An author’s experience with Amazon advantage

Amazon has been the subject of my blog for the past several postings, so why change now?  I recently received a letter in the mail from an author (not one of ours at Outskirts Press), who contacted me after reading my book Sell Your Book on Amazon.  A lot of authors contact me as a result of that book (evidence in itself that publishing a book can open up opportunities for new business).

This was the interesting paragraph from his two page letter: “I decided, based on your book, to try marketing a new book I just completed through the Advantage program. It has turned out to be the worst Internet experience I have ever had. To begin with, as you probably know, there is no way to communicate with anyone at the Advantage Division. Amazon’s corporate Customer Service reps [I have spoken to 5 of them] simply say Advantage has no phones. Even these customer services reps can’t contact Advantage by phone. That would be bad enough but they either do not receive faxes or do not respond to them. I tried to upload a picture of my book, following their instructions. That didn’t work at all and I should have been suspicious about what was to come.”

He goes on to elaborate on his frustrations in dealing with Amazon, including sentences like “The whole Advantage system is hopelessly, and needlessly, complex…” and “This Advantage program is a blot on Amazon’s otherwise good reputation.”

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, the only part of his entire letter that I disagreed with was the part where he entered the Advantage program as a result of reading my book.  Perhaps my book was too subtle – so that’s my fault.  Sell Your Book on Amazon encourages authors — as diplomatically as possible —  to AVOID the Advantage program.  This author’s letter covers just a couple of reasons why.

So let me be more clear now.  Amazon’s Advantage program is only advantageous to Amazon. There are much better ways to get your book on Amazon, Outskirts Press being one — How’s that for a blatant plug?

Fulfillment by Amazon notifies its users of a price increase

Speaking of Amazon, Amazon customers engaged in Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) services recently received notification of a price increase.  It may have been easy to miss the intent of the notice, since the increase was cleverly disguised as a “discount” but it was ultimately difficult to miss the fact that, on average, Amazon would start charging its FBA customers approximately $1.10 for each book Amazon held unsold in its inventory for longer than one year.

If there is yet another advantage to publishing through Outskirts Press, this is it.  Outskirts Press authors are not assessed this new fee by Amazon.