competitors. With few exceptions, all Amazon authors are midlist folks all treated pretty much the same. Why should Amazon move backwards to take on other people's problems, like trying to keep BN afloat?

Indeed, one of the main reasons I signed with them is that (a) they would always be selling the book, no matter what happens (unlike pretty much any physical bookstore on the planet), and (b) an insurance policy against the inevitable changes to KDP terms and a more challenging era for all self-publishers. No matter how far they drop the KDP royalty or what terms they impose to go into Select, their own imprints will always be treated reasonably well as an exploitable resource. Of course, now that they are buying entire publishing houses instead of signing an author here or there, it's a pretty big midlist already.

Amazon already has virtually every ebook title available. Also they are able to exploit them in new ways--such as the Prime lending program and the inevitable ads-in-books. Anything they want to test, they can do it in their own content. So really, they are not signing you to sell your books, because they were already doing that; they sign you so nobody else can sell your books.

I'd still do it a hundred times out of a hundred.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
scottnicholson said:
I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding why Amazon is signing authors...

...they sign you so nobody else can sell your books.
I disagree. I think Amazon is going to do whatever makes them the most money. The paperbacks aren't exclusive, and the only reason the ebooks are is because Amazon wants people to buy Kindles. Take the proprietary format out of the equation (i.e. when a certain tipping point is met and it's no longer more profitable to keep the digital content exclusive), and Amazon will start selling their authors' ebooks everywhere they can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
scottnicholson said:
I'd still do it a hundred times out of a hundred.
Me, too.

I recently signed my 3rd contract with them and will have 5 published by Amazon books by the first quarter of next year. There's no doubt their support as a publisher has helped me build my audience. Sure, I've worked my tail off right alongside them, but I have no illusions I would be selling in the numbers I am without them backing me. I could've shopped my new project around with my agent to other publishers, but why fix what isn't broke?

PS. I've had my AP memoir in bookstores, sublicensed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. But I have seen regular AmazonEncore books on the shelf in CVS, our local drugstore. They aren't there now, but they were last year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Jude Hardin said:
Do publishers really have salespeople who fly around the country and walk into every independent bookstore? I'm thinking they probably just send out catalogs.
The sales folks generally live in their coverage areas (LA Region, Chicago Region, etc.) and fly to their corporate home bases and/or conferences only on occasion. I've heard that historically about 5-7% of net revenues was spent on sales forces, but that some of the bigs have been cutting back over the past decade. Random House was a noted exception to this trend. There were articles written in 2011 stating they were investing even more in direct commercial sales.

A quick search of Linked In shows that quite a few folks list this as their job in my region. Apparently some of the smaller presses pool their resources to hire independent commissioned reps. I don't know how much time these folks spend on the phone versus visiting sites. We'd have to get someone in the know to comment on that.

B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
scottnicholson said:
I'd still do it a hundred times out of a hundred.
Me too. I'm not saying I wouldn't, or that I think it was a mistake. Just that I would prefer my ebooks to be sold everywhere. And I think that will happen eventually, when proprietary ebook formats go the way of the Betamax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
B. Justin Shier said:
The sales folks generally live in their coverage areas (LA Region, Chicago Region, etc.) and fly to their corporate home bases and/or conferences only on occasion. I've heard that historically about 5-7% of net revenues was spent on sales forces, but that some of the bigs have been cutting back over the past decade. Random House was a noted exception to this trend. There were articles written in 2011 stating they were investing even more in direct commercial sales.

A quick search of Linked In shows that quite a few folks list this as their job in my region. Apparently some of the smaller presses pool their resources to hire independent commissioned reps. I don't know how much time these folks spend on the phone versus visiting sites. We'd have to get someone in the know to comment on that.

B.
I think your first post in this thread was in response to something I'd said (critical of the bookstores), and quite honestly I hadn't even considered the sales rep angle. I didn't know enough about it to begin to consider it.

So I just wanted to thank you for commenting and elaborating on the point. It certainly adds some nuance to a conversation we're very invested in, and now I would really love to know how much of this Amazon does (if any at all). Thanks for shedding that light!
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top