Amazon…This whole author love / hate relationship…

Amazon…One of the biggest companies in the world, a site that you can access at pretty much any place and any time to view and purchase things you want or need. Now Amazon are also one of the biggest self publishing platforms for self publishing authors using their ‘Sister’ company ‘Createspace’. I myself use Amazon to self publish my own novels, this is basically because I’m too impatient to try the traditional route, I tried, for like a month, got two rejection letters, threw a strop and self published but its also because I have so many ideas rattling around in my little brain that I would forever be contacting agents and publishers to take my books and I just couldn’t be harassed with the whole thing. Nope. Not for me…Unless of course one of them approached me…Then I might reconsider…lol. What I also love about the self publishing route with Amazon is that you are in control, I write the story and when I edit it I decide what stays and what goes, I don’t have an editor telling me that my main character should be called Amy instead Amilessa and that she should have brown hair not blonde as most people won’t relate, or that this half of the book doesn’t need to be included when in fact that part of the book explains what the reader needs to know. Now I’m not completely naïve I do know that editors are clever and good talented people to have when writing a book, they pick up mistakes you miss, they have read hundreds and thousands of books and trained in the field and sometimes know what they are talking about but…with me I want my book to be mine and how I intended it to be not how someone else thinks it should be. I also get to design my own cover, set the price I want to sell it at (to a certain degree) chose which countries it can be read in and all of that jazz. I have also heard many horror stories of people who have been taken on by big publishers and have lost the soul of their books, one woman I spoke to was so angry and annoyed that she had to fight for the book rights back and the ones that came after that book she self published, she also told me that she had to do all her own marketing just like an indie author. She said they practically stripped the book bare and reorganised it and in the end it wasn’t her book but something else. But on the other hand I do know people who wouldn’t ever self publish because they get the help they need and have had a good experience with a big publishing house. I guess there are always two sides to every story and it depends if you are lucky enough to fall in with a great publishing house and editor.

The slight downside with Amazon which is what has most author’s backs up whether they are traditional or self published is the whole review system. Before it was fairly easy to get reviews, e.g customer brought one left a review and that was that. Now Amazon have made it that a customer must have spent around £50 on Amazon to qualify to leaving reviews. Now for authors that want and need reviews to be able to rise amongst the ranks this has set us back, many authors I know have used beta readers who get the books for cheap or free to review but most or some haven’t spent that much on Amazon and therefore cannot leave the review even if they want to. Now I do feel this came around because many people abused the whole review system, many authors were paying people to leave excellent reviews when actually the book maybe wasn’t that great or was good but the reviews weren’t truthful in a sense that the reviewer hadn’t actually read the book. So Amazon clamped down and erased the reviews they felt were fake or paid for. Now a lot of authors did get angry and tried to say that Amazon done this to make the higher up authors whose publishing houses paid big bucks to advertise stay higher up in the ranks. Now I don’t really have an opinion on that because I never took the time to investigate it but I do blame the people who brought hundreds of fake reviews because in the end it ended up penalising us small time authors who genuinely wanted good and true reviews. Now maybe one day Amazon might have another change up with the review system but for now this is the case and it has given us a blow, me being one of them. I have had quite a few people tell me how good my books were but when I asked for them to review they said they couldn’t because they haven’t spent much money on Amazon, some even told me they only ever download the free kindle books on offer so haven’t spent a penny there. (Bummer huh?)

So there you have it, Amazon are great for us self publishing indie authors but we do have a kind of love / hate relationship but I hope it only gets better with the review system, Createspace can stay the same as I do love that but that’s for another blog another day. xxxx

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