Chris A. Baird | October 4, 2022
Ex Employee Warns Us About Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP is such a huge platform for book publishing. Here’s what you need to know from an ex employee warns us about Amazon KDP.

One question that comes up all the time from my clients is whether should we go with Amazon, based upon a lot of the negative press that they've read from Amazon. That's one of the reasons why in today's topic, we're going to talk about Ex Employee Warns Us About Amazon KDP.

So, the thing is this isn't just one client. But this is like several clients over the years who have asked me if there are better options. When it comes to publishing your book and not going with the Amazon route.

Though they are writers and they have their books, what they want to do is they want to get them onto the market. But at the same time, they want to see where they can put them on the market without having to put it into the Amazon atmosphere or KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing.

When they put their book on there, you have all the AIs that are being used in the algorithms to get books to people. But then they'd heard about the working conditions or issues about other books and content that was on Amazon. They were thinking that maybe there has to be a better option if possible.

So, one of the things they were focused a little bit on was 2020. Some of the articles that were coming out from Amazon revealed a lack of control of some of the content being put out. And limitations on what types of content would fall as acceptable or unacceptable on the platform.

If they didn't find a place to put it, where it would be ethical, where they could place their books. They felt that those books would never be on the market at all. Or maybe there wasn't another platform that would be a better option for them.

So, one of the options would be to try doing it as I suggest on IngramSpark or Draft2Digital. But the problem is that the audiences aren't the same size. You just don't have that same search engine with people, with their credit cards out and ready to buy.

The level of trust that they get with Amazon is so massive. So, many of them who just tried that one way, don't have access to the ads and the profiles that are on there. Their books are almost always sold on Amazon anyways even though they lose control.

Check out this related article: Confronting Jeff Bezos | Exposing Amazon KDP Monopoly

So, what difference did it make selling it there as opposed to selling it directly on Amazon? The other thing is they tried selling directly from their websites. But that requires you to know how to set up a website and how to do fulfillment.

You need a payment gateway; you're going to need a way to fulfill the books. The people who purchase them with the device exactly are going to read your books. If it's going to be a Kindle that requires some additional steps to figure out how to get a book onto the Kindle or these other devices.

This isn't as easy as it is. When somebody purchases directly from Amazon, it's immediately available right in their library. This ultimately left many of my clients feeling quite frustrated.

So, what happened was that I was talking with several of them. One of the things I was pointing out was back in 2020, you had an ex employee warns us about Amazon KDP. Many employees were warning us about several different subjects.

But one of the things within Amazon KDP that they discovered was that you could almost push anything onto the market. Without having any problems with all sorts of stuff that would qualify. Some people might hate literature writings or hate speech that would be coming out.

Being published very easily on many of the websites that promote some of this literature. They were even commenting on the fact that it is so easy to game the algorithm. If you're using the right keywords and your content is of a high enough quality.

With a good cover, you're able to use the very skills that I'm teaching here. To push material that could be objectionable and Amazon was doing a couple of things. The first thing they were doing is that you'd have the AI That's watching how people respond on their website.

Putting Out Positive Books

So as their mouse is moving around and clicking on things, it's seeing, hey they like this type of stuff very similar to the same sort of a thing you would see on Facebook. And based upon what a person clicks and purchases, it would then shove more of this material at them.

In reality, since there wasn't that type of control on what a person could or couldn't put on there, Amazon didn't want to get in the way of that. They just wanted to be a platform where anybody could put almost anything. As long as the quality was of a certain standard even if it's offensive material without having to judge what it's about.

Then that material would flow right on through. If a person clicks on this link or buys that particular thing or spends too much time with this, then they would get more of that material. So, Amazon themselves would be selling this.

Even if you listen to Amazon, they're not exactly on the side of some of the material they're selling. They would be on the other side of things. But that didn't play that big of a role because the AIs themselves would ensure that Amazon was making as much money from these books as possible.

The interesting thing is a lot of reasons, I teach the things I do exactly. So that you can also understand how that algorithm works. When the AI sees one of your books, it's going to put it at the top of the page and not at the bottom of the page.

When a person buys a book similar to your book, it's going to group your book with these best sellers and serve your books up as well. These are the very techniques that some of these people within these hate speech groups would be using on Amazon. But using it for maybe a more evil use than a positive use. Does that make sense?

So, one of the things I will always tell my clients on this particular issue it's that you should be putting out positive books. We're not looking for negative books that are pulling people down but putting out positive books. Do you know what I tell everybody? Put it on Amazon, unless you're famous and a multi-billionaire, put your books on Amazon.

Check out this related article: Breaking Down KDP Publishing "Algorithm"

The reason is you're going to start pushing the positive side and teaching their algorithms that yes, these books can also make sales. I have not had any clients who wanted to push some sort of negative dark evil-type books on Amazon.

A hundred percent of all the clients I work with are pushing books that are encouraging self-help. Books of fantastic stories that your average reader would wish to read. So, by putting these positive ones there, we're pushing on the positive side of things.

The other thing that is important to remember is that as a new author, it's not the time to protest. Resulting in us getting no sales. Now is the time to build up an audience, to start building that momentum. Then what happens is you'll start seeing this money start flowing off of your books assuming we're in a profitable niche.

As we keep turning the crank on this, the result is that you'll start to see these sales. That will bring quite a bit of money if you're doing everything exactly correctly. The other thing that's important to remember is that you can take this money and give it to causes that would fight against certain things.

There are all sorts of movements that are against and trying to shut down some content that is being pushed on the Internet. Or being pushed perhaps through Amazon or Facebook or some of these other sites. Fake news or whatever it might be that you're opposed to.

That gives you the ability to use this very money you're making to fight against these things. While you're putting your positive books and your positive energy into the market. So that you would be able to make sure that everything is under control.

This is just something that so many people, so many new writers think: I'm going to become an activist. And so, I refuse to put my book anywhere where the readers are going to buy the books. I just don't understand this concept of activism. 

Giving Your Book The Chance To Sell

I think it's great, to donate your time and energy. Donating your money, that's fine. But the idea when it comes to your books, why would you not want to encourage getting as many sales as possible? So, you can push this positive spirit into the world with what you're doing. If that makes any sense at all.

That's one of the reasons why I like to sit down with my clients and do a self-publishing journey map. With every single person or even people who just do a Discovery Session with me. Where we're able to see where you're at and where you're headed. 

If you don't want to do Amazon, I talk with clients about how to get around that. With KDP and Draft2Digital, it depends upon your situation. That's one of the reasons I would suggest to check out and book a Discovery Session with me.

It’s free and with zero commitment. You will walk away with a clear vision of where you're headed with your books. You're going to have this free map. I will draw it out for you so you'll know your self-publishing journey map. Which steps are coming next and how to go about attacking those steps?

And if you don't like Amazon and you're listening to this ex employee warns us about Amazon KDP. Who's telling you this is like the worst thing ever, well then we can find ways to work around that. I don't recommend it but I'm always willing to work with clients to figure out what is in your best interest.

What your conscience can tell you is that this is a bad thing for you. Is this something that you don't feel comfortable doing? Well, I have a whole series of ways of working around that if that's the desire. But I do not recommend that personally.

So, the thing is that a lot of the people that I was discussing this with, realized, yes, they weren't going to be making money. If they didn't do it if they didn't get their books on Amazon. But then they didn't want to put it on Amazon, and a lot of them in the end started putting the books on Amazon.

Check out this related article: Get Your Short Story Published On Amazon

They can set up their profile, they're able to put this light out there with regards to their books. Then what happens is that they're able to take those earnings and give them two causes. That they support the fight against some of these other books.

Because the reality is that those books are going to continue to sell there. Unless somebody is pushing back against Amazon with regards to these specific books in these areas. I have seen it; I can't say since 2020 some of these books have been taken down.

Amazon is doing much more restrictions. They're enforcing more restrictive policies but still, you can always find some quite objectionable books. We want to give your book the absolute best chance to sell as many copies as possible so that you too can become a bestseller.

I believe that all of you writers out there can become a bestseller on Amazon. That is something you can do. But it does take persistence and that's one thing I never tell you. It is going to be easy in terms of you can just do it in a month or two.

I'm telling you it's going to take some dedication. The easy part is the steps and that's what I like to take you through. Showing how easy each and individual step that's required to get there and what you need to do.

So that's one of the big ones there. But my question for you today that I need to know is do you have a problem, an ethical problem with selling your books on Amazon KDP? If you do, write “Yes” below in the comments and if you have no problem, you don't see any issues with Amazon, then write “No” below in the comments.

Because I need to understand better where you are coming from when it comes to your specific books. Also, check out my previous blog about the 3 Self-Publishing Skills That Pay Off Forever.

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