Five reasons why Amazon is good for authors

Lately there seems to be a campaign to persuade us Amazon is evil. But that’s definitely not true from where I’m standing. From an author’s perspective, Amazon is great. Here’s why.

  1. Amazon is good at selling books.
    Don’t believe the anti-Amazon propaganda that says they’re not proper booksellers. Amazon stocks an enormous range of titles and uses the power of its website to help you find what you want. Those ‘people who bought this, also bought that’ recommendations have helped me discover books I might never have found any other way and some of those books that have changed my life. (more about that in another post)And once you’ve decided what to buy, Amazon lets you do it easily. It offers great customer service, prompt delivery and a good returns policy, so customers trust it and buy more books. That’s definitely good for authors.
  2. Amazon’s associate scheme helps us make more money from our books
    If we join the Amazon Associate scheme, we can link the books on our websites to the relevant pages on the Amazon site and earn at least 5% commission on any sales that result. That’s almost as much as I earn in royalties – more in some cases. The money arrives in my bank account faster too, monthly instead of half yearly.Of course, Amazon aren’t the only online bookshop with an associate scheme, but theirs is particularly well designed.  I’ve experimented with a couple of others, but neither could match Amazon for ease of use or quality of reporting. I didn’t get as many sales through them either – customers trust Amazon and are used to buying from them.
  3. Amazon has opened up the e-book market by developing the Kindle.
    E-books had lurked on the horizon for years before Amazon put its money and skill into launching the Kindle and the Kindle store. They produced what customers wanted and triggered the e-book revolution. Judging by everyone I know, people with Kindles buy more books and that’s definitely good for authors.
  4. Amazon has opened up new ways to publish books.
    Through Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, Amazon has made it easy for authors to publish their own books and get them into readers’ hands. I love this change. It’s liberating to finally have a viable alternative to the traditional route to publication – no more long waits, no more loss of control and no more unreasonably restrictive competing works clauses.
  5. Amazon treats authors well. 
    If we self-publish with Amazon, we – the creators – receive a much larger chunk of the profits from our work than we get from traditional publishers.  The staff answer questions quickly, and the system lets us see our up to date sales figures at any hour of the day or night.

I’ve dealt with Amazon as a customer, an associate and an author since 1999 and watched them steadily improve their site and the way they work. They’re not destroying the book industry, but they are changing it. That must be uncomfortable for those who see their own role in the industry changing or even disappearing. But those changes are opening up a whole range of opportunities for authors.

If you are interested in self-publishing, you’ll find plenty of information to help you on www.helpwithpublishing.com.

 

3 thoughts on “Five reasons why Amazon is good for authors

  1. Krista Michelle Breen

    Thanks Diana for telling it like it is! I’m saddened when forums like Jane Badger’s are home to anti-Amazon trolls. Not Jane’s fault, just try and post something positive and see how fast the fur flies.

    Amazon allows me to reach readers in the whole world. Fairly, elegantly and affordably. Classic pony books and books sadly out of print have a new lease on life, and new young readers to love them.

    People like to go on and on about how much they love their authors, and then are only happy when they purchase their book on ebay or at a thrift store. Really this is the worst possible way to show your support. Sorry pony book trolls sometimes you are just wrong.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Princess Krista

  2. Moira Butterfield

    Here, here, Diana. Ok, so there’s a lot of rubbish on Amazon, but they’re giving professional authors the chance to try new things. It’s up to us to make sure we stand out from the crowd, and prove those trolls wrong.

  3. Gill James

    I agree with pretty much everything you say BUT I do query the quality of some self-published books – and the “print” quality of some of the books transferred to Kindle by the Big Six. There is some very sloppy formatting. Fortunately, my tech savvy husband has written a programme that converts a word document or PDF into something that works well with Amazon Kindle. So our books are pretty clean.
    Amazon is user-friendly BUT there is some poor programming in there. In some cases you can look at four different types of preview and still the “print” comes out wrong.
    There are many things I love about Amazon and a few I frown at. I do ask how some more obscure but worthy books had any visibility before Amazon.

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