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Old 12-05-2008, 02:21 AM   #91
brecklundin
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
So, it has been 1 year. And in that time, the 11 books I have had in the Kindle store have netted me... (drumroll, please) ...$50 and change.

In fact, I didn't know I had made even that. That's because Amazon's 3 payments showed up unobtrusively in April, July, and October, and were so small as to be practically unnoticeable.

Since I hadn't noticed the payments, I tried calling Amazon to speak to someone about it. I was told there was no phone number to call to the DTP department. I was given 2 e-mail addresses. I got no responses from either. So I went to the forum, where I left a message, and another author gave me a third e-mail address. Again, I received no answer. Finally, I submitted a second e-mail to the forum, wherein I used the following title:

"I have been advised to sue Amazon."

Then I got a reply.

All told, it took me about a month to find out that I had made a grand total of $50.00 over the past year through the Kindle store. And in combining the pittance I made with the pretty lousy customer service response, it was easy for me to come to the following decision:

I have removed my e-books from the Kindle store.

Obviously, this won't present much of a loss, to Amazon, to my customers, or to me. My customers can still buy MobiPocket versions of my e-books, and load them onto their Kindles manually. And if they have a problem, they can e-mail me (not "SJB," not tech support, not the accounting department in Reno, but me) and get a response. From me.

I will not go so far as to advise others not to use the Kindle DTP system. I will state that it clearly did not work for small publisher me and my 11 science fiction books. I will also state that the general consensus among DTP users is that the support from the DTP staff has never been timely or positive... they've all but actively chased customers away. Check out the DTP forums, and you'll see what I mean.

And so, we come to the end of the chapter. No more DTP, no more Kindle store, no more bad customer service to deal with. That's the way it goes, sometimes. Moving on.
Wow Steve, that is truly disappointing to read. Given the high premium readers pay for the Kindle device I would as a Kindle owner expect them to pay better attention to their author's needs. No matter how small the sales volume. Once upon a time Amazon was in a similar position...small fish in a large pond. How quickly these companies forget...

Still working my way through the 11-books (or was it 10 for $10) you offered a while back...enjoying every minute of it...thanks for taking good care of us readers.

Remember too, that any reader does not need to even manually put your books on their Kindle...there is that email addy each Kindle user has for their Kindle and it can be Whispernet'd in for just fitty-cent.

BTW, I dislike my Kindle a great deal...gave it to my better half and she can't get enough of it...I know because I get the bill every purchase...oh, joy...hehehehehe...

Anyway, obviously Amazon is not at all serious about indie authors...screw 'em.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:51 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
Wow Steve, that is truly disappointing to read. Given the high premium readers pay for the Kindle device I would as a Kindle owner expect them to pay better attention to their author's needs. No matter how small the sales volume. Once upon a time Amazon was in a similar position...small fish in a large pond. How quickly these companies forget...
It's true: For all of Amazon's humble beginnings, they are becoming no different than any other retailer, too big to care about the little guy. They are "in the castle," with the rest of the publishers, and now that they can afford it, they are throwing scraps and thumbing their noses at the peons on the outside.

Fortunately, we peons have more and more avenues to sell our wares than ever... we don't have to be "in the castle" to be successful, or even profitable. Such is the way of the world, and I'm happy to be part of it.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:09 AM   #93
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It's true: For all of Amazon's humble beginnings, they are becoming no different than any other retailer, too big to care about the little guy. They are "in the castle," with the rest of the publishers, and now that they can afford it, they are throwing scraps and thumbing their noses at the peons on the outside.
How really disappointing...I truly mean that...just when the world should be opening up to a genuine global exchange of ideas and markets, the huge MegaCorps do all they can to manipulate and control it...it's almost like the early days of the record industry but with a few new cards hidden up their sleeves.

I just had such high hopes it and the other reading devices would open the market up so much that publishers would be trampling each other for their share of the market. Just a shame is almost all I can say...

Quote:
Fortunately, we peons have more and more avenues to sell our wares than ever... we don't have to be "in the castle" to be successful, or even profitable. Such is the way of the world, and I'm happy to be part of it.
That is super to know...btw, is there a site that acts as a portal to indie authors? I am not sure I have run across such an animal. I mainly check here and buy from Baen. The better half who considered the Kindle her BD present (she got back from a visit to her dad's before I could send it back) and co-opted it as her own. I got brownie points, and a few few other, ummm, 'perks' , but there is now a Kindle in my home much to my displeasure. I do make her buy her own books though...I know I am just "old and mean"...

And thanks for knowing there is a subset of readers who will not fall in for the propaganda about these devices being the end all of reading devices. A nice start but I will stick to something not tethered to a specific company. gawds if I was of that mind set I would own a Mac...shudder...they haff zeir vays you know...

Hope it all works out with Amazon and they either come to their senses and pay what they should or ya just bail on the whole thing for your own sanity. Ya know, perhaps the indie authors should get together and have a chat with Oprah as she seems to be such a Kindle zealot...isn't she supposed to be all about equal opportunity, fair play and all that stuff?
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:10 AM   #94
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btw, is there a site that acts as a portal to indie authors? I am not sure I have run across such an animal.
I don't know of one, either... like you, I hear about a few indie authors here. All of the other sites I frequent talk about major authors, and generally thumb their noses at indies (unless you're a poet... poets always seem to be cool).

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And thanks for knowing there is a subset of readers who will not fall in for the propaganda about these devices being the end all of reading devices. A nice start but I will stick to something not tethered to a specific company.
That's why I still do my e-book reading on a PDA, in just about any format I can get my hands on. Until we go to a universal format that can be translated into the reader format of your choice, I still say that PDAs beat dedicated readers hands-down. :ducks_brickbats:

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Ya know, perhaps the indie authors should get together and have a chat with Oprah as she seems to be such a Kindle zealot...isn't she supposed to be all about equal opportunity, fair play and all that stuff?
If Oprah were really just about "fair play and equal opportunity," she would have been endorsing e-books in general, sending everyone an e-book on a usb key or something ("You get an e-book! You get an e-book! You get an e-book! Everyone gets an e-book!!"), and let them read it on the device of their choice. Really, all she's doing is cooperating with an Amazon Kindle promotion. She may occasionally talk to obscure authors... but they've all been published ones, and I wouldn't expect her to go out of her way for any indie author whose work she hadn't been convinced to read first, and fell in love with.

So, all you indie authors... send your books to Oprah! Send her a Mobi file, so she can read it on her new Kindle! Then sit back and wait for the phone call from her producers!
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:08 PM   #95
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Smile Promo?

Steve -
What sorts of promotion did you do? I'm sure I'm insulting you by even saying this, but it's for the benefit of those reading too, so here goes...

It's not enough to just publish your books and get them listed on Amazon. You need to do everything in your power to promote them. Luckily, it doesn't have to cost a fortune, nor even necessarily take huge quantities of time.

There's an extensive chaper on Promotion in my book, The IndieAuthor Guide, and I'm giving away free electronic copies till the end of December via this Wall Street Journal/Marketwatch article (see the link in the 'Books and guides' section):
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Stor...rkm7RO8k4sUMiw

Get the book and take a look at that chapter, as well as the one on Creating Your Brand. I'm having a great deal of success in indie authorship, and I hope others can do likewise with their books. That's why I wrote The IndieAuthor Guide! I hope you will reconsider indie authorship...it's been very fulfilling for me. Good luck, and happy holidays!
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:38 PM   #96
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You're very astute, April: This last year I did only light promotion for my books, and none of it through Amazon, which resulted in lackluster sales (other than the month that included Read an E-book Week). However, with the same light promotional effort I sold many more books through my own site than on Amazon, suggesting that I did not need to make two book sources available... especially when the e-books bought on my site can be viewed on the Kindle.

2009 is (supposed to be) the year that I spend much more of a promotional effort on my books, so we'll see how it goes. And if, in the future, I start to get a lot of requests to make my books available in the Kindle store, maybe I'll go back. But considering the poor customer support I received, as an author, through Amazon, I don't feel I have much incentive to do so... my efforts would be better spent on my own site.
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