Author Topic: Can indies save Amazon?  (Read 335 times)

Hopscotch

Can indies save Amazon?
« on: August 17, 2023, 12:39:30 AM »
To follow up on this topic in several other threads, and a question:

Authors and Booksellers Urge Justice Dept. to Investigate Amazon
The online retailer’s size and sway affects the free exchange of ideas, the groups argue....
New York Times
  Aug. 16, 2023

“...The groups are pressing the Justice Department to investigate not only Amazon’s size as a bookseller, but also its sway over the book market – especially its ability to promote certain titles on its site and bury others...Amazon...has made it more challenging for lesser-known authors to gain exposure on the site, while blockbuster authors and celebrities whose books are likely to sell well are prominently featured....”

Hmm, another argument disregarding indies.  But could the Zon shield itself behind KDP/AMS sponsorship of indies as promoting an even freer exchange of ideas?
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Re: Can indies save Amazon?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2023, 01:34:58 AM »
Maybe. Though indies might have much the same complaints now.

Quote
blockbuster authors and celebrities whose books are likely to sell well are prominently featured

Amazon does a lot of things that could justly be criticized, but isn't that pretty much a description of every bookstore ever? Aside from a huge specialized bookstores that feature obscure titles, have you ever seen a store where the bestsellers aren't more prominently positioned than those by nearly unknown authors? In that respect, Amazon is getting slapped around for what is pretty much industry-standard practice. The problem may be more acute with Amazon because of the sheer volume of titles it has.


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Post-Crisis D

Re: Can indies save Amazon?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2023, 01:37:03 AM »
If indies are in a position to "save" Amazon, maybe they should kill it instead.  :icon_think:
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writeway

Re: Can indies save Amazon?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2023, 10:01:50 AM »
Maybe. Though indies might have much the same complaints now.

Quote
blockbuster authors and celebrities whose books are likely to sell well are prominently featured

Amazon does a lot of things that could justly be criticized, but isn't that pretty much a description of every bookstore ever? Aside from a huge specialized bookstores that feature obscure titles, have you ever seen a store where the bestsellers aren't more prominently positioned than those by nearly unknown authors? In that respect, Amazon is getting slapped around for what is pretty much industry-standard practice. The problem may be more acute with Amazon because of the sheer volume of titles it has.

THANK YOU! This is stupid. If you're gonna investigate Amazon for this you'll need to investigate Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, and all the brick-and-mortar bookstores. While they are at it, investigate streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, and all the others that promote their films and shows above others. And also investigate the major sports leagues that dare to give more money to the best players in the game. This is how business works. The best gets preferential treatment. It's always been that way.

I don't get this where people try to dictate what a retailer showcases. Retailers want to make money so they're gonna showcase things that sell more than others. It's not Amazon or any other store's responsibility to help our books sell. So what do people expect Amazon to do? Start pushing books that are in the 3 million and haven't had a sale in 8 years??? I mean, if you don't push the bestsellers, who do you push? And these bestsellers bring eyes to other books. Those authors keep readers coming to Amazon but people don't think about that. Some act like Amazon owes them something. They allow authors to upload in their store and sell which is a blessing seeing how self-publishing used to be. Business is NOT supposed to be an even playing field. People gotta work for privileges. Authors who sell the most get the privileges. It doesn't mean others aren't selling or doing well too. Many authors do well without handouts from Amazon. But the DOJ or whatever cannot make Amazon or anyone else push certain books or whatever. It's Amazon's store and they can do what they want. This sounds like whining coming from publishers or whoever whose books aren't being seen enough. And if trade pubs are behind this they really need to sit down and shut up with the way physical bookstores have been catering to them since the beginning of time.

But I don't see anything anyone can do about how someone runs a store. Amazon is a private company and it sets its own rules. People don't have to sell on there if they don't like it. It's challenging for anyone to get visibility on Amazon not just unknown new authors and even so, it is NOT Amazon's job to promote those authors. Those authors have to find a way to get eyes on their work themselves. Amazon is not their publisher or their personal marketer.

This looks pathetic. It sounds like a bunch of disgruntled authors who aren't selling so they wanna demolish Amazon because they can't get a handout. Who told them they are supposed to be seen on Amazon? I don't remember that being a condition. You put your books on there and Amazon sells them and pays you. They are not obligated to do anything else certainly not push our books. Why don't they go write books people wanna read and learn how to market and promote instead of whining?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2023, 10:08:44 AM by writeway »
 
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PJ Post

Re: Can indies save Amazon?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2023, 12:21:13 AM »
It's not a bookstore thing, it's a monopoly thing.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2020/11/17/amazon-pharmacy-wipes-10-billion-from-walgreens-and-cvs-market-values/

The US has had laws limiting the market power of monopolies and oligopolies for over a century, but with every FTC approved merger, the laws become less and less relevant. Not even Mercedes, Apple nor Nike have been able to change Amazon's behavior, much less walk away. Publishers and Indies don't have a chance.

Amazon is just another distribution channel, an incredibly powerful one, but still. Use them and their services however you can, but don't bank your career on them. In the mid-teens, self-publishers kept talking about an eventual pay to play move, and then we got AMS. Does it suck when compared to the organic discoverability that we used to have? Yep. Is there anything to be done about it? Nope.

___

The solution is to take control of your own discoverability so you can sell on every platform imaginable. Being popular everywhere else will almost certainly make you popular on Amazon, and then all of their market weight will be working for you. And when that happens, methinks they won't be so bad.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2023, 12:24:12 AM by PJ Post »
 
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