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

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Amazon Is Not Nice

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

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

Okay, I have complained 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, Createspace paperbacks, Countdown Deals, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Scout, 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.

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, before complaining.

So why am I writing this post?

Because I have read so many blog posts recently, which ask, demand and whine about how Amazon, KDP and KDP Select are terrible, unfair, nasty and treat self-published authors badly.

Well, take a step back from moaning and think a little more clearly.

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 all self-published authors. What more could you want?

Who else can do this? No one.

Amazon has allowed over five million ebooks to be published and made available for sale on Amazon, worldwide.

To put this in perspective, Smashwords have published around four hundred thousand ebooks. Less than ten percent.

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

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.

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

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

One thought on “Amazon Is Not Nice, But It’s Your Best Friend

  • 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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