Good afternoon, everyone! Thanks for checking in at Too Many Books to Count today. I really look forward to seeing what you guys think of my posts, and this series has (strangely) been a lot of fun.
Since last time I talked about things that RAD has had to deal with concerning Amazon, I thought the logical progression would be to talk about my own dealings with the company.
Now, remember, when I first published Telekinetic, it was through Xlibris. I paid them to publish my novel, to edit it, and to market it. And Xlibris works with Amazon, in what little capacity they can. Xlibris sells their books on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, pretty much all over the place. They also jack the price up so that they’ll make money on it, which lowers the amount of buyers and lessens the amount of money an author can make through their work... but I digress.
Amazon vs. the Author
In publishing through Xlibris, I initially thought I was working with a company that could work with Amazon, a company that was used to dealing with them.
Here’s the thing with Amazon though. Because they set the prices, because they’re determined to have the lowest prices around for every book they sell, the people who publish through Createspace sell their books for pennies. I’m not even joking. You’ve seen it. You can get the ebook for under a dollar, or the paperback for twenty.
Xlibris couldn’t compete with that. They couldn’t afford to sell the ebook for such a small price. And I’ll tell you why. While people will tell you that ebooks are pure profit, that nothing goes into making them, it’s a complete and utter lie. Time goes into it. The time you took to write your novel, and the time to edit it. The time it took to format it, to insert the scene spacers and make everything look pretty. Not to mention the money you paid your editor.
Unless you publish through Createspace (and skip the editor), there’s just no way for it to be worth it.
That’s my personal experience with them. I manage my own KDP account, I put out ads and do everything I can to get people to buy the book, but it generally amounts to nothing. And why? Because people would rather pay ninety-nine cents than five dollars. And I can’t say that I blame them, but those people are not the readers I’m looking for, the people I want to buy my books.
My books are long. They just are. They’re five times the length of the average kindle book. Yeah, I’m not even joking.
Thing is, even when I’ve tried catering to readers who like longer works, I’ve struggled to get any traction on Amazon. Why? Because Amazon doesn’t like to push sales from anyone who isn’t published through Createspace. Oh, sure, you can pay for them to advertise, but you’ll have to pay an arm and leg to reach the same level of exposure they automatically give to their authors.
And again, it makes great business sense! Amazon is a very smart company. They’re really good at what they do. But they’re also pushing everyone else out of the way while they do it.
Think about it: when’s the last time you bought a book that wasn’t on Amazon?
That right there was the biggest problem I had with Amazon. There are millions of authors on there, most of whom published through Createspace, and most of whom are willing to sell their book for a pittance of what it’s worth.
I can’t bring myself to sell out. I just can’t. I can’t price my book lower than what it’s worth. And I can’t bring myself to work with a company that doesn’t want my business anyway.