Amazon.com What They Really Do
Amazon.com became a revolution. You could order books at a huge discount. They were delivered right to your door. Amazon is currently undercutting every distributor on the planet. Many people are cheering as they think the prices are going down.
Then Amazon bought a defunct vanity press and set up their own self-publishing company called Createspace.com. They were undercutting other self-publishing companies like crazy. Lulu.com originally charged $99.95. Createspace was charging only $35.00. Wow!
As someone self-publishing at that time, it was a deal. NOT. The only way I get a good royalty is if people buy directly from my assigned Createspace account. Amazon takes a 55-60% discount before putting books in their on-line business. I knew they took a 40% discount on some of my other books not done with them. That's 40% I don't get paid on. Hmmm.
It gets worse, Amazon wants to monopolize the publishing industry. They do not offer editing. They allow anyone to publish anything. My books were all edited before going to print. Several times. Amazon is short stocking books not published by them or using them as the main distributor. I know. I have a hard cover that was picked up immediately by Barnes and Noble. I am still waiting for Amazon to pick it up. They carry the paperbacks and e-book.
They have given my publisher fits. Small publishers are getting the short end because of Amazon's shenanigans. The whole goal for Amazon is to put independent bookstores out of business. They have already taken out Borders. Many Mom and Pop bookstores are hurting.
If you buy my current book through the account Amazon has for my publisher, I get about $4/book in royalties. Most people will just look on Amazon.com and purchase it. That gets my royalty cut in half. In order to make money for me, I have to be a million seller. It is the reason the large publishing houses take very few in any unknowns. I don't know a million people. So, that is not going to happen any time soon. It is the same reason I am about 10 books short of paying for those I self-published.
Amazon is NOT kind to indie authors. They make you think they are, but you have no control over pricing. If you use their KDP for e-books they want it guaranteed that they have exclusive sales rights for ninety days. Meaning no one else can sell it. I have Nook readers. They would have to wait three months longer to get the book. Bookstores will not take books published by Createspace. I know. I have talked to several different ones in different states.
If you are a serious writer and want to be published, my suggestion is find a small press. If you find a good one, they will help you achieve your goals. It won't happen over night, nothing ever does. I have been writing since I was a pre-teen. I did all the type-setting and found a printer for my first book. That was 1978. I ended up giving most of them away. My first self-published book using a vanity press came out in 2004. Then I found Lulu.com and have one book through them. Someone told me to try Createspace. I have one book through them. It took two years to get my latest book into print. I have a small publisher. She works as hard on my book as I do. She is part of a two person team and they work well together. I am not her only author. She has four or five other books coming out this year, including another one of mine. Take the time to learn about publishing and marketing. You'll be happy you did.