Amazon Is Not Nice, But It’s Your Best Friend

But It’s Your Best Friend

Complain all you want, but for self-publishers, Amazon is your best hope

If you self-publish, don’t criticise Amazon too much, because, who else gives you so much opportunity?

Okay, I have moaned about certain aspects of how Amazon treats authors, and in particular about paying all authors fairly, but certainly not about how many opportunities it gives authors.

If you compare Amazon to any other ebook retailer, who can challenge Amazon for new ideas, innovation and marketing tools for authors?

If we start with the Kindle itself, Kindle apps, KDP, KDP Select, free ebook promotion days, print on demand paperbacks, Countdown Deals, Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Ads and a host of linking and marketing tools, including the very useful <embed> tool for easy book promotion, it’s quite a list of achievements.


So, who comes close? No one.

Amazon has so many customers. It is the biggest online retailer in the world, offering everything including groceries, electrical, phones, computers, clothes, gardening tools, music, movies, tv shows and much more.

At some point, a percentage of these customers will buy books or ebooks. Amazon Prime members even get a free book every month.

No other online book retailer has this huge number of customers visiting their site on a regular basis.

It is by the sheer weight of numbers that Amazon sells more ebooks, books and audiobooks than any other retailer.

If you add the fact that you can self-publish in a few minutes and have your book or ebook available on by far the biggest book retailer in the world, you need to stop and think for a moment.

Amazon owes authors nothing, but it gives authors every possible opportunity, tool and means to succeed.

If you don’t succeed, it is not the fault of Amazon. If your book doesn’t sell, it’s not Amazon’s fault. It’s because your book didn’t attract book buyers.

That’s the nature of the book market. To have a book or ebook published and made available to millions of potential book buyers is a fantastic opportunity that Amazon gives to all self-published authors. What more could you want?

Who else can do this? No one.

Amazon has allowed millions of authors to be published and to have their books available for sale on Amazon, worldwide.

As for Barnes & Noble, well, who knows what they are doing now after dumping their UK Nook customers. As for Apple, it seems it is not all that serious about ebooks.

So, for those who wish to malign, criticise and demand change from Amazon, I would counsel to take a deep breath, have a careful think about it all, take a cold shower, and then decide who really butters your bread.

Amazon has supported self-publishing authors to the maximum and offers more sales potential than any other ebook or book retailer.

Amazon is a big enterprise, and because of this, at times, it is not the most vendor friendly company around. But why complain about the best opportunity you have in self-publishing?


Further reading: Why The Amazon Books Store Has A Monopoly


Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Is Not Nice, But It’s Your Best Friend

  • October 7, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    It’s really hard to see, who out there, can possibly challenge ‘strongly’ the field of ebook and audiobook sales.
    I agree that Amazon owes us, the Author nothing, but it does afford us an incredible opportunity to use ‘skyscraper’ tactics to better boost ones marketing and promotion…the rest they say is up to us!…
    “Don’t bite the hand that feeds!’.

    Robert – Author, kindkebookpublisher and founder of

  • April 12, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I agree with this. Sure, Amazon could be more generous and a little more ethical with regard to indie authors. But indie authors would still mostly be hawking books out of the trunk of their cars, hoping to sell a few hundred a year, if it weren’t for Amazon and the Kindle revolution. Maybe after I’ve got a little more self-publishing experience under my belt, I’ll whine and bitch about Amazon, but in the meantime, I recognize that they’ve given me an unprecedented opportunity to reach a global audience without having to ask a publisher if I can say the things I want to say in my book.


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