One of the funniest happenings in self-publishing land has been brewing over the last two weeks. None of my self-pub groups can concentrate on anything else. Their flailings make most escort discussion board threads look rational.
Amazon (one poster called it â€œthe self-publisherâ€™s best friendâ€ â€“ I have never subscribed to that notion) has decided to force the POD issue and only carry books by its own POD manufacturer BookSurge. I realize this means diddly for most of my blog readers. My amusement comes from something other than technical details.
The accusations of an Amazon monopoly and threats of lawsuits are flying. Protest letters have already been signed and press releases sent out. All of it is baseless. Amazon is merely a retailer. They can stock whatever they want, and refuse whatever merchandise they want. (Trust me, Iâ€™ve learned this lesson very well over the past couple years. The small publishing industry has happily pounded it into my head.) They are not the only bookseller, online or off, in the world. People seem to forget that. If youâ€™re not writing escort books itâ€™s really easy to get into most of these other retailers.
A few months ago, I complained about Amazon and their lack of customer service for me, a self-publisher. I wasnâ€™t flamed, but I was smartly chastised for daring to suggest Amazon wasnâ€™t the best choice for us little people. Though I doubt anyone will remember my posts, I certainly do. I stand by my assessment.
Iâ€™m also laughing because all these self-publishers decided to do it the lazy way and used POD printing or subsidy-publishing (confusingly referred to as â€œselfâ€ publishing); now that decision is biting them in the ass. Iâ€™m doing it the old-fashioned, capital-intensive, pain-in-the-ass way. I can take my books anywhere I want and do anything I please. Being a girl-scout, I did my homework and made the decision recommended by self-publishing gurus. Though I have many, many problems with the whole publishing industry, this advice was spot-on. Iâ€™m glad I listened. This does not imply I havenâ€™t made other mistakes, but Iâ€™ve done what I can to give myself the best possible chance for success.
And yes, Iâ€™m still irritated that Amazonâ€™s pokey inventory system has kept my stock at 0 for most of March, which has cost me untold sales. This happens every other damn month and is getting old. Thatâ€™s one of my biggest Amazon complaints.
They donâ€™t believe in my books.