Why Amazon Marketplace “new” books are a bad bargain

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am in an abusive relationship.

This love/hate/hurt relationship is with Amazon.com. As a humble independent publisher, I need exposure at the world’s largest bookstore. Yet there are many troubling things about relationships that publishers like me have with Amazon. Some of this leaked out through a sequence of comments last night. PRIMMIE suggested I turn this into a post of its own. Good idea. Here comes an adaptation of what was discussed about Amazon. And them I’m going to move relevant comments to the comments section here.

If you ever buy books from Amazon, now read this. Please forward a link to any friends who buy books there. There’s something going on that you may not know about.

And if you know any publisher who sells books at Amazon, please forward a link as well. They could be losing money and not know it. If they’re willing to sacrifice a little time to deal with vexing formalities, they can (probably) stop being cheated in this way from now on.

What is for sale at Amazon?

Click on any book offered at Amazon. Usually you will find two kinds of listing. One is for regular books and the other is for Amazon Marketplace.

As a consumer, you would just know the convenience factor, right? Well, here’s inside information.

1. The book publisher has the main listing. Although there might be several others not from the legitimate publisher.

When books are sold through the publisher’s listing at the online bookstore, these copies are genuine new books, authorized for sale by the publishing company.

Amazon happens to take an outrageously large share of these profits, at least if the publisher chooses the “Amazon Advantage” Program. Service and listings are far worse with the regular program available to publishers. Worse than with any other bookseller. Definitely worse than when sold at the cover price through a publisher’s own website.

Why? Amazon Advantage demands a 55% discount, plus shipping from the bookseller. (Bookstores get 40% and legitimate book distributors like Ingram get 55%, but then ship books over to a bookstore.) Each order is for a machine-generated amount of books, so each order takes longer to pack. Personally, I spend 30 minutes on average per order, because I’ve gotten pretty efficient over the years.

But that’s okay, the good part of the relationship with Amazon. People can actually find me. No way can my one-person publishing company compete with the online clout of Amazon.

Most book buyers don’t understand that purchasing directly from a self-publisher’s website is a powerful way to support the publisher. Although many or most of you Blog-Buddies DO understand this, for which I am very grateful!

Amazon can afford to give discounts to customers. Because all the booksellers are paying for it anyway.

Smaller booksellers can’t compete with the volume traffic at Amazon. We can’t offer those discounts. Okay, fair enough.

2. Amazon Marketplace listings are also right up there, usually. Big problem!

For example, you might take a look at the detail page for my book from last year, Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy.

Right underneath essential information about purchase, with the publisher,  it says at the listing for this book of mine:

26 new from $11.99 3 used from $17.25 1 collectible from $12.17

Where do these “New” copies come from? Not the publisher! Zero  income from any of these sales will go either to the publisher or the author.

Sure, the listing makes it appear to be from the publisher. No way! Personally, I think it would be more honest to display something like this on screen:

Stolen, or otherwise fraudlently sold, copies called “New.”

Also used copies.

And one copy that was, unfortunately, autographed by the author. (Perhaps a review copy.)

Beware buying “new” copies in competition with legitimate copies

Most people don’t know better. They think the publisher is doing this.

Others think it’s a perfectly fine thing that people are doing with their own books. Blog-Buddy AMY put it beautifully in her Comment 2: (My italics added.)

“I think Rose is referring to sellers on Amazon who sell their own books through Amazon, not Amazon itself, although Amazon does take a hefty cut out of book sales anyway.”

Who are those sellers? I’m not so sure they are people who ever paid for a book in the first place. More on that later. But first:

What crazy kind of publisher would willingly sell books at discount in competition to his or her own books?

Does that even make sense? Especially because most big publishers like Random House and Hay House, not just independent publishers like me, have this same problem. Check out any newly published book, any brand new title from a large or mid-sized publisher. Aren’t there “new” copies sold in competition?

Even before the official publication date for a new title, those “new” copies are being sold from somewhere. Who obtains these books in the first place?

A hidden little business practice at Amazon

Because I personally ship all my publishing company’s Amazon orders, and track them, aha! I learned of a rather inconspicuous place at the PO records tab for vendors, online, where there will sometimes be a tiny little notification that an order from Amazon has been “cancelled.”

What an interesting and benign term. Oh, they just cancelled, did they?

When you take the time to follow up, you read that Amazon claims not to have received books that were requested by them, sent by the publisher, and then marked as “not received.” 

How many books per order? Depends.  Somewhere between 1 and 25 copies. Just pouf, gone. (Amazon says. And then cancels the order retroactively.)

What happens if a publisher doesn’t know to check up here? Publisher pays to print and ship the consignment books. Amazon pays nothing.

I only started noticing this about a year or so back. I talked with a colleague who handles distribution for a large group of publishers and she never knew to check. Probably most publishers do not know. Oops!

About all those missing books…

Once I found the “cancelled” orders, I would follow Amazon’s procedure for proving that I had shipped all of the books ordered — forcing Amazon to take responsibility for losing books in their warehouses.

What did I find, after I began sticking up for myself in this way? For months, Amazon would mess up approximately 1 in 4 orders.

Now the pace is picking up. Within the last six weeks, I had to write 7 reports in a row, each one documented meticulously with UPS proof of delivery. Sometimes I have to go through three or more rounds of email correspondence per request. Just so that Amazon will stop blaming me, the publisher, for losing books shipped as requested. Then Amazon will usually, eventually, “find” the books. A couple of cases, they don’t find the books but “magnanimously” agree to reimburse me anyway.

The plot thickens. Or worsens, for publishers.

Over the last six weeks or so, ha ha! Amazon has stopped adding the little notifications for most of the mishandled orders. Are they just too busy counting their money? Gone is the “Cancelled” notification. Why bother? To locate them now, I go through every single order, one at a time.

So that’s a pretty interesting problem right there, isn’t it? And it can’t be only me. I am such small potatoes to the large buffet feeding frenzy through Amazon.

My theory about where these “New” books come from

Many publishers don’t know to find the losses, or don’t bother to take the time — and it is hours and hours of time each month, even for this pretty small publisher — documenting and following up in order to receive funds for books that were shipped.

It is hours of very annoying work involved in recovery, each time. As noted, I suspect Amazon gets away with a lot of lost books that never have to be paid for with Amazon reimbursement.

As for losses that are reimbursed, maybe it’s just considered a cost of doing business. Surely it’s balanced out from all the income through the “wonderful” Marketplace program.

Very savvy friends of mine, including professional writers, have always assumed that “new” books sold through Amazon Marketplace were authorized by the publishers with some strange kind of marketing strategy.

Well, I suspect that all warehouse workers at Amazon aren’t all terribly honest. I think some have figured out that they can easily lift a few new books here, a few new books there, as orders come in.

If I’m correct, then these stolen books can be sold through a third party. How convenient, right? If you work in an Amazon warehouse, you have probably heard of Amazon Marketplace.

Now I don’t know how big a mess it really is over at Amazon, how big their pilferage is. Given how many of my books have fallen through some big hole in the Amazon sky, I do suspect there is stealing, and that this stealing happens a lot.

Starting from the day that Amazon stops this bad-karma trade of profiting off the sale of “New” books not from the publisher — in my dreams — I’ll bet there would be a whole lot fewer “Cancellations.”

Why would Amazon care?

Until somebody goes after Amazon legally, however, why would they ever be motivated to break this cycle? It’s profitable.

If they cared about ethics, something that does motivate people like you and me, they wouldn’t sell the extra “new” books in the first place. Period.

BTW, other “new” books come from “reviewers” who make income that way. Which is what I call “fraudulent,” personally. In the years that I worked as a book reviewer, I would donate books to the library, never sell them for my personal profit.

Still other books might be seconds or discarded copies from printers that make their way to sale without the publisher’s knowledge or consent. (Unless, of course, knowledge comes eventually. As when a reader complains to the publisher about a defective book sold through Amazon Marketplace as “new.” Which has happened to me, incidentally.)

What about the idea that people order these books from the publisher and then return them? Guess what.  They can return them for full price to a bookseller like Amazon. So why on earth would they turn around and sell them for less?

Or are supposedly “new” books purchased as gifts and then returned? How often does that really happen? If the books were purchased at Amazon, they can be returned for full price as well. If people call  my toll-free number or order securely at my website, they can return books, too. Anywhere people purchase new books they can return them, if in good condition, right?

Whatever pretty Hallmark-style pictures flow into people’s heads when imagining where on earth those cheaper “new” books come from? Throw those pretty pictures away, folks.

Mitch, who handles my appointments, has offered to take on this vexing and time consuming chore for me. But I do it. How else am I going to meet all those nice people in India?

Seriously, I do it as a spiritual exercise more than anything. Outrage has giving way to grimness and then a work-woman-like way of just spending the hours, having to prove obvious facts to a big old company again and again and again. Sometimes I do get really angry, but this happens less and less often.

I’ve written to the Attorney General in my state, as well as repeatedly to Amazon. I’ve complained to some reporter contacts. Nobody yet seems interested, and I do have a life with quite a few other things to do than launch a Quixotic crusade against the biggest book retailer in all the world.

Another publisher’s experience

One other self-publisher has come forth already, discussing this theme. Blog-Buddy ELAINE wrote:

Rose, I know this has some credence to it, and I haven’t investigated as you have. My self-published book I pulled from Amazon, and yet there are very recently 9 new copies from 3 sources that I never received any reimbursement for in the last 9 months.

Maybe people don’t think 9 isn’t very much, but out of my pocket it is.

I pulled my Kindle sales and paperback sales out of the program. Amazon is still listing it as “Buy it and we’ll let you know when it ships.”

ELAINE also commented:

And by the way, I have every right to sell copies of my own book, not only as a collectible (It’s the only way you can get a genuine autographed copy — through me) on Amazon, and also sell it as a seller. Get this: Amazon will not let me sell it “new” but only “used, like new.”

So how are others selling my book “new” but I can’t?

However, what I found out is I am constantly “outbid” on the price by other vendors on my own book. It’s almost an automatic process.

So many interesting surprises from Amazon

Back at the display page where Amazon responds to a search for Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy, three listings come up, actually.

There’s the publisher’s listing, flawed though it is.

Then come two completely separate listings, not with the publisher at all. Because why care, from  Amazon’s perspective?

31 thoughts on “Why Amazon Marketplace “new” books are a bad bargain”

  • 1
    Grace S. says:

    Hi, so just to be clear, if I’m buying directly from Amazon (not a 3rd party) you’re still getting your normal cut, even though they sell it at a discount?

  • 2

    GRACE S., it is a “normal cut” in that the publisher is being paid something.

    Otherwise, if a book is sold in a bookstore, the “normal cut” is for the publisher to get 60% of the cover price, less shipping.

    With Amazon Advantage, the “normal cut” is for a publisher to receive 45%, less shipping.

    Then there are the losses, and time spent addressing them, as I noted in today’s post.

  • 3
    Grace S. says:

    When you mention that Amazon sells supposedly new books and does not pay the publisher and author – how are they doing that?

    I’ve always been suspicious that there was scam going on. But you self-publish. How are they getting “new” copies of your books to sell?

  • 4
    Jody G. says:

    What???? I am shocked. How did they steal them? You mean like a publisher’s digital copy they printed themselves or something? Or the actual paper copy books?

    I am just really shocked. I don’t understand how this can happen. I am interested to hear your theory please, Rose.

  • 5
    Lara says:

    I find this really shocking as well. And I feel terribly naive, too.

    What was I thinking about those books that you see being sold for like a fraction of their RRP?!?

    I suppose I just thought “Gosh I wonder how this works. Is it excess stock?”

    So thoughtless!! And perhaps also not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth.

    What a horribly dishonest system that is being promoted. So out in the open!

  • 6
    Amy O. says:

    Wow, I did not think of that! That is not a nice prospect, makes me less likely use Amazon for any book buying now.

  • 7

    Just for fun, Blog-Buddies, look at what came into my email today:

    I am still in touch with the appropriate team about missing units. I request you to give us some more time to be able to fix this issue.

    Thank you for your patience while we work towards resolving this issue.

    Best regards,
    G Srilatha
    Member Services
    Amazon.com Advantage

    See comment below for background.

  • 8

    This communique is, I believe, the fourth one from Amazon about Case 36652861.It concerns four books they claim not to have received.

    Amazon staff really outdid themselves on this one, as I believe I have filed reports TWICE, offering UPS documentation that the order was properly shipped.

    This might be inaccurate, however. Saved items in a special email folder and with word processed documents, part of my lovely hobby about dealing with Amazon, number well over 100.

    Don’t make me check my records of all this, please. So not fun!

  • 9
    Jon says:

    Just to clarify, you aren’t saying ALL “New” book sales through Amazon Marketplace are sketchy, right?

    There are legitimate bookstores who use the Marketplace to sell new books they’ve acquired directly from the publisher, or through Ingram or another legitimate distributor.

    Generally, these won’t be deeply discounted, though, since booksellers don’t have a lot of margin to work with.

  • 10
    Jody G. says:

    Very, very disappointing.

    You’d think a company that relied on writers and publishers for the very existence of their own company would do their utmost best to respect and nurture the relationships they have with those people and businesses. You’d think.

    I understand that some companies and organisations can get so big and departmentalised that running them can be like running a small city. But where is the integrity, ethics and service? Is the mob working out of Amazon warehouses?

    As an aside Rose, I was wondering if your book “Wrinkles are God’s Makeup” will be returning to print? There are “New” copies on Amazon for $71.28 upwards, and a used one going for $173.95. Worth it, of course, but a bit out of my price range…

    And after finding out about this “New” book scam-type thing on Amazon, I know to not buy new books from there if they aren’t from the publisher. I haven’t done before because, with living outside of the USA, I worry about shipping. I will tell my friends and family though.

    I hope you get some more joy from Amazon. I like to do business with ethical companies.

  • 11

    JON, guess what? Here’s a chance for you to learn some things about the book business that most people don’t know… unless they happen to be in that wacky business.

    Why would a legitimate bookstore who use Amazon Marketplace to sell new books they’ve acquired directly from the publisher? All those books in a bookstore, whether a stand-alone independent or a chain like Barnees & Noble, the books for sale are there on consignment.

    No publisher is paid a penny until the book is sold. And publishers pay for the shipping.

    So a legit bookstore simply returns the books. Generally the publisher pays for that shipping also. That property never belonged to the bookstore, so why would they sell it?

    When Ingram or another legitimate distributor places a book at a bookstore, again, that book is there on consignment. Not a penny is placed by the bookstore. That book is certainly not the property of the bookstore. Or the distributor.

    Soooooooooooooo, when a bookstore can’t sell that book — or a customer who has special ordered the book changes his or her mind — guess what? The book is returned through Ingram to the publisher.

    However, you’re right about this part, JON: Booksellers don’t have a lot of margin to work with. Publishers don’t have much, either.

    How many of you Blog-Buddies knew that all the books in a bookstore are there at the expense of the publishers? We pay for author expenses, typesetting, printing, and shipping. We also pay to bill wholesalers like Ingram again and again, because some wholesalers are notorious for forgetting to pay, or for ordering and cancelling seemingly at whim. Wholesalers don’t care a great deal, generally.

    Expenses like these are why publishers have a cover price for a NEW book that allows us to make a small profit, given all those other expenses.

    Also, books are often damaged at the bookstore or in shipping back to the publisher. Who pays then? Usually the publisher.

    In conclusion, no bookstore or wholesaler has the right to sell a book through Amazon Marketplace. The only exception I can think of would be if a store purchases non-returnable copies from a publisher, which is highly unusual.

  • 12

    Aw, JODY. Sweet!

    Regarding Wrinkles Are God’s Makeup, currently very few copies remain from that first edition. It’s a box or two, here only.

    So I make those copies available only when people come in person for a workshop that I give in America or if they come here for a personal session.

    Some day, perhaps, I will rewrite the whole book etc. The reason for not simply doing a reprint is that the photos were very expensive, about $2,000 for the edition now for sale. I also worked on it for 9 1/2 years. It was a labor of love, for sure. Never thought of it as a business venture, though.

    Sorry for the inconvenience!

    I do hope you like the new books that come out over the years to come, anyway. And the Correspondence Course in Face Reading is a very good way to upgrade your skills if you’re on another continent.

  • 13
    Jon says:

    Wow, Rose, I think you’re getting a little carried away there. No bookstore has the right to sell through Amazon Marketplace?? Good grief, why not? Bookstores have as much right to use the internet to market their wares as anyone else.

    I actually know quite a bit about the book business. I managed a bookstore for many years. So, yes, I’m aware booksellers can return books to the distributor and/or publisher at any time. As you say, it’s basically a consignment arrangement. (Although, in the case of mass market paperbacks, the unsold books are usually just “stripped.” That is, the front cover is ripped off and returned to the publisher as proof the book was unsold and destroyed by the bookseller. The publisher then credits the bookseller the cost of the book. Saves a lot of shipping money.)

    Here’s the thing. Let’s say I’m a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and I carry your books in stock at my store. I have every right to sell those books through Amazon Marketplace, or via my website, or by phone to a customer who calls to inquire and wants the book shipped, or by mail-order catalog, or any other way I can come up with. Just like a copy sold to a local customer who comes into my store and purchases the book in person, the book is reported sold, and you get paid through the usual channels.

    Looking at the listing for Magnetize Money on Amazon, I see several Marketplace sellers who I’m pretty sure are doing just that. At least a couple of them are well-known local/regional bookstores I’m familiar with, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t pulling anything shady. Notably, they’re also selling at or very near the full retail price + four bucks or so for shipping.

    I don’t doubt what you’re saying about books going missing in shipping and then turning up at bargain prices on Marketplace. I’ve long suspected as much. Amazon absolutely needs to investigate and seriously tighten the security of their warehousing system.

    And I know for sure that some of the books that turn up on the Marketplace and elsewhere (ebay, etc.) are review copies that were never intended for sale. Industry-wide, there’s very little oversight of that. Large publishers just can’t afford to keep track of what happens to the thousands of review copies they send out.

    But saying that legitimate booksellers don’t have the right to sell books online (or is it just through Amazon for some arbitrary reason?) makes absolutely no sense.

  • 14

    JON, forgive me for assuming you didn’t know so much about the bookselling business. Thank you for having run a bookstore in the past. 🙂 And thank you for educating me that some of the booksellers at Amazon Marketplace are legitimate booksellers.

    Sure, if they own copies and pay for them, they have the right to sell them anywhere they like.

    It never occurred to me that someone would do this. Maybe because, in my opinion, it is such a nasty thing to do to a book publisher, to undercut their direct sales to make a very small profit per sale.

    The bookstore owners I have known love books, support authors, respect publishers. Surely they can find better ways to make money than doing something like this, competing in one of the few places today where a small press publisher can sell books.

    I’m glad you agree that it’s suspicious when books go missing in shipping and then turn up at bargain prices on Marketplace, that Amazon absolutely needs to investigate and seriously tighten the security of their warehousing system.

  • 15
    Jon says:

    I understand where you’re coming from. Selling books has become a hard business to eke a profit from for anyone who isn’t a huge corporate entity dealing massive volume. Most independent booksellers are just struggling to stay in business, trying to make enough sales to keep going any way they can. And with the ebook explosion, things aren’t looking to get any better for them. For an independent publisher like yourself, it’s different specific frustrations, but the same general tune, I’m sure.

    In defense of legit booksellers, it probably never occurred to them that selling on the Marketplace meant competing for sales with the publisher, just as it never occurred to you that they might want to sell there. I know I wouldn’t have ever thought about it that way, so this is an education for me (although I’m not in the business any more).

    I wonder, though, do you make more money on an Amazon sale or sale through Ingram? If the latter, I would suggest legit booksellers in the Marketplace are not really competing with you at all, since you’re ultimately getting a bigger cut than if the customer had ordered direct from Amazon. Of course, ordering direct from your website would be the best arrangement of all. And if Ingram is still as big a pain to deal with as they used to be, it may be kind of a wash either way. 😉

    The other thing is, frankly it doesn’t seem likely to me that the legit booksellers would sell many copies through the Marketplace, since they’re generally listing them at full retail price plus shipping (which is the only way they’d make any money on the sale). A customer would likely go for the direct sale from Amazon first, since the price is a few dollars less.

    Also just wanted to add, regarding what your fellow self-publisher Elaine said: “I am constantly outbid on the price by other vendors on my own book. It’s almost an automatic process.”

    It’s probably literally an automatic process. Many sellers in these kinds of online marketplaces use apps that automatically track other sellers’ prices on the same product and then reprice their own listing competitively, again automatically.

  • 16
    Ashley S. says:

    I just buy Rose’s books from her website now. I did buy my first book of hers from Amazon back when I hardly knew anything about her work and it might’ve been from one of those third-party sellers. It wasn’t really clear. But I later found Rose’s website and now I just buy from there.

    I think what Amazon is doing is super lame.

  • 17
    Lizzie says:

    I think that as long as each book worldwide doesn’t contain an individual barcode containing the title, the author, who printed the book with a physical address, the responsible collaborator and the date of printing, authors will be defrauded forever.

    The info in the barcodes could be accessible online publicly for anyone to see if a book has been produced legally, where it was printed, and each printed batch of books could be authorized for printing by authors online for example. If this hasn’t been done so far, it’s just because authors haven’t sued those fraudsters efficiently enough. I think there will be such barcodes in the future, we just have to wait and see…..

    I, for example, have received one of your books from New Zealand and I sent you the exact infos from the parcel (address, mailing number etc.).

  • 18

    LIZZIE, you’re right. It was very interesting that a European customer would receive an American book via New Zealand.

    I am so touched that you care. Same for the rest of you who have commented here at this thread.

  • 19
    Jody G. says:

    Lizzie, was that through Amazon? What a strange network.

  • 20
    Lizzie says:

    It was through Amazon, and a regular order, not from the Marketplace. On the package there was NO sender address and nothing suggesting it came from Amazon.

  • 21
    Renee says:

    One of the things going on here is that there are people who buy books new and used from booksales. Booksales at libraries, schools, universities etc. There are booksales all over all the time. Most of the books are donated for whomever is selling them, and the proceeds are used to support that institution.

    “Dealers” go to these sales. They have scanners to scan the barcodes and buy books that they can resell on Amazon, Ebay or elsewhere.

    These are books that have already been purchased and are being resold.

    So that is where some of the “new” copies come from. For example, let’s say I had two copies of one of Rose’s books (which I do with many of them) I could sell a copy brand new online. Or donate a copy to my local library, who in turn would sell it at a booksale and then it may end up on line. Just for the record I have never done this with one of Rose’s books, but I have given them as gifts.

    Also when you buy a book as “New” directly from Amazon and not a private seller the shipping cost can be 3 times or more the shipping cost of $3.99 you pay when buying from a Marketplace seller. So not only are you getting the book discounted but also the shipping is less.

    There is always the possibility of fighting fire with fire and selling your own books through Marketplace as well. Make up a name for you store front, provide them with a checking ac# to deposit funds and off you go listing your own books on Marketplace annonomously.

    Whether or not books are magically disappearing and then ending up online, who knows but it wouldn’t surprise me. Unfortunately there is probably not a whole lot you can do about it except, as I said, sell your own books thru Marketplace and recoup some lost revenue that way.

  • 22

    Amazon Rabattcodes…

    […]Deeper Perception Made Practical » Why Amazon Marketplace “new” books are a bad bargain[…]…

  • 23

    […] -This publisher may put out insuferably new-agey-hippy books, but she does a great job of explaining … […]

  • 24
    Jill Erin says:

    I got a good laugh out of this one, Rose. Obviously this blogger has never read any of your books and passed judgement after only perusing the subjects. An obvious bias. But, otherwise a good commentary on Amazon for anyone interested.

  • 25

    Blog-Buddies, I really hoped I was through with complaining about Amazon, but noooooooo.

    Check out this post from Oct. 14, 2012:

    //www.rose-rosetree.com/blog/2012/10/14/a-new-way-that-amazon-com-may-be-cheating-publishers/#more-7559

  • 26
    margaret evans says:

    I self published a children’s book way back in 2007. I eventually listed it on amazon and I found to my despair that it was also listed by other sellers at greatly inflated prices. Despite many attempts to conclude the problem it never got resolved and I never did sell any books through amazon!

    I then pursued the process further with 2 other publishers and still got nowhere. Finally I give up the chase and I am still pursued by the last publisher who has had hundreds of pounds from me to ‘promote the book’. All the years of effort proved totally unsuccessful. What is so sad is that I faithfully thought that by sheer determination I may one day succeed and make some money, but sadly it is not to be.

    Regards and good luck to all writers.
    Permanently disappointed.

  • 27

    Ouchers! Thanks for writing here, MARGARET EVANS. It is sad to read about your experiences with Amazon and publishing.

    Although not uncommon.

    I have read that a self-published book sells, on average, 100 copies.

    By contrast, a national bestseller in the U.S., sells 125,000 copies.

    I’m so glad that you did bring your dream of publishing into life, even though further dreams didn’t materialize as you had been led to expect.

    Your successfully pursuing that dream was the one achievement over which you had control, given the gritty world of publishing.

    Amazon.com continues to do wicked, greedy things.

    Including business practices that are just plain weird, such as recently barring independent reviewers — like the superb Midwest Book Review and Irene Watson’s Reader Reviews.

    It makes no sense to me why some executive at Amazon.com recently decided to go into their bookselling website and, without notice, remove all book reviews by the nation’s most reputable, impartial, professional, not-for-sale reviewers. The best reviewers in self-publishing for independents like you and me. An extraordinary move from the world’s biggest bookseller.

    Could be called a gratuitious insult to every indie publisher in America… As well as punishment to volunteer reviewers who have superb integrity, helping to educate librarians and book buyers, enforcing standards of quality.

    Sigh! Well, I also don’t enjoy that I still send, on average, one complaint to Amazon per week. Because books keep mysteriously disappearing from boxes sent, and if I don’t spend this time, Amazon.com (and also, perhaps, pilfering warehouse staff active on Amazon Marketplace) — they profit.

    Is it foolish of me to spend 15-30 minutes every week of my life to demand reimbursement for $6 or so (the small amount of income that goes back to the publisher after Amazon gets its 55% discount on a book that sells for $14.95)? I do this on principle.

    Also, I do it as a kind of spiritual exercise, not letting myself indulge fury over the time I choose to spend contending with Amazon’s little procedures for requesting their assistance.

    All this self-publisher does, MARGARET, is keep doing the best she can. Sounds like you have always done that as well.

    Thanks again for your contribution here at “Deeper Perception Made Practical.”

  • 28
    margaret evans says:

    Dear Rose
    Just one question! How do I publish and sell all the other works I have written? I still live in hope!

    And may I add thank you for spending all the time effort and stickability to fight the good fight.

    Good Luck and God Bless Margaret Evans

  • 29

    My publisher does “special deals” on which I get paid a pittance – books are sold at less than a fifth of the sales price to Amazon.. .these are supposed to go to shops selling remaindered books in down market areas….

    Someone at my publisher told me the name of two of these cos that are supposed to sell in these cheaper down market areas.. So I called them up.

    Where do they sell them too….. cheap malls in down market areas? … nope, it turns out they are sold on to Amazon marketplace traders, where they undercut my book at the main Amazon site

    Thanks publisher for shafting me!

  • 30

    David Lawrenson, I’m so sorry for your loss — of money, of faith.

    I celebrate your incredulity. As a person of honor, you could not imagine this.

    And I’m glad that you will always be a writer and help your people. Corruption in publishing cannot take that from you, at least.

    Thanks for writing here.

  • 31

    Will suggest they compensate me and pay the full Royalty rate based on what they would have got if sold to Amazon direct and not to these middle men. f***** g idiots!..

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