How Amazon Keeps Self-Published Authors Dependent on the Amazon Ecosystem
Are you a self-published KDP author? You may need to redefine for yourself what it means to be “independent.” WHY is it that you can’t seem to sell any books outside of Amazon? Is Amazon the only place to sell books? Are all your potential readers on Amazon?
Before we can start to answer these questions, there is one more crucial question that YOU need to ask yourself: Why don’t YOU have any access to the readers who purchase your books on Amazon? Since Amazon is so rounded, organised and innovative, don’t you think you should open your KDP dashboard and see the name, email, gender and country of everyone who has purchased your book?
If Amazon can have this information, WHY shouldn’t you? YOU are the book’s author and publisher. Don’t you think this information will be useful for your business? How would it feel to know that you can easily contact all the readers who have purchased your books from time immemorial, and offer them a new deal or promotion? Would it make you feel better or worse?
Amazon has this technology already in place, and Amazon uses this information for its own advantage only. If Amazon truly cares about the indie author, WHY is it denying you this advantage? When you have worked so hard to convince potential readers to visit your Amazon product page and purchase your book, Amazon simply shows you what book was purchased and number of copies sold, and snags up the rest of the information — even when it knows that the information it is withholding from you will be very valuable to your growth, success and independence as a self-published author.
The average indie author will spend years promoting her books on Amazon, yet she won’t find lasting success — simply because she doesn’t have certain vital information. What will it cost Amazon to reveal this information to you? Is the Amazon customer who purchases your book not also your customer?
After many years of inhibiting your potential for growth and success, an Amazon staff will invite you to share your “experiences” with KDP in the forums and newsletters; and you’re so joyful and excited to sing the praises of Amazon because you’ve earned a few thousand dollars over the years.
The general consensus is that, as a self-published author, you don’t deserve to be successful. And because you believe it, you’re too excited to count yourself “successful” because you’ve made a few thousand in sales. But try to stop all that promotion and blind marketing, and see just how successful you’ll remain. You don’t even have all your past efforts to bleed. So, you have to run back to Amazon to keep the steam going. Indie author? Remind me again how “independent” you are!
Someone once remarked, “If you find that you have dug yourself into a pit, stop digging!”
If your marketing focus has been on the sales and not on the customers, that needs to change! Your goal as a publisher is to acquire customers. You only get a sale once, but you can keep the customer for as long as you will. Remember that it’s the customer who makes the sale. The customer may only purchase the book once, but that customer’s purchase decisions do not end with your book.
Unfortunately, for as long as you keep focusing on the sales, you leave yourself no choice but to rely on those who have the customers.