It used to be fun publishing eBooks on Amazon until about two years ago. That’s when the literary elitists and Book Snobs began trolling Amazon’s website. And thanks to this uppity attitude among these Kindle customers publishing books on Amazon’s platform has become a chore for authors like myself.
While Amazon has the largest audience of eBook customers, it’s clear that some customers are taking the writers who produce the content on the Kindle for granted. These eBook elitists and Book Snobs browse the Kindle catalog of millions of titles with a sense of entitlement thinking they are owed free content.
Here’s the deal: Authors like myself don’t owe Kindle readers a God damn thing. We write and publish for ourselves. These are our stories. And while we’re grateful to Amazon for the opportunity to have a platform to share them with readers, Kindle readers do not have the right to disrespect us or abuse our content by doing things like hoarding eBooks, reading an eBook through then returning it, or dropping spam one-star reviews just because they were too lazy to read a synopsis or find out what genre a book is in.
Amazon management and Kindle readers need to understand there is no never-ending pool of disposable eBooks from authors like myself. It’s our content that drives the traffic on Amazon’s website. If readers keep abusing content producers like myself more of us will take their content to competing platforms like NookPress, Google Play, Apple’s iBookstore, Kobo, or Smashwords first before publishing with Amazon.
Thanks to the Book Snobs and Literary Elitists trolling Amazon I’ve recently changed my policy regarding publishing on the Kindle. For four years I’ve used the Kindle as my primary publishing platform when launching new titles. And I used to be eager to launch titles using the KDP Select program as a springboard to garner new readers and new sales.
Unfortunately, thanks to the elitist attitude I’ve run into over the past year from some ungrateful readers I’ve decided to return to Smashwords as my primary launchpad for new titles this year. Over at Smashwords readers appreciate new books from indie authors and usually don’t whine, moan and nitpick over minor issues like a handful of typos in a 300-page book that took a year and a half to write and another year and a half to edit.
Most of the readers at Smashwords understand that many indie writers like myself have day jobs. And the only time we have to work on these books are during the evenings after a long day of work or the weekends after a day running errands. So there may be an error or two we miss after reading the same text 1000 plus times.
And thanks Amazon’s stingy new policies regarding Kindle Unlimited royalties I decided to pull most of the titles from the SJS DIRECT catalog from the program. At one time it was advantageous for an indie author like myself to use KDP Select as a springboard for new titles because most readers appreciated new books. But thanks to the trolling these days from the Literary Elitists and Book Snobs it’s just not worth continuing to take a financial loss in the hopes of getting new readers. With KDP Select paying me lower royalties I have no financial incentive to keep my books exclusive on Kindle Unlimited. Under the old royalty model authors were paid a percentage of the fund which could be $2 or $3 on a borrow.
But under the new royalty model an author like myself is only paid 1/3 of a cent per page read. So if a reader reads a novel like Spinsterella all the way through, I only get $1.73 in royalties. If they bought the same book at the retail price of $3.99, I get $2.71 in royalties with the 70 percent royalty option. So it’s just not worth my time to continue offering exclusive titles in Amazon’s KDP Select Program.
Amazon’s royalty policies on Kindle Unlimited eBooks these days seems to cater to pretentious writers who write turgid 1000 page books that are over 100,000 words. The kinds of books the publishing industry HATES, but Book Snobs enjoy rubbing in the faces of people to show how smart they are. Books filled with page long paragraphs, overly descriptive sentences filled with flowery prose and fifty-cent words. Epic fantasy books that are over a thousand pages long and feature so many literary devices they’re a chore to read. The kinds of books that suck the life out of a reader after a few pages. The kinds of books that just aren’t FUN to read.
Under the New KDP Select royalty formula these are the only books that will pull a profit for a struggling indie author. An author of an average sized romance novel likeSpinsterella (60,000 words and 280 pages) can’t make any money on Amazon with the Kindle Unlimited program. So there’s little incentive for me to make publishing there a priority or make a title exclusive there.
Thanks to this new elitist attitude among some Kindle customers and Amazon screwing with the royalties in the Kindle Unlimited program, I’m not enthusiastic about publishing my work for the Kindle. And now that I’m hearing about a plan to flag books for spelling and grammar on Amazon and take them off sale, I’m becoming even less enthusiastic about publishing eBooks on the Kindle.
The Executives at Amazon have this crazy idea that indie authors willfully publish books with bad spelling and grammar. That we just publish books to make a fast dollar off Kindle customers.
Not understanding that we authors sometimes publish shorter works to appeal to niche audiences like the Simp Trilogy. Or that we publish smaller eBooks like the Isis series because some readers just want to get one short story, and don’t want to sit there paying $64.99 for an anthology eBook to get it.
Nor do they understand we indie authors aren’t a publishing house. We don’t have the financial resources to hire a staff of editors and proofreaders to make a book absolutely error free. Again, most of us Joes and Janes are people who write in their spare time and make spare change on these eBooks. The royalties I usually receive selling Kindle eBooks every month will barely cover a large pizza pie and a 2-liter Pepsi for the family.
If Amazon’s executives would take a long hard look at the post 2008 publishing world they’d understand that not even possible for trade publishing houses to produce error free “perfect” books due to all the layoffs in the industry. These days some of their best-sellers like J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy are littered with typos. So it’s hypocritical for Amazon to insist an indie author with limited resources to be held to a higher standard that books produced at a fully staffed publishing house just can’t meet.
The Book Snobs Literary Elitists, and Amazon Executives need to understand that eBook Publishing is something most of us authors do as a HOBBY and it’s something we do in our spare time with our spare money. Many of us indie authors just don’t have $200-$1000 to hire an editor and another $200-$1000 to hire a professional cover designer for our books.
A book that these same Literary elitists and Book Snobs will bitch and whine about costing too much when we price it at 99 cents or get upset about not being able to pick up if we don’t offer it as part of the KDP Select program.
As an author I make every effort to write books that are fun and easy to read. And I write short works like the Isis series or my Simp Trilogy that entitled Kindle readers frown on so readers can see how fun reading is. I want my readers to have a great reading experience with my titles whether its 5 pages or 500 pages. Great content isn’t about the length. It’s about what the reader learns reading that content.
And Amazon needs to understand that it’s content that drives the traffic at a website. It’s content producers who produce the content that brings people to that website. Many of the literary elitists and the Book Snobs who troll Amazon are making shopping for books on the site an arduous task with their spam one star reviews and ridiculous unrealistic demands on authors. The way I see it, if they keep trolling authors we may make the Kindle to E-readers What MySpace is currently to social media.