I am finding my way back again. Part of the reason I stopped writing and publishing has to do with Amazon’s policies, which you all know well I have been challenging since the beginning. Below is a copy of an email I sent Amazon, outlining some of my concerns. I have told them to feel free to visit this site, but if any of you have issues with it, you might want to withdraw membership from PiA, if you feel it might have a negative impact on your own publishing journey. As for me, I have nothing to lose. My sales aren’t going anywhere and in the end, I don’t really care what Amazon do to undermine me. Frankly, they are already undermining my efforts and the efforts of all self-published authors with their arrogant, dismissive attitude and their listing policies which severely disadvantage self-published authors. Here is the letter:
“Recently three of my books were bought online through Amazon and yet my ranking not only did not improve, but actually went down. Normally, when a single book is bought, my ranking goes up a little. This is very worrying as it is difficult enough to sell books through Amazon of late.
Two years ago, when I only had a couple of books, I was making sales almost every day without trying. Now, a whole month can go by without a single sale, despite the fact I now have more than a dozen books and I heavily promote them through social media.
I believe that Amazon’s ranking system is unfair (namely listings by date of publication and also New and Popular). Some authors seem to be allowed to put a publication date up to 2030 in order to have their book appear right at the top of the listings. Yet, I was told that I cannot put a date beyond the current date for my own books. My last release (The Red Bearon) was listed almost at the bottom of the list (around 2000th) shortly after release, making it near impossible for people to find. Ahead of it were many books with dates of one, three and even fifteen years ahead (one had a publication date of 2030). I screen captured and noted those incidences for future reference
At present, I don’t believe it is an even playing field and Amazon’s policies seem to severely disadvantage self-published authors to the point that it is almost pointless even listing them with Amazon at all.
In addition, I was told (by Amazon) that people who were gifted my books (paid for by myself) can exchange those gifted books and purchase any other item for sale on Amazon with the value of that book. In my view this is a rort and tantamount to fraud, as I paid for those books and gifted them in good faith, believing that people would read them and possibly review. I know this as fact because I check almost every day the progress of sales (including gifted books) and when I questioned Amazon about it, I was told (as fact) that anyone who has a book, whether they paid for it themselves or it was gifted to them, can return the book and use the value of the purchase to make other purchases.
I have raised these issues before and all I got was a generic response pointing out what Amazon’s policies are, without any real concern for my rights as a self-published author.
There are many other aspects to Amazon policies that concern me. I would like someone senior to explain why Amazon’s policies place me at an unfair disadvantage, when I have supported Amazon through purchases (and spent a small fortune on buying my own books).
You should know that I will not be content with yet another generic response. I want a real person to tell me and my readers what Amazon is doing to address these concerns.
I am placing this email on my website for others to comment on at http://www.publishedindieauthors.wordpress.com
Paul G Day”