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.
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