Amazon is known for its ruthless business practices—it doesn’t merely squeeze competition, it strangles it until it dies.
Amazon currently sells 40% of all new books sold in the USA. Their percentage of the market in ebooks is even larger—perhaps 66% according to the above-cited Salon.com article.
Amazon is not merely a book seller, but a publisher, and it favors its own imprints and minimizes the ability for readers to find its competitors. The most famous case on point is that of Hachette.
Check this URL for Stephen Colbert’s clips on the issue:
And the below is quoted from a letter sent by a group of authors to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and its BOD:
About six months ago...Amazon began sanctioning Hachette authors' books. These sanctions included refusing preorders, delaying shipping, reducing discounting, and using pop-up windows to cover authors' pages and redirect buyers to non-Hachette books.
These sanctions have driven down Hachette authors' sales at Amazon.com by at least 50 percent and in some cases as much as 90 percent. These sales drops are occurring across the board: in hardcovers, paperbacks, and e-books. (http://www.authorsunited.net/)
Well-known is Amazon’s dislike of sexy covers, adult-oriented books and erotica; it seems to especially target purveyors of steamy books. Though Amazon touts its independent publishing program as a boon for writers, many indie published authors, especially in erotic romance, complain that Amazon’s search engine has made it difficult if not impossible for readers to find their books.
The Kindle Unlimited program has cut further into their book revenues. Ellora’s Cave, one of the most prominent publishers of steamy and erotic romance on the web, has downsized radically, citing a massive drop in Amazon sales of its books as the reason.
The loyalty of many customers to Amazon is misplaced. For example, Amazon often does not feature the best online price for a book or other item. A couple of cases in point:
On 30 Sept, the price of one of my shorties, Highland Vampire, on Amazon was $2.51. The price at Harlequin’s site was $2.39.
The same tea is almost half the price--$4.49—at Twinings.
Like many, I have come to rely on Amazon for so much! I listen to music on my Amazon music player on both laptop and cellphone, and download music from Amazon as well. I’m an Amazon affiliate. I also buy books for my Kindle Paperwhite, which I love, from Amazon.
But maybe it’s time to cut the cord. Why should I fund an entity that seeks to exploit me, maybe even put me out of business?
I’m an Ellora’s Cave author. I also have books placed with two other publishers that have disappointed me in myriad ways—see these links:
and scroll down to #9 at
So I want to go indie. But Createspace and KDP are fabulous platforms for self-publishing. How ethical is it, given my concerns, to use those platforms?
And beyond my personal worries, there’s the greater problem. Amazon sells a huge number of books, films, music and other creative and factual works.
Should one entity control so much of what goes into our minds and thoughts?
(@Suzdemello @MFRW_ORG #ellorascave #notchilled)
About the Author:
Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several sub genres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.
A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.
--Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com
--For editing services, email her at email@example.com
--Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello,
and visit her group page at https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe
--She tweets @Suzdemello
--Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com