Writer Folks – Time to “Man-up” about Amazon. You don’t matter that much.

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Okay.  So there are reasons to whine and complain about the “Big A”.   Some would say the “A” stands for another choice word due to Amazon’s supposed evil actions in the marketplace.   I hear writer folks complaining about Amazon/KDP/Authors Central saying that  —  “They never answer my questions.”  or  “They mess up my rankings.”  or  “They take forever to respond to email inquiries.”     I would say to those who whine,  time to GET REAL.

Get Real

Get Real Point # 1 –    Amazon could care less about you. (unless you sell a gazillion books a year)  –   Amazon sells more books than anyone in the world.  No one is as good at it as they are.   Your teeny weeny title just isn’t important to them.  You ARE NOT on their radar screen as someone they have to impress.   They may even act in ways that scream out – “Please go away”.  That’s life.


Get Real Point #2 –  Amazon is NOT going to provide you with a glowing customer service experience.   They will take 3 days, 7 days, whatever # of days they feel like to get around to answering your question/concern/complaint via email.  Hey – that’s why so many big organizations are using email as a way to correspond to customer service inquiries –  THEY JUST DONT CARE !!!  YOU’RE NOT IMPORTANT TO THEM !!!


Get Real Point #3 –   No other distribution site is trying to do more for writers, especially for independent writers.  Amazon created KDP Select for writers to boost sales for writers AND for Amazon.  It works.  Hands down not a single indie writer that I’ve connected with is reporting a bad experience.  Some are simply reporting a “less” good experience. I would venture to say it has helped more indie writers sell more books than anything else that’s happened in the past few years.   Now its a big world out there, so I’m certain that there are folks out there who would vehemently disagree and no doubt could tell some type of horror story about Amazon/KDP Select that would curl my hair, but they would be the exception.  But,  here’s the flip-side…..  – you no likey, then you no sign up-ey.  Optional baby!  But don’t bitch and moan about the world’s most successful and innovative book distribution site when they are REALLY trying to do something good for themselves AND for writers.


— Okay, so now I can dispense with the silly “Bullet Points”.   Realize what Amazon is and what it will NEVER be.  It is not your PARTNER.  It is not your friend or enemy.  It is not in the business of making you the next bestselling writer.  It is simply a place through which all of us can choose to distribute our product.  Take it just as it is.  Don’t expect anything.  Once you get this concept locked in your brain, THEN maximize what Amazon can do for you.  Take advantage of what they offer.  Explore other distribution sites.   Selling books is a business.  Amazon sells more than anyone.  That gives them them power in the marketplace.  You, as a teeny little writer with a few titles selling a few thousand copies a month/quarter/year DO NOT matter to them.


Now –  get busy selling books!  And use Amazon to assist in that endeavor (or use someone else).  We need them, more than they need us.

  1. My favorite line from this post: ‘you no likey, then you no sign up-ey.’ Love it!

    I’ll say this. I’ve only been at Amazon for about a month and a half now, and I’ve had FAR more success than I did at all the other major online retailers combined in 9 months. I don’t know why people are fighting Amazon so hard. Amazon is a business. They’re not publishers in the traditional sense. Meaning, they’re not going to actively push your book. That’s your job as an indie author. They’re in the business of making money, for themselves and the authors that choose to publish with them. And they’re sure not going away, so my advice is to embrace it. It’s a wonderful thing.

  2. I like your post, Andy, because it lays it on the line. Good for you. I actually have zero complaints about Amazon. They have always made things right for me, as a consumer, when I had issues – replaced defect products and sent second shipments when the first didn’t show up (no questions asked). They sent me a nice email offering another freebie book day when they had difficulties on one of my promotional days and it didn’t start until about 2 p.m. They pay on time and they pay the right amount as far as I can tell. More importantly, for me anyway, they have offered a way me to make my dream of being a published author come true. It’s hard work, but that’s my choice – not some agent’s or publisher’s – thank goodness.

    Personally, I love Amazon and they don’t have to love me back. 🙂

  3. juliabarrett says:

    It’s a distribution network. By the way, I did have an issue and received excellent customer service!

  4. C. says:

    All true. The fact is that five years ago, there was no way to share our art without paying a vanity press to print off a thousand copies and force us to rent out a storage unit. Now we can do it for pretty much free, *and* have a great method of distributing our work.

    No brainer. Don’t bite the service that may one day feed.

  5. Wendy says:

    WOW…I like it !!!!!
    An analysis that was deep, but above all very logical.
    I wonder how people can not tell about something as elemental?
    must be the human ego, that sometimes is too big, and blinds us.
    And please, forgive my mistakes in writing, if i am very literal, remember that my English is not good.

  6. jodylebel says:

    Big corporations are cold, cold, cold. It’s all about numbers. You gotta ump in and be one of their numbers. If you’re looking for warm and fuzzy, then buy something from Zappos. Those guys are great!

  7. AngelaKulig says:

    I am SO. Tired. Of hearing people complain about Amazon. If I knew them IRL I’d grab them and shake them. Amazon sells more ebooks of mine than everyone else combined–and our distributor has them on some strange foreign websites. (Oddly bn sells more print books of mine) What is worse, is that traditionally published authors (with larger publishers and larger indie publishers) are on this huge boycott Amazon kick and I KNOW that Amazon is selling a lot of their books so it feels more like they are calling for a boycott of US like we are really the ones they are trying to kill off. My indie publisher can’t get our books into indie book stores in the US yet, no matter how many books we have sold and it is a decent number. I am blogging about this later. It’s insane and personal.

  8. Great post! We’re grownups. No one is going to hold our hand. I suspect that those who complain the most about Amazon either (a) Aren’t very good writers and need someone to blame for the lack of their success. (b) Expect someone to make it easy for them. (c)Are freaked out by indie publishing because it represents change.

  9. Amazon IS doing more for independents than so many independent others! No independent could compete with the blockbusters and big publishing houses before. That has all changed with KDP Select!

    My question, what is B&N going to do? To compete they need to be creative- wouldn’t it be great to see them provide more opportunities for the face time with indy-authors? But, just a few months ago, they laid off quite a few people in their small press department.

  10. Pete Denton says:

    Great post, Andy. I am still drafting my novel so haven’t experienced Amazon first hand yet, but I know that when my book is finished they are definitely an option. Before they came along you were hoping to strike it lucky and get a traditional deal or you’d have to pay for the pleasure of seeing your work out there. Amazon changed the market and the dust is still settling, but I like the landscape. It gives me more hope. 🙂

  11. I put two books on and paperback and Kindle ( By Land, By Sea and The Twilight People ) on March and June last year, I know friends and relatives have bought them but every time I try to contact them abour royalties I can’t get through, especially about the kindle books, sad…

  12. Andy, I forgot to say, you should’ve titled this post, Amazon, they’re just not that into you. (like the book 😉

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