So How’s Amazon Treating You These Days?
Posted by ME
We’ve suffered through another round of Amazon bashing lately, but for the life of me I cannot remember what the brouhaha was this time. I know we already live through the stink about how they changed how authors got paid for book borrows (like anyone else was paying you every time someone borrowed your book from them… but I digress), and I do understand a lot of authors were upset at the switch to being paid per page read instead of per borrow. It’s about equalizing things, but I know it doesn’t feel that way if you were getting enough traffic that it was a significant part of your income.
We also put up with yet more complaining about the exclusivity contract of KDP Select, as though Amazon was somehow requiring authors to list their books in Select for so many cycles before they could choose to sell it elsewhere. They could do that, you know… but they haven’t.
Oh, I remember now… Amazon has a physical bookstore but they are selling books besides indie authors’ works. That was it.
Again, what has Walmart done for your book lately? Target? Barnes and Noble? A local bookshop, if you’re lucky enough to live in a town that even has one?
No one owes us anything as authors except the ability to write and (hopefully) publish. It’s amazing how many people have forgotten that, for a long time there, Amazon was the only one to offer that second option to the entire literate–and even not-so-literate–world. The fact that there are humans on this planet who’ve read my books means Amazon did something that literally no one else on earth was willing to do: give me a platform from which to publish and sell my work.
Are we seriously angry that Amazon keeps adapting its business model to ways that will let it continue to do what it does? Are we upset that they decided to sell toilet paper as well as books? (My ADD thought: did you know you can buy a coffin on Amazon, like, a serious, for-real, “get buried in it” coffin?)
Folks, we have to face the facts. There’s a lot of books to read out there, and only so many hours in the day. Amazon is doing its part by giving your work a place to stand. Are you doing your work by writing it and selling it?