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Old 05-31-2013, 05:27 AM   #1
abeonis
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Customized KDP Sample

Is there a way to influence Amazon's sample of my eBook? If I understand well, Amazon uses the first 10% of the eBook. Can I create a mobi myself and ask KDP to use it for the sample?

Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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No. The best you can do is to play about with the back of the book:

1) Stuff that you don't want Look Inside or the sample to show, you can move to the back.

2) If you want to increase the size of the sample, you can add appendices to the back, though of course this is a Sisyphean labor, since for every ten pages you add to the back, you add only one to the front.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Sure, you can also copy the bible at the end of your ebook
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
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I am not looking for a black or grey technique to achieve this or anything that could impact the quality of my eBooks.

Another solution could be to direct prospects to a web page that includes my sample. I exluded this option because you send your prospects far away from the "Buy with 1 click" button.

I understand that if each of us send a sample, it will generate additional costs for Amazon. Maybe the option to send our own sample should be considered a paid service, amazon margin is safe and we could include it in our advertising budget. Just a thought.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by abeonis View Post
I am not looking for a black or grey technique to achieve this or anything that could impact the quality of my eBooks.

Another solution could be to direct prospects to a web page that includes my sample. I exluded this option because you send your prospects far away from the "Buy with 1 click" button.

I understand that if each of us send a sample, it will generate additional costs for Amazon. Maybe the option to send our own sample should be considered a paid service, amazon margin is safe and we could include it in our advertising budget. Just a thought.
I suspect that Amazon's entire CSR staff would leap off a building if this were implemented. They are already not ecstatic about the authorial customer support burden.

And they get this request a LOT.

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:51 AM   #6
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And they get this request a LOT.
I see. If the "paid service" or "add another income stream" arguments didn't work, nothing will work. Forget the "increased customer satisfaction" one.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:30 AM   #7
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Another solution could be to direct prospects to a web page that includes my sample. I exluded this option because you send your prospects far away from the "Buy with 1 click" button.
In amazon.es we don't even have the "Look inside" feature. Grrrr!

Actually, I challenge myself. If the prospect wants to load a sample, he/she problably has already in mind to leave the product page.

Best thing is to 1) test both solutions during 3 months each, 2) monitor sales results and 3) keep the best seller.

I am also not happy with the blind mode regarding the number of visitors to my Amazon product page. At least, in the case I direct prospects to the eBook promotional page in my web site, I will be able to track the number of visitors to this page coming from amazon, how long did they stay in this page, did they actually download my sample, did they give me their email address for further promotion, etc.

At least I have some "Performance Indicators". They are not perfect and give partial information. But even with an "non-calibrated" instrument, I'll be able to automatically track progress and check how well I am doing.

Any other reflection? As a DIYer, I don't have the big publisher sales support. And I am still responsible of my sales results among other responsabilities.

I am not anymore an author, I am a business owner. I like it or not.

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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I see. If the "paid service" or "add another income stream" arguments didn't work, nothing will work. Forget the "increased customer satisfaction" one.
It was simply an observation. I've been monitoring or posting on the KDP forums for years. I have a Tech. Acct. Manager at Amazon, and I have, on rare occasions, spoken to the VP of Digital Operations at Amazon by phone, on one thing or another. I'm simply telling you that this is an oft-requested feature, but I think you should consider and respect everything that Amazon already does for its publishers, and also recognize just how onerous it would be for them to create or respond to requests to adjust the LITB/samples for hundreds of thousands of books, the vast majority of which were not published by people with any technical skill to make their own.

With regard to "customer satisfaction," I think you might also consider that Amazon's customers are their book buyers, not their publishers. Amazon makes available to you a platform upon which you may sell books, if you find their terms acceptable. You are free to sell elsewhere if not. They provide you with the platform; the world's largest storefront; foot-traffic/exposure you could not obtain anywhere else, certainly not on your own website; they provide you will ALL the customer service and support, for the millions of people who wouldn't know how to download a file from a browser, much less sideload it to their devices; they handle all the billing, all the collections,and pay you. They apply DRM if you opt for it, which, even if it existed for MOBI, you would likely not be able to afford, if it were to be anything like ACS for ePUB (currently priced at, IIRC, $6200 and requiring someone trained to use it, full-time). They do all this for their share of the royalties, which, for most books, over their lifetime, will not amount to even $10.00 in Amazon's pocket, as the average ebook is lucky to sell 10 copies a month.

I think that very,very few authors/publishers have ANY idea of the customer service burden that Amazon already shoulders, at no expense whatsoever to the publisher--I mean, even if 20 people take an hour each to figure out how to download their copy of your book, it's not like Amazon back-charges you for that. As someone who runs a business that is used extensively by the very people that are Amazon's eBook-buying demographic, I know quite well what the customer service burden is of providing "tech support" to folks who don't know what the USB cable is, don't know if they have wi-fi or not, and have no idea what "side-loading is," much less how to download a file from a browser (many don't even know what a "browser" is, much less which one they are using). All of this, Amazon pays out of its pockets, whether your book makes money or not. All these resources are essentially put utterly at your disposal, at NO real expense to you, and certainly no upfront expense. Does Amazon endeavor to recover those costs, via their share of the sales? Of course...but think, of the now-million-plus eBooks self-published there, of how many they have that are NOTHING but expense.

I'm not making Amazon out to be saints; but I think it's fair that occasionally, people who complain about how Amazon "won't" do this or that for them be reminded just how much they DO do for them.

As far as sharing their user data--why would they? Does eBay give you their user data? As to who visited your page, looked at your item? No. Amazon's customers have the right to their privacy, too. I'd suggest that you take a poll, up in the main forum section, of the readers, and ask precisely how many of them would keep shopping at Amazon if Amazon gave their names out to the authors whose books they'd bought. People would leave Amazon in droves, not wanting to be harassed or stalked by authors trying to sell books, or other vendors trying to sell other products. I certainly don't want my name given to the company from whom I buy electronics, for example. A book is a product just like any other product on Amazon. People who buy there do not want their names and contact info freely given away by Amazon to vendors so that they can start being spammed, sent catalogs, and the like. In this, Amazon is responding to customer demand: they are listening to their customers very clearly state that they want their privacy protected.

As you noted: you're now a publisher. All the things you are discussing are indeed the publisher's job. Nobody who authors likes doing it, but, like any other product, it's simply a business, and the business is to sell it. It's the entrepreneur's hat. I think that, all things considered, Amazon makes it as easy for you as is realistically possible, given that they have their own business to run, and the primary source of book income for them is from buyers, as they do not charge the self-publisher for all the resources, etc., placed at his disposal.

Just my $.02.


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Old 06-11-2013, 07:30 AM   #9
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You go fast getting your own conclusions and make me say what I didn't say. To make it clear, I love Amazon, they enable my business, I have no plans to go somewhere else because it doesn't make any business sense. I create ePubs by accident (I use Sigil) but the end in mind is to partner with Amazon and make a living based on their platform. I think it is clear.

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Old 06-11-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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Sincerely, I don't understand you Hitch. Each time I start a discussion here, I can expect you come just after with a long monolog full of evidences that actually jeopardize my motivation. Hopefully, there are people here that do their best to enable what I am trying to achieve.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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Hopefully, there are people here that do their best to enable what I am trying to achieve.
The people "here" CAN'T enable what you are trying to achieve. It's that simple.
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