Amazon is at it again. Great for consumers! Terrible royalties for authors. They are launching a new “unlimited subscription.”
No doubt this is going to push up the price of production for audiobooks for everyone, while Amazon pockets more money. I should attempt to get a piece of the pie and buy a few shares of their stock. However, it’s priced at $3,307 for one share as of the close of the market today. Oh, well. If we’d only known how far Amazon would reach to the sky, we could have all retired having purchased stock when it was $18 a share. Who knew?
Anyway, check it out! Follow the link below. You can listen to more books every month if you’re tired of screens and paper for a mere $7.95.
A Glimpse Behind the Veil for Readers
Oh, by the way, the most expensive audiobook that I commissioned cost me $3,000 to produce using a talented narrator who charged $300 per finished hour. That price includes narration for seven-plus hours (for a book approximately 70,000+ words), studio production, and final audio uploaded to Audible. Hmm, do you think I made the investment back? No. Audiobooks are an expensive side for many independent authors. Not all of my books are on audio, only a few, and my return has been minimal.
You may be asking yourself, so what’s the big deal? As a reader, you should be informed on how Amazon works with publishers and independent authors. One of the biggest complaints about their “domination” in the industry is Kindle Unlimited. As an author, if we enroll our books into the KU program, it means that we cannot sell our eBook versions on any other platform as long as we maintain our enrollment. What does that mean? You won’t find our novels on iBooks, Google Play, and Nook due to exclusivity provisions authors must agree to while in KU.
If that wasn’t bad enough to stiffle our sales, while readers pay a flat fee per month to read unlimited books, authors only get paid each time a reader flips a page on their Kindle device. For example, today I had a reader flip 27 pages, which equated to $0.12 in royalties. I can’t even buy a cup of coffee for what I make off of each book in KU.
It is no wonder that complaints are being filed by the industry against Amazon. It’s only a matter of time before their strong-arm tactics of industry domination will be challenged. They are effectively killing off the bookselling industry in many markets. Yes, they are convenient, I give them that much. Nevertheless, do they always have to be the only place we shop? Of course, shame on my for advertising Kindle Unlimited on this website!
Three of publishing’s most important organizations have teamed up to write a letter to the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating the market power of Big Tech to press their case that, over the last several years, Amazon’s growing dominance over book publishing and bookselling has fundamentally altered the competitive framework of the industry. If Amazon’s power is left unchecked, the letter continues, competition within publishing could diminish even more.
Here is an informative blog post written by USA Today bestselling author Suzan Tisdale to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon. She makes a startling introductory statement, and I can attest to the fact that I also lost 90% of my income because of Kindle Unlimited.
So what other problems are plaguing authors in Amazon land? Read it and be informed. It’s really a jungle of survival in a world of scammers and thieves. The landscape can be discouraging for authors. It makes you wonder why bother to write when there are snakes slithering through the Amazon jungle. Nonetheless, when you have the gift and urge of storytelling, it’s difficult to stop in spite of it all.
Readers read and be informed. As an author, I’m thankful for strong voices such as Suzan’s in the author community who speak for us all.
This is the letter that I have sent to Jeff Bezos regarding the problems with KU Book Stuffers, Scammers, and thieves. Take from it what you will. Dear Mr. Bezos, I am Suzan Tisdale. I began my sel…
An interesting read about scams on the Kindle platform – book stuffing. No, it’s not a book stuffed into a turkey cavity. It’s something entirely different where cheating authors make $100K per month abusing the KDP platform. Read how they scam you, the reader, and steal profits from honest authors. Amazon is putting a stop to the abuses of the system.
Last Tuesday, an Amazon subsidiary filed in federal court seeking to confirm an arbitration award against a self-publisher alleged to have abused Kindle’s terms by “combining selections of works they had already published into purportedly new books,” a practice called book stuffing.
Walmart is diving into the business of selling ereaders, ebooks, and audiobooks through a partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.
Well, here is a bit of news – Walmart selling eBooks? Sure, why not? They can do so online and also sell Kobo eReaders, as well as romance books. Frankly, Amazon’s domination is huge and retailers are starting to take bold moves against the big A.
“The deal will give Walmart access to the massive ebook market, which is largely dominated by Amazon. Amazon is responsible for roughly 83% of all ebook sales in the US…”
Each year, the CEO of Smashwords (a distributor of eBooks for authors), writes his predictions for the coming year. Most of the time, so I’ve read, he’s pretty well spot-on right.
This year’s predictions for authors (and readers who wish to be in the know) is well worth the read. Though readers enjoy a proliferation of great deals and more books than they can possibly read, the market is becoming bleaker for publishers and independent authors alike because of the growing monopolization of Amazon in the marketplace.
I encourage you to take a moment and read Mark’s post. Be informed of how everything works besides the dashing duke you’ve fallen in love with between the pages. Each time you flip a page in Kindle Unlimited, the author’s work you read is being paid at less than a penny a page.
All my best, your HR Admin.
Smashwords’ CEO and founder Mark Coker has once again unveiled his annual predictions for the publishing industry, and to say this year’s edition is dark would be an understatement. Coker continues his longtime tradition of decrying all things Amazon, but this year…things are different. For too long, it was easy to dismiss Coker’s predictions as…