Amazon has now become the world's largest online marketplace which includes publishing books. Let us find out what are the problems with Amazon Kindle books self publishing that most publishers encounter.
Amazon Controls Everything
Today's question has three answers and the third answer is a secret you are going to want to stick around for. I'm going to tell you exactly the best strategy to get around the problems on Amazon Kindle.
Let's get into it. The question that was sent to me today was, problems with Amazon Kindle books self publishing? This is something that a lot of people wonder.
There is a whole series of issues associated with any choice that you make versus another choice that you make. Especially when it comes to self-publishing, a lot of people wonder, is Kindle the right place?
Are there some other challenges with regards to Kindle when we're getting started on self-publishing? That is what we're going to answer today. But before we head on to the answers, grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist.
That will ensure you are not skipping the steps that are costing you money. So, problems with Amazon Kindle books self publishing? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my story.
When I first got started on self-publishing on Amazon, I did find some problems regarding trying to get them to accept my book. To make sure there weren't any errors or bugs or problems with the cover or the formatting.
There was a whole series of problems that I was having. I was hiring people on Fiverr to do the formatting for my books only to find that when we showed it up on the device itself, the coloring was off.
They have hard-coded the coloring and so if you did dark mode or night mode, you simply would show up incorrectly. I found an awful lot of frustration associated with that. I also saw that I wasn't selling that many books.
I was trying to figure out, well maybe it's because I'm putting them on Amazon Kindle. Maybe when I came out with my paperback books, the people would just get the Kindle instead. So, I would lose a lot of money.
Check out this related article: Where To Start Self Publishing For Kindle?
There were a number of these sorts of issues. I heard about Amazon as a company that would make you question maybe you shouldn't even be on Amazon at all. So these are a couple of the things we're going to find in today's answers.
I did continue on Amazon along with a lot of other platforms as well. But there's just a whole series of little issues associated with problems on Amazon Kindle. So, problems with Amazon Kindle self publishing?
Let's get into today's answers. The first answer for today is it is on Amazon and they control everything. You are sharecropping that is you are renting their area to put your products and services.
The problem with that of course is the fact that they can turn you off whenever they wish. So they have no obligation to ensure that you're allowed to keep on selling on their platform.
In fact, their terms and conditions establish that they simply can shut down your account when they want and they don't even have to tell you. They probably won't tell you exactly what the issue is. Because that means you can't sue them along those lines.
On The Monopoly Issue
Plus they have it in their contract to say that they can do forced arbitration, so they could come after you. I saw them coming after people for a hundred thousand dollars.
Not lawsuits but forced arbitration going after them, meaning the results of those discussions will not be released to the public. So they can ensure that whatever they're doing, you simply have no legal recourse to be able to survive the onslaught of having your account shut down.
Seeing your royalties frozen and I have seen several friends in this particular category. Something as simple as if you ask your friends and family to leave a review on your book and before you know it, you're getting warnings from Amazon.
They'll say that you're manipulating the review system because, in reality, Amazon is established. They want only your reviews to come from people you don't know. So, if you're saying, oh here's a free thing for this or that, you violate their terms and agreements.
If you're asking your friends and family to leave reviews, you violate their agreements. If you're making contacts with your buyers and asking them to review it, you violate their terms. They can shut your account down whenever they want.
For me, this is the biggest threat that Amazon has but there are additional consequences that you can get. The second one is the company issues. Some people have and issue because Amazon has a monopoly.
They are working very hard to ensure that nobody can compete with them and they do a very good job of this. So maybe you're thinking because they're a monopoly, I should not go on to Amazon Kindle. The other one is, how do they handle their employees?
Are they mistreating their employees? They are working them to the bone. There are all sorts of news stories that go after Amazon.
So maybe, it's unethical to even do business with Amazon. This is another problem that many people have pointed out when they are getting started with Amazon.
Check out this related article: Is Self Publishing On Amazon Worth It?
The secret answer of the day which isn't exactly a problem but it's the strategy of getting around the problems that Amazon has. It is that there just isn't a bigger market anywhere else.
So when you're looking at it, you could choose to boycott Amazon because of these different reasons. You could maybe sell on your website or go to a different website or whatever. But the fact is nobody else has as many customers out there who are ready to buy.
Who have their credit cards and are looking for books on the subjects that you are publishing your books. It is on Amazon where they can just click the Buy Now button and make a purchase. So, you will drastically cut your profits if you choose to boycott Amazon.
If you're making so much money from your books and you can afford to go somewhere else, then do that. But there's nothing wrong about getting your ideas out into the world on the biggest market. That's possible so I would say you should do that.
If you don't like the monopoly, you have other options. But wait until you're making millions a year before you start coming into this principled attack and saying, I'm just simply going to sell my books in areas where there aren't as many readers, this is a terrible idea.
Other Platforms Aside From Amazon
The third answer is that you shouldn't only be there. In other words, because you are in fact sharecropping, you're going to want to consider the fact that you are going to want to put your books onto other platforms.
Some of them will be on Amazon KDP Print and also ACX which is also owned by Amazon for your audiobook versions. They should also be there but I'm telling you, I have 3 other locations that I like to put my books.
For my hardback books, I'm going to put them on Lulu while my other paperback books through Ingram Spark. I'm going to put my eBooks through Smashwords which gets it out to Kobo, iBooks, and a lot of other distribution channels.
It makes it a lot easier to find the books that you're putting out onto the market. Just in case Amazon decides to mess up with your specific book for many of the different reasons. But if Amazon ever does threaten you, you need to respond to them immediately.
You have to respond with an explanation, "I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong". Don't do it again because virtually everybody I know has had warnings at one level or another from Amazon for this or for that. You simply don't want to lose all of your revenue all at once.
You go down to zero because you had nowhere else. You're sharecropping, so do not keep your books only on Amazon. This is the strategy to overcome it.
If you're making millions a year, well then feel free to move your books off Amazon. It is just that it is where everybody is. When there is a monopoly, it sometimes can be in your benefits still to just go with the program.
A lot of business in general and self-publishing falls into this category. It is like surfing, some waves come and we can choose to fight against those waves. But the waves are so powerful that it makes it very difficult.
Check out this related article: Is Self Publishing To Kindle Difficult?
Out of principle, you can try to fight and make a Youtube channel dedicated to attacking Amazon. But for me, my goal is to see if I can sell books and get my ideas, my stories, and my things out into the world. The way that we are going to do that is by figuring out how to surf those waves.
And when those waves crash and burn as a result of government like the United States going after Amazon, then maybe a new wave emerges and we'll jump on that wave. The same goes for social media as we're pushing and selling our books through advertisements.
We may wish to go after Facebook or something for pushing our stuff but because we don't like them for this or for that reason. But in reality, it's waves, we ride the waves. This is how we achieve the maximum amount of success.
If you're reading this right now, that is most likely what you're looking for. So, if you're looking at maybe other blogs that are attacking all of these different Amazon or Facebook or other giants in tech, you can read those articles.
But there is no need to use all of your emotional energy to get angry at them for all of the problems that are there. But rather, how do we surf these waves to overcome just to bring about and succeed at our goals.
So, problems with Amazon Kindle books self publishing? What have you found? I would love to hear it. Have you found other problems? Maybe there are some things that I haven't mentioned.
I continually hear people come, making complaints against these companies like Amazon. So let me know in the comments, I respond to 100% of all the comments that come in. Check out some of my other blogs and videos for other answers to your self-publishing questions.