Amazon and Freedom

I’ve been reading about disgruntled publishers pulling out of dealing with Amazon for months now. Upset over the percentage that Amazon is demanding. It’s head-scratching stuff.

Let’s get this out the way first: Amazon is a giant in the world of e-commerce. No, let me rephrase that, Amazon is the giant. The majority of online buyers that I know go to Amazon. They have no need for Joe Bloggs Publishing, no need to care. All Amazon wants is to continue making massive profits. Which is fair enough. For anyone who has worked in the corporate world, this comes as no surprise.

We are also in the small publishing boat. It’s difficult to get titles seen, read, and Amazon gives a small publisher the biggest possible audience.

Or does it?

Most people go on Amazon knowing exactly what they want to buy. And if they don’t know what they want to buy, Amazon will recommend them (based on sales targets/profit margins) what they need to buy through banners and emails and buy it together bundles.

Your average, unknown small press will have little to no coverage on Amazon.

What this tells us is that it’s the independent publisher‘s job to get their book seen and read and, hopefully, bought. And if it’s the independent publisher’s job to get their books read then it’s the independent publisher’s job to get their books sold. You don’t need Amazon for that – if you’re unhappy with Amazon’s pricing there are a million other ways to sell your books, the most obvious of which is purchasing through Paypal on your own website (or creating an e-commerce store of your own, or selling through other online stores, or starting off your own store with other publishers etc).

If you’re unhappy with the way big business works, take matters into your own hands. After all, that’s what being independent means. Stop turning round and blaming Amazon for being the biggest. The freedom is ours – we, the ever-hungry consumer, choose who we crown and who we bury.

Bogdan Tiganov

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