Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

Why does Amazon sell the lion's share of ebooks?

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message 1: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) This one almost convinced me to pull all of my ebooks from the other distributors and go exclusively with Amazon. Almost. The article does offer valid criticism of other outlets, and dispels the misconception that Amazon is a current-day monopoly for ebooks. But it does not address that future monopolistic probability should every author be lured by the same temptation:

message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Well maybe they aren't a monopoly by the old rules but what was true yesterday isn't necessarily true today.

message 3: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Morris | 11 comments I'll sell them wherever I can! A sale is a sale. I know I've sold a handful, at least, on Barnes and Noble, and more than that on Smashwords and their related outlets. But yes, Amazon does seem to do all that article says.

message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments It's a silly little thing, I know, but I have a feeling single-click purchase is a factor. When you're buying something for a quid, it makes no sense to have to find your debit card and put in numbers. One more 'seamless' aspect of Amazon.

message 5: by Micah (last edited Nov 29, 2015 02:07PM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments I agree with the main thesis there. They were the largest online book seller before eBooks really took off. They jumped into eBooks quickly, created and sold their own hardware, and implemented one of the best/easiest browsing/selling platforms in the business.

In fact if I had any criticism about Amazon is that they don't show nearly the same concern for making managing your sales catalog easy as they do for the buying experience. They're skimpy on giving content creators access to useful information about sales vs views and all that.

Looking for an interesting new iBook that's not a major bestseller? Go ahead, try to find it on Apple's embarrassing platform. I couldn't find my books there without searching for the exact title. Whereas on Amazon, it was dead easy.

B&N wasn't an online powerhouse before they jumped into the eReader market. And they never really became an online eBook powerhouse.

Kobo, I hear, is the dominant player in the European market but I've never had sales from there until very recently (and those sales came from a cousin of mine!).

All the others are just small fries.

message 6: by Jamie (last edited Dec 01, 2015 06:41AM) (new)

Jamie Rich (jamerz3294) | 6 comments Like it or not, Amazon simply delivers more titles than anyone else. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member, then you get a lot of other nifty benefits.
I have found some out of print titles on Amazon, granted from a third party seller, that I wasn't finding anywhere else.
As an avid SciFi reader (no, I'm not an author nor a writer) Amazon simply is my go-to source first.

message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments The pattern is e-business is that a brand becomes synonymous with a kind of service. At that point, it becomes an unassailable monopoly, where the brand name becomes the everyday term for the service. I don't decide to search for something and then think about which search engine to use, I just Google it. Amazon is the same, if I'm looking to buy an e-book or a video, that's where I go. Airbnb, Uber, eBay - all the so-called unicorns - have managed the same trick. Once a consumer habit is established, the service attracts the lions share of providers, and it feeds on itself. As an author, you'd be a fool not to offer your books on Amazon, so as a consumer, I can be confident Amazon has the widest choice.

Could someone break through and provide an offering that was truly competitive against Amazon? It's hard to imagine how. Anyone with a convincing idea could probably raise a few million from their friendly local venture capitalist.

message 8: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor I find it funny I always seem to have the opposite experience everyone else has. I decided to pull out from Select and go wide last month. My top selling book at Amazon came out just a couple weeks ago, and having run its course it's starting to find a new life elsewhere, but where I agree with everyone that the Istore is a trainwreck for books, it's actually my strongest sales platform among Smashwords and its aggregators.

Where I agree with the article is that SW needs a facelift of their retail site. After a couple months, I finally realized how amateurish it looks compared to other retailers after wondering why people would rather pay full price for a book elsewhere than accept a couple for a discounted price directly from them.

message 9: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments For me as customer, Amazon is the easiest to deal with. Their customer service and policies on shipping and returns are great, and they responsive. I find it difficult these days to deal with many other on-line retailers and service providers who don't approach the same standard.

As an author, I've been after Amazon to give us better data, but as someone who has worked with on-line businesses for over 15 years, I know that most people who do business on-line pay every little attention to detailed stats. So I believe KDP is providing what they see as authors using, and not much else.

But I did get a survey request from KDP a week or two ago, asking for feedback and I dinged them hard for the reporting they provide. I thought it was a hopeful sign that they asked.

Did anyone else get this survey?

message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Yep, I got it, and mentioned reporting too. I'd like to see sales broken out by title, without having to select each one in turn. But stats on eyeballs and visits would be great, too.

message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments No survey. it appears that they send out only a limited number of surveys.

message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 625 comments Richard wrote: "Yep, I got it, and mentioned reporting too. I'd like to see sales broken out by title, without having to select each one in turn. But stats on eyeballs and visits would be great, too."

Good to hear they didn't contact just US authors.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not sure what the future of Amazon will be. I use their free Kindle reader for PC and, incredibly, when they want to update the software, Amazon inactivates all their rights-controlled books and makes them unavailable. Your library disappears, except for mobi files that you own outright. Update the reader and the books come back. This happened to me just when I was about to step on an airplane, and I was annoyed to be without the book I was going to read until I could get back to an internet connection and download the new reader.

Later, when I got a new laptop and migrated my content from the old to the new, the Kindle reader came over along with all the freeware books, but the rights-controlled Kindles all needed to be re-downloaded (free) from Amazon.

The inconveniences I've noted may seem picayune, but they carry a message. You don't own anything you pay for there. I'm reluctant to put much money into purely provisional ownership.

message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Technically nothing in the cloud is actually in your possession.

message 15: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments No survey here.

Mark wrote: "when they want to update the software, Amazon inactivates all their rights-controlled books and makes them unavailable. Your library disappears, except for mobi files that you own outright..."

?? I'm not sure I'm understanding you. Once you download one of your book purchases to your PC surely the file's there to be used?

I never use the PC version except for proofreading. I do all my reading on my Kindle Voyage.

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