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It dawned on me some time ago that the very existence of Amazon imprints was counter-productive to an indie author who publishes on Amazon through KDP (and I include those who still have books with CreateSpace).

For those who don’t know Amazon Imprints are books published by Amazon. The authors receive 30% royalties as opposed to the 70% norm for the rest of us. In exchange for the pact with the devil, those Amazon imprint books are promoted heavily by Amazon at the expense of us mere mortals.

So, on one hand, Amazon cajoles us into signing up for exclusivity via KDP Select, but on the other hand it favours its ‘own’ authors over the true indies.

To, me that’s a powerful reason to go wide and not put all the eggs in one basket. Confession – I have one book that does well in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited as it provides a fair chunk of monthly income through page reads via the KENP and KOLL system in addition to ‘normal sales’ of both Kindle and paperback.

Mark Williams of the The New Publishing Standard has just written about the same thing and I quote:

Amazon’s own books are quietly taking over the site – or so runs a headline in Quartz, which tells us,
Last year Amazon Publishing put out 1,552 books across its 15 imprints.

It’s a telling point that Amazon’s imprints rarely make an impact in the print charts – even on Amazon – but do disproportionately well with audio and ebooks.

Which means of course that for indie authors focussed on ebooks – and especially those who go exclusive with Amazon – their biggest retailer is also their biggest rival.

That’s not a recipe for long-term stability.

Consider this: Amazon typically pays its imprint authors a 35% royalty. Which means that Amazon checks in 65% of every sale as profit.

For indies it pays a so-called royalty of 70%, but of course that’s not a royalty at all. It’s what’s left over after Amazon takes its 30% sales commission.

But whatever you want to call it, it means Amazon collects 30% on indie titles and 65% on its own titles. Titles it can fully control the promotion of on its own site.

It’s not rocket science to see where this is heading.

Mark Williams is right. It’s not rocket science at all! You should read the whole article as he makes some other very telling points.

As one recent visitor to my site commented, “Amazon has got too big for its britches!” She’s right too.

All of my books bar one are now wide. I use Draft2Digital. I love the site and the job they do. They have taken on board one of the big bosses from Kobo too. D2D has authors’ interests at heart. Not so, Amazon. It’s all about profit and greed with them. Trouble is, they are still the biggest player in the market.



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