Look! I’m not an Amazon-basher per se. The behemoth is far from perfect. I happen to believe that Amazon loads the dice against UK-based indie authors.
Though I live in the Philippines, I consider myself UK-based when it comes to all things Amazon. My books sell better on Amazon UK than Amazon US. Not too surprising because I write about British undercover cops, real and fictional. I am British through and through.
So, you may ask, where’s the bias? Here is one good example. My latest release Book 2 in the Steve Regan Undercover Cop series was released on July 11, 2018. It received two early reviews on Amazon UK, one four and one a five star review. Great!
But, and a big but, zip on Amazon US – so far.
Now, I want to promote it through Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). In fact I did. The click through rate is amazing! 500 clicks in one day. But zero conversions (sales). I know why. There is nothing wrong with the sponsored ad as evidenced by the clicks. But the clicks only go to Amazon US not UK. The two reviews on Amazon UK are thus invisible to potential buyers. It’s not right and unfair. The dice are loaded!
After all, the UK is the second largest eBook market in the world behind the US.
The solution? Amazon US could simply place a link to the UK reviews instead of “be the first to review this item.” Goodness sake, it ain’t rocket science and they do want to sell books, don’t they? Even better, AMS could give an option of which marketplace you wish to target. It’s US by default.
It’s tough enough out there without these obstacles to fair trade 🙂
This is not just confined to Amazon. Most, if not all, book promotion sites will link to the US site. Again, if your book is doing well on the UK site but not so well in the US, you are disadvantaged.
An example: BooksGoSocial (BGS) despite being based in Ireland ( Amazon UK marketplace), insist on several US reviews before they will entertain your book for its discounted NetGalley promo service. Dice loaded, yet again.
I have no beef at all with BGS. They are a decent bunch of well-meaning people.
I’m sure there are many other examples of this bias against UK authors. Let me know in the comments box below, if you are aware of such examples.
Perhaps we need a class action based on competition law? Are there any competition lawyers in the house?