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31
Confirmed, Bill's note about the share link worked for me.

R.C.
32
Some time ago, Amazon provided code that allowed a book preview to be embedded in a website. It was sort of like the old Look Inside, but having it on your own site could be handy. It included a buy link and supported affiliate codes.

Amazon did away with it. I found a Gutenberg block that performed similarly in Wordpress, but that now seems to be functioning erratically.

Anyway, if you look at one of your product pages, you'll notice a share icon just to the right of your title. It has options for email, Pinterest, Facebook, and X, with the embed code just below that, followed by a link.

The embed code creates an iframe that allows a very nice preview of the book. It's actually better than the current "read sample"  routine on the product page, which quite often fails, at least in my experience.

When I get my site updated with those, I'll post a link so that you can take a look and see if such a feature would work for you.
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Yeah, they've pretty well botched up the proof system. It's best to doublecheck the paperback files as well as one can and then order an author copy when it goes live. Most of us don't have enough paperback buyers for this to present a problem, and anyway, proofs seem to take a long time to arrive.
34
Amazon seems to have changed the Proof system.

Used to be you made a change to a paperback, and you could get another proof.

Now, the moment the book goes live, you can no longer get a proof, no matter what you do to it.

And as happened to me, it took so long for Amazon to action my requests for 2 proofs, that the books went live first, and so the proofs were simply cancelled without informing me of anything.

Much to my surprise, the author copy was the same price as the proof.

Not sure why they bother with proofs now at all. I'll just get author copies in future I think.
35
(I was mistaken for an employee more than once.)

I used to get that all the time.

And not just in book stores. Retail stores generally.

Then again, I worked retail for about 14 years, so I guess I had that look. Never worked a book store though.
36
I never worked in a bookstore, though I spent quite a bit of time in them. (I was mistaken for an employee more than once.)

The ones in my area were mostly chain rather than indie, but in any case, romance was always well represented. And in grocery stores (which often had little book sections back in the day), the selection was always a few bestsellers, with the rest of the space being all romances. Of course, back that far, there were no ebooks or self-publishing, so the whole dynamic was different. Readers who want there to be a paperback even if they aren't going to buy it may be unconsciously influenced by the old days, when book meant paper.

But for some reason, the phenomenon isn't unique to older buyers. A little while after one of my colleagues outed me to my students as an author, one of them saw a paperback copy of my first book. "It's real," she said in a surprised tone, though she had earlier told me she'd seen the ebook listing on Amazon. Somehow, ebooks weren't real books in her mind. Go figure!
37
There are still many readers who are married to the paper experience. However, since they are also generally committed to trad, we don't notice them as much.

For me at least, the pandemic changed that a little. My paperback sales went up a bit, I think because people with more time to read were running out of reading material. It also helped that I published a couple of myth novelizations that were a little closer to lit fic than my usual. In any case, paperback sales have remained higher than before.

More important for us, there are some readers who buy ebooks but still consider the presence of a paperback as a sign of legitimacy.

As a genre reader I have never looked for legitimacy, only stories that move me. But I totally get it. I'm just glad that I personally do not feel a desperate need to have my books on shelves in physical bookstores. Having worked in them, I know how iffy sales there can be. If the manager hates romance, my book might not get on the shelf anyway. And if all the employees are snooty about romances, they won't recommend (hand sell) my books, either. 
38
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: Not A Comedy
« Last post by Matthew on April 05, 2024, 02:34:41 AM »
As an American myself, I feel like this is true. You can almost pick any one industry. The government has been weak in anti-trust law for a while. The result is you might look at an industry and see that yeah there's 3-5 competitors... but what did it used to be? Dozens. With so few competitors I fear the price-fixing and customer/employee abuse is easier than ever. If you have 3 major phone providers, one can just raise their prices and the others can follow suit without their being any explicit collusion. Some of the more egregious to me are utility companies and internet providers. We can say all we want that Cable Co. has competition within America; the reality is that most residences only actually have one choice for a provider--take it or leave it. There's this unspoken agreement to not compete so that they each can maintain high prices within their respective markets.

I think the last conversation about AI bring up an interesting point. Some of these monopolistic practices are more noticeable now because of the AI arms race. These already massive companies are using their wealth to buyout AI rather than building up their own and competing in the market. In the end, consumers lose.

With regard to Amazon, well, that's always been a tough one. Relevant bits for me would be the ability to keep a book in KU while not having to maintain exclusivity per Kindle Select, and the ability to price books lower on other platforms without Amazon forcing price matching. On a $3.99 ebook, you could price it about $0.90 cheaper on a platform with say, a 90% royalty to earn the same as you would for Amazon's 70%. Maybe price it slightly higher to still beat Amazon's price and also get more money per sale than what Amazon offers.

This is what a lot of the kerfuffle is about with the Epic Games Store and iOS. I really don't know where we draw the line in deciding something is monopolistic, or what contracts should be illegal (regardless of size). Exclusivity deals have always been a thing, and I think it will be hard to get rid of them as a whole, for instance.

These companies have reached a size where innovation generally doesn't matter, which is what the buyouts in AI showcase. I think it's also why we see a lot of these massive US companies spread overseas and become world dominating forces (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) As much as I do like some parts of America, I don't want the entire world to turn into it. That's why I find things like Canada's CRTC law requiring 35% of radio broadcasts to be by Canadian artists interesting. I feel like social media apps (TikTok, Instagram, etc.) have the ability to greatly influence foreign countries just by tweaking algorithms. That's a dangerous power ... but I digress.

If you give it enough time and lack of oversight, we'll be right back to company towns.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: Not A Comedy
« Last post by BellyUp on April 05, 2024, 01:02:09 AM »
That was a great interview!
40
What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: Not A Comedy
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on April 05, 2024, 12:37:11 AM »
It's too bad the way indie authors are treated never gets mentioned, but Amazon could use a little wake-up call, at the very least.
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