Sometimes David needs to pay Goliath

For some number of years it has been well-known among indie presses who use Ingram to set up their print-on-demand titles that Amazon, that retailing mammoth, would never play fair. Fair isn’t how you amass billions of dollars in wealth. What the giant would do is accept Ingram’s data feeds so that your title would appear on Amazon’s website, and then within a few weeks the titles would be listed as unavailable from Amazon, and could only be purchased through third party sellers. Those third party sellers would then usually charge double your suggested retail, and you’d be left out in the nether-hells of publishing limbo.

Why employ such a practice?

That’s quite simple. Amazon developed its own print on demand publishing platform which works in tandem with their ebook platform, and yes with their audiobook platform (ACX, which in turn is also Audible). So, in order to drive small presses to Amazon’s printing platform, they employed the tactics I described above. Publishing your work through Amazon then guaranteed your books would be listed as in stock, available for Prime Member free shipping, and at the retail price you set rather than some inflated price from a third party seller.

Now, for a very long time small presses tried gaming Amazon’s system by changing their prices at Ingram, which would initiate a new data feed, and indeed for a very short while, perhaps a week, not much longer, your books would suddenly be in stock and available at the price you set. And then the logarithms would activate again, and you’d be freezing your publishing ass off in that special hell.

You can stand on principles only so long

… before you freeze. So, finding myself really pretty cold, one might say frozen, indeed glacial, I’ve capitulated to the giant. All my books are now also printed through Amazon’s KDP platform, although I refrained from giving the giant exclusivity. And immediately my books are listed as in stock, at the price I set, and available for free shipping to Prime members. I’m hoping that situation remains true. I hope the giant won’t further squeeze we wee mice and force us into exclusive distribution.

Shop to your heart’s content

So, now you can shop to your heart’s content at Amazon, purchase any of my books at a reasonable price, get that free shipping if you’re a Prime member. And to further help you on your reading path, I’ve put links to all my books on each page. There’s no excuse now. Go forth. Buy books. Read. Enjoy.

 

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