Amazon is Great… Except When it’s Not

Amazon changed publishing, making it easier for writers to get their work out there… and thereby harder to find, and quality uncertain. Still, great for writers with fantastic books who can’t find traditional publishers.

Their tools are handy, their customer service is spot-on, if a bit slow. I really have few complaints, but a bit of trepidation. About what?

Image result for amazon smile
It’s kind of an evil smirk, isn’t it?

Amazon Ads.

If you have a Kindle of any kind that you bought at a discount, it’s going to have ads. Sometimes as a little panel at the bottom, other times as the screensaver, and under your Books home page.

On Amazon, ads are listed at the beginning of a search, or in correlation with other books of a similar topic, these ads are pay-for-click. If they sit there and no one clicks on them, you don’t pay. If they do, you pay a certain amount that you set to begin with. For example, you may set a limit of $50 at $0.25 per click. That’s 200 clicks. In traditional advertising, a 3% closing rate is expected. That’s 6 sales of your book. You’ve spent $50 to make $12-15.  Ah!  But those who bid 50 cents-a-click get higher ranking! Perhaps 3% is low. I’m going to give it a try with my book, “Creativity Wears Boots.”

A suggestion: Do not do the Kindle ads. Have you ever clicked one?  Stick to the related products ads.

You can also get higher ranking by being a best-seller in your category. I am thrilled to admit that I am a best-seller now. My book “Creativity Wears Boots” has been on sale with no promotion yet (I’m working hard on getting two other books ready for publication. Success on the first: Faces & Fantasy by Dawn Davidson. An adult coloring book… wait, a coloring book for adults! Or kids. It’s really amazing art work, and anyone who likes to color with pencils, markers, crayons, watercolor… oh are you going to be excited. Watch this space.

The second is in the editing phase. More about that one later.

Once I catch my breath, I’ll promote my own book, but it’s really fun to see people stumble across and and buy it without promotion. My efforts will always be on my authors, but I’ll squeak my own campaign in there soon.

But this is about Amazon.

Amazon is trying. They can’t select for quality, I get that, so those willing to spend to get attention get ranking, so ranking doesn’t necessarily equal quality.

For quality, pick a publisher (like Prevail Press) who only offers quality books. Such publishers are gatekeepers of quality. Make note of books that are poor and don’t buy from their publisher, which is likely a vanity press, who publishes anything, or a well-meaning self-publisher.

Consider joining us at the double-P (hmmm, gotta try a better nickname). We help each other and provide a voice in the wilderness!

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