Select Page

Blog

Get email updates whenever a new article is posted
Loading

The Amazon Monopoly

Warning:  This is a rant!

There are millions of books on Amazon.com and hundreds of thousands of authors who earn their living—theoretically—from this market-dominant company. The mechanics of how this works for an author may not be obvious to the general public.  Here is an insider’s view.

Many people buy Amazon Prime paying $119 for free shipping, so Amazon is cash-positive from the get-go. How does Amazon ship for free? Answer: authors pay for the shipping. Here’s the math:

My book, “The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch”, has a cover price of $24.95. Amazon arbitrarily decides to sell the book on their website for $14.00, making them look like a discount hero. Amazon—arbitrarily again—decides that they will discount the list price by 55%, so they pay me $6.30. The responsibility for shipping the book to Amazon is mine, so I pay $3 for an envelope, $13 for postage, and perhaps another $5 for creating an invoice, financing the accounts receivable and the cost of auto and gas getting to the post office. Gross income to me: $6.30; total cost to me of $21; so I lose $14.70 on every sale of a $24.95 book (and we sell hundreds of books each year!).

 

I have 22 books in print, an equal number of CDs and Videos, and similar losses occur on every item because of Amazon’s rapacious price-gouging and offloading of costs to authors and other vendors. To add insult to injury, if Amazon cannot locate a confirmation that I sent confirming that I have shipped the book within a window of 48 hours, they cancel the order altogether and don’t pay me anything, even though I’ve already shipped the book(s).

Last year Amazon increased—arbitrarily, again—the price of my $24.95 book to $50—for months.  Since Amazon obscures the finding of phone numbers, emails or contact points for vendors who wish to reach them, I struggled to contact the company for 4 months during which time sales nosedived because hardly anyone purchased at these inflated prices. Eventually, I succeeded in getting an email response letting me know that “they were working on it”. However, no change occurred until—arbitrarily again, and after many months of lost sales—Amazon decided to restore the price to the correct one.

So, I’m seriously thinking of withdrawing all of my books and other products from Amazon because it’s an unsustainable business model for me, and I think it’s time for all authors to take a stand. Of course, Amazon has a lot of power—to lose the Amazon sales channel will be painful for me, but I’d rather sell less books through a profitable channel than tons of books on which I lose money on every single sale.  What do you think? If you are an author like me, what would you do? Is it time to start a movement? @boycottamazon

If you wish to support my work, all my books and other products and services are available here: www.secretan.com/estore.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I sent an early draft of the post above in an email to Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, and this is the reply I received the next day, in which they don’t address my concerns, but try to get me to publish through their own publishing house!!

My name is Albert Rosberg with Amazon Author Central – Executive Customer Relations, Jeff Bezos received your email and I’m reaching on his behalf. If you’re a Seller with Amazon please visit https://sellercentral.amazon.com/ for better assistance with your Seller Account. Also consider publishing your paperback books by using KDP, for more information visit KDP Jumpstart guide, check: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202187740.

Best regards,

Albert Rosberg.

Executive Customer Relations

Amazon Author Central

http://author.amazon.com

______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

The Amazon Monopoly

The Amazon Monopoly

Warning:  This is a rant! There are millions of books on Amazon.com and hundreds of thousands of authors who earn their living—theoretically—from this market-dominant company. The mechanics of how this works for an author may not be obvious to the general public. ...

read more
A Very Special Offer

A Very Special Offer

One of the regular participants in our weekly Inspiration in the Cloud Zoom sessions (www.secretan.com/inspiration-cloud), and my good friend, Stephan Hein from London, UK, is offering a very special gift to us – he will present a Yoga Nidra session for us on March...

read more
What a New American President Can Teach Us

What a New American President Can Teach Us

Thirteen years ago, the day after President Barack Obama was elected to his first term in office (November 5, 2008), I wrote the following blog. Then I posted it again prior to his second term, and again following the Innauguration of President Trump. Here, I offer it...

read more
Let’s Aim Higher!

Let’s Aim Higher!

I don’t know if you are a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but the last day of 2020 seems the most appropriate time to address that subject. To put it kindly, 2020 has been a challenging year. There is much talk about flattening the curve, inoculating the majority of...

read more
Let’s Hold Hands!

Let’s Hold Hands!

Back in March of 2020, you and your friend set out on a long walking trek across the wilderness.  The trip is about 500 miles. It's December now and you have reached the 300-mile mark. You find yourselves exhausted, frustrated, dejected, overwhelmed, stressed and fed...

read more
Three of my favorite quotes.

Three of my favorite quotes.

As we navigate through challenging times together, I thought I would share with you three of  my favorite quotes.  They always keep me company, and these days, even more than usual, they are very important companions for me.  I hope they will also be grounding for you...

read more
Become a Certified Higher Ground Leader

Become a Certified Higher Ground Leader

If you would like to become Certified as a coach, consultant or facilitator of Lance Secretan’s renowned Higher Ground Leadership®, or just learn more about this deep and inspiring body of work, we have two new opportunities for you. NOTE: If you have previously...

read more
A Second Wave is Coming—This one is Burnout!

A Second Wave is Coming—This one is Burnout!

According to the latest research, burnout is reaching unprecedented levels. As we all wrestle with the extraordinary onslaught of change, challenge and dysfunction, traditional online means of support are proving inadequate. Access to an Employment Assistance Program...

read more
A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity

A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity

In 1970, Milton Friedman famously wrote, "There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits....". For this kind of thinking, Friedman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in...

read more
Cheer up!

Cheer up!

It seems that we can’t open our news feeds these days without reading another depressing headline. So, here is my antidote for you today:     First, Visit www.inspirepledge.com and make a commitment to being your best, inspiring self today, and just as...

read more
A Weekly Shot of Inspiration

A Weekly Shot of Inspiration

Last March, I invited people to join me in an experimental weekly Zoom video call for some mutual inspiration. The original intention was to provide support to frontline workers during Covid. I committed to hosting these sessions for one month, but everyone was...

read more