Posted by Morgan Caraway on 12/2/2018 to Opinion
The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, makes $2800.00 a second. Impressive, right? As you probably know, Amazon started out as an online discount bookstore and almost single-handedly, drove mom and pop book sellers to extinction. Now, you can buy just about anything on Amazon, and the vast majority is manufactured in China. Amazon has been so successful that even big-box store goliath Wal Mart has been forced to match their online prices and offer two-day shipping.
But, to go back a bit, as I said earlier, the foundation of Amazon was built on the backs of authors. Recently I uploaded my book, Ecological Awakening, to Amazon's kindle ebook store. At first I sold a decent amount of copies, good enough to briefly make it the top-selling new book in its category, but sales soon dropped off. I considered trying some advertising but to do so, I would have to offer my book on kindle unlimited, which basically means you give it away for free. There is a monthly fund shared among kindle authors but it came to light that most of it is stolen by unscrupulous authors who engage in "stuffing," which means, artificially inflating their pages read count by publishing the same material under different names. By doing this, these individuals have made up to $100,000 in a month. This leaves honest authors, such as myself, not making a penny off of our work.
Other problems I have with the way Amazon treats authors:
- Reviews (which can be hard to come by these days) are often erased without notice or explanation and others aren't posted. When I contacted support about this they asked, "What review," and asked me to tell them the date posted and exactly what it said, which I (of course) couldn't do, because it was gone!
- Even when you've purchased your own ISBN numbers, they won't let you list your book as a book but force you to put it in the "null" category - at least that's what they did to me. Who even searches the "null" category?
- With Create Space, Amazon paid more of a percentage of sales than many publishers do but much less than a good publishing service like Lulu.com. If you buy my latest work, The Book of Leaves there, I make as much as if I got it printed and mailed it myself. Does Bezos really need to add to his almost $3000 a second by underpaying starving authors and his employees?
Please buy directly from authors or from a fair book seller like Lulu.com. Starving authors everywhere will thank you!