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Friday, February 14, 2014

Cheap Words - Is Amazon Good for Books?

I have very mixed feelings about Amazon. I have been a long time customer long enough they sent me two travel mugs for being a customer 14 or so years ago. I still have one of them, the other melted when put into the dishwasher.

The good news is Amazon is shaking up the book market, and bringing a huge amount of change to a dysfunctional industry. The growth of eBooks has been a positive for readers.

The negative is Amazon has hurt local book sellers, and a lot of their competition has been clueless (R.I.P. Borders). Amazon is now raising their prices on books (hard covers used to be 40% off, and now it's 19-25%), and Amazon has negotiated what I would term unfair advantages with publishers. Read the New Yorker article, the use of promotional dollars is amazing, as well as the ability to shut off the selling of a publisher on Amazon. I was surprised to find out the most popular in Amazon, has a pay to play angle which I don't like. And if you decide to sell your product on Amazon through Marketplace, and it gets a lot of sales, Amazon if they can source the product, can undercut your price by selling it directly (and has to others - congratulations, you just developed a new market for Amazon).

If your an author, and can sell an e-Book, do it via self publishing. The opportunities are huge where you can get 70% of the selling price, where with traditional price going through a publisher unless you are a super best selling author, you will need to keep your day job. Of course, you need to figure out marketing. The Amazon Kindle has an amazing market share for eBooks, I think 80%, and eBooks are now 30% of the book market.

References:

Cheap Words - Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books? - The New Yorker   

http://authorearnings.com/the-report/   


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