Amazon, Authors, and Why I’m Wide

Where can I buy your books?

Paper cut of heart on old bookI’m so glad you asked.

In this day and age, you have so many options when it comes to choosing where to buy your books. I’m happy to say that you can find my books at most of your favorite vendors!

I am not, and never will be, an Amazon-only author.

I remember back in the early 1990’s, Amy Grant released a Christmas album that was exclusive to Target stores. That was a cool promotion, because she recorded a special song, and they did some cute ads together. But she didn’t pull all of her other music from other stores and only sell through Target. Target didn’t say, “Well, in order to promote you, you must agree to sell only at our stores.” That would be silly, right?

And yet, that’s what Amazon is doing to authors.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am fully cognizant of the enormous good Amazon did for indie authors. I know that if they hadn’t opened the door for us, the publishing world might not be where it is today. I appreciate that. I’m grateful. I’m perfectly okay with selling my books on Amazon and playing by their rules for the books they carry.

But the playing field there is far from level.

In introducing programs like Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited, Amazon offered certain advantages to authors who were willing to commit to things, like exclusivity. That’s their prerogative. It’s fair. But when they changed algorithms and standards so that KU and Amazon imprint books received more visibility and promotion as well as ranking advantages, that wasn’t cool. It wasn’t fair to authors OR to readers.

Essentially, Amazon offers me lower visibility and fewer advantages because I choose to publish wide. My books are on iBooks, Nook, Kobo and Google Play, among others. While the company might say that’s just their policy, it’s pretty crazy, when you stop and think about it.

If I chose to only publish with Amazon, my books wouldn’t be available in many countries around the world. They could only be read on a limited number of devices. And most troubling to me, Amazon would be in charge of my publishing destiny.

No, thank you.

And there’s more . . .

On Amazon, we as authors cannot set our books to free for a limited time, as we sometimes like to do when promoting a release. And because Amazon insists on being the lowest price on everything, if another vendor lowers the price one of our books, Amazon will price-match it, sometimes without our knowledge, or can even kick our book off its site. Amazon also can suppress reviews if it suspects a reviewer ‘knows’ the author.

I don’t trust the farmer.

Someone asked me recently why I didn’t like KU, why none of my books are in the program. I responded that I didn’t like the idea of putting all my eggs into one basket when I didn’t trust the farmer. And that’s the bottom line: I don’t trust them.

Any time you give a person or a company too much control over your product, your pricing and your promotion, you’re surrendering a big piece of your future to them.

I would never rule out a day when I might put ONE book into KU. Because I live by the motto Nothing ventured, nothing gained, refusing to take advantage of that program, if a time and book came along where it would fit, I might try it. But I will not put ALL my books into KU.

That’s why in 2017, you’ll see me working with other vendors even more. I’ll talk about that later, but it’s coming.

And you as a reader . . . think about where you’re reading. I have a Kindle, and it’s great. I also have an iPhone, and I read on that, too, both iBooks and on the Kindle and Nook apps.

Consider your options.

Meanwhile . . . did you know that you can buy my paperbacks in a ton of stores you might not expect? You can find my books at:

Walmart

Target

Books A Million

Barnes and Noble 

So keep reading. I’ll keep writing.

Peace, love and romance~

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