The good news in September was that ebooks for the first time were more in demand and selling better than print books. And now this…
If you’re a self-published author, get ready for some disappointing news.
Your usefulness is coming to an end. Yes, you have all worked very hard for very little return in building an empire to be exploited by multinational enterprises, but sadly, your job is almost done and it’s time now for you to be given the “boot.”
It all started with the Amazon’s KDP Select program that offered “manna from heaven” in exchange for granting Amazon exclusivity to your ebooks. And yes, it was very nice for a few months, until the rules were changed. Without notice of course.
You see, the problem was that self-published titles were just way too popular, so their ‘weighting” on bestseller lists had to be reduced. From 100% down to 10% of their value.
Yet even after this dramatic change, these pesky self-published titles managed to claw their way to the top of bestselling lists. Not something that would have pleased the Big Five I’m sure. So more work needed to be done.
The next move came with the massive deletions of reviews on self-published titles. No, not the paid reviews by registered Amazon reviewers working on Fiverr, but those nasty reviews written by pesky self-published authors who actually read a book and honestly posted a review.
Clearly, Amazon believed that this was just not right that authors should be allowed to review books, even though major publishers have wrought the book review system for decades and habitually use well-known authors to write book reviews. But what’s a little hypocrisy when an end needs a means?
If these measures weren’t enough to ‘kill off’ these pesky Indies, then came this new move.
“Add to all this the unexplained changes in Amazon’s algorithms that keep the books in the KDP program from competing with publishing house titles as best-sellers.” Source: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/11/15/velvet-rope-a-dope/
My understanding of this last change was to preclude self-published titles from appearing alongside major published titles in the “Customers Also Bought” widget on Amazon book pages. Judging by my own ebook sales, it has worked spectacularly well, as my unit sales dropped off a cliff.
So what happens after the destruction of self-publishing?
To fill the new void that is going to be created by ‘killing off’ the Indies and genuine self-published authors, the Big Five are offering their own self-publishing services. Simon & Schuster are the latest to offer this …..
This is not self-publishing. It is old-fashioned vanity publishing that charges anywhere between $1,500 and $25,000 to publish a book, with little chance of success. In fact, it is a very old fox in new sheep’s clothing – Author Solutions and Author House.
My advice has always been, do not walk away from them, run away! Vanity publishing has such a bad reputation, but as it has now been renamed and re-marketed as self-publishing by the Big Five, everything is ok. Right? Wrong!
If you’re a self-published author, the message is clear, and get ready for more bad news in the near future. All your free ebook giveaways were for nothing. You were all just way too popular for the good of the publishing industry, who are now struggling to afford their champagne lunches every day.
But boy, did you help sell millions of Kindles. Well done. But you’ve served your purpose, now pack your bags and get the hell out of publishing!