Just check the facts. #amazon #indiepress #indieauthor #publishing
The long and short of the story is this: Amazon has used indie book popularity to drive its business, but has been (and remains) hostile to the success of the indie author and small press market drivers. Once indie books began to slam the Top Sellers lists, the big publishing houses and their ally, Amazon, continually change the rules in the middle of the game for their own benefit.
- Amazon reduced the “weight” of each indie book sale through Amazon KDP from 100% to 10% to protect the big publishers
- When that didn’t work, they then began mass deletions of book reviews by indie authors — while protecting the reviews of paid reviewers from Fiverr working for the big publishers
- It still didn’t work well enough, so Amazon made unexlained changes to their algorithms that penalize self-published book rankings
- And most recently, algorithm changes affect the “Customers Also Bought” widget so that indie books are far less likely to appear than their sales numbers would deserve, while major publishers’ books are boosted.
- Big publishers then capitalized on the changes by offering their own pay-to-play vanity publisher imprints. They call it “self publishing,” but when you have to pay up to $2,500 to get published there, it’s a vanity press, not self publishing.
Unfortunately there aren’t truly viable alternatives that can match Amazon KDP’s market depth and breadth. So for now, we’re stuck indie publishing on Amazon.
And you know what? Amazon didn’t even buy us dinner first.