Is Amazon Abandoning Indie Authors?

It seems doubtful that Amazon would abandon indie authors. After all, the company has done so much for us over the last 5 years–KDP publishing, 99 cent books, comparative shopping recommendations, author profile pages, featured indies, KDP Select, court battles over price fixing, meet our authors forum,  the list goes on.

Logically and financially, it doesn’t make sense as Amazon and indies are the two biggest thorns in the side of traditional publishing houses, and we make such a natural pairing with common goals–to revolutionize publishing and dominate sales.

But then Amazon did change the rules on reviewing and deleted many indie reviews (some without integrity, some with) along with product tags (prone for abuse but also helpful), and just recently the “like” button has also disappeared (another indie favorite for boosting favorable presence).

Speculative abandonment? Perhaps a bit paranoid, but it does sound to some as Amazon subtly saying, “We’ve scratched your backs, you’ve scratched ours, thanks for the quid pro quo but we’re moving on.”

What are your thoughts? Is this overreacting to slower sales the past few months? Is it time to work harder selling on Kobo and Smashwords? (I shudder to think more sales need to come from Barnes & Noble. ) Is it time for innovative ways of standing out from the millions of other books, both traditional and indie alike? For me, predicting the future of this business is harder than getting through an episode of Pretty Little Liars, my daughter’s favorite show.

To read a fantastic summary of these events, check out Anne R. Allen’s blog post on this subject. I, for one,  hope my relationship continues to be strong with the hand that’s been feeding me the past few years.

Home page of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks.
Subscribe to this blog for updates for indie authors and self publishing.

add me to Google Plus circles +Jason Matthews


8 Responses to “Is Amazon Abandoning Indie Authors?”

  1. Barney Schwartz Says:

    Some of us must have caused a stir. Noticed today that the like buttons are back

  2. Catana Says:

    My view is that abandoning “likes,” and tags that anyone can add is a step, toward disabusing people of the idea that Amazon is a social networking site. It’s a book site, not a branch of Facebook and Google+. As a reader and an indie writer, I applaud Amazon. The review deletions are less clearly a good thing, but we can hope that Amazon will refine its methods of determining which ones are legit.

  3. Janis I. Monroe Says:

    I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. Everything keeps on changing as far as where to publish, with whom, etc. I first started out trying traditional publishers,and then found and published through there, until the Kindle came and I found out about KDP and then CreateSpace, Smashwords and more recently Kobo. When I read this blog and Anne R. Allen’s blog post about Amazon I just wanted to cry. I have all these books in me and now I don’t know where to turn when it comes to publishing. I feel lost.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      A lot of us feel lost, Janis. All we can do is keep on doing what we do. Write, publish and hope for the evolution of this whole thing to work with us in the long run. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  4. Stephen Says:

    I for one could see amazon spinning the Indie side off into another separate company. But it is getting harder and they certainly ain’t making it any easier.

  5. flick merauld Says:

    I’ve noticed that free promos don’t seem to have the same clout. With so many more readers coming onto Amazon daily, i can’t believe it’s just a matter of saturation with freebies or the same people seeing the books. My first two promos were wildly successful, with thousands of books downloaded both during and after the free period and my books going into the top 100 paid after the promo. The last two promos shifted barely any books and resulted in no after promo sales, even with a just published book. I can’t believe the difference in 6 months. People have muttered darkly about altered algorithms…I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t know what to ascribe it all to. i do know that trad published authors have little perks we don’t get, such as 20 pence books (don’t know what that translates to in other currencies) – the cheapest I can sell a book for is 77p. If I could sell at 20p, I think it’s likely I’d sell a lot more books and gain a lot more visibility. I’m confused.

    • Jason Matthews Says:

      I think you’re right–the freebie market has simply become over-saturated and doesn’t have anywhere near the impact as it used to during the glory days of KDP Select. I’d like to see some numbers on how many new books have been released in the past few years compared to the years before Kindle (circa 2007).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: