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Amazon is my go-to website. I buy all my print and eBooks there. I order camping stuff, household items, and gourmet foods, which they  deliver in two days. I buy audio books from Audible, which they own. I have published my book in print and eBook formats through Amazon publishing companies. My regular website has affiliate (pass through links) so you can buy my book or other items and I earn a commission on all sales. I have– through Amazon used book selling program–sold off books that I no longer need thanks to my Kindle. Their book database is so large that many people research titles on Amazon instead of Books in Print.

I am on the Amazon bandwagon. I find them extremely easy to work with and am grateful for the opportunity to self-publish. However, a recent article in the New Yorker (which I get on Kindle) reveals some insider information about Amazon. For example, when you search for a book topic–say western history–the publishers of books at the top of the list have paid for prime placement. If the big publishers don’t pay to have their books at the top of the list, Amazon drops their listings–quite the strong-arm technique. 

A mish-mash of other listings follows those top slots, including books published through Amazon. Finally, you will find the free, public domain stuff. So if you ever wondered if you should browse beyond the first page of search results, the answer is yes. And if you are looking for classics, be sure to type in the word “free” (for example “free Jack London”). Many folks are repackaging public domain material and selling them. Those listings may come up before the free books.

Another issue: Amazon is putting many Indie bookstores out of business (like Wal-Mart did with small grocers). What bothers me–a small indie publisher–is that many small book stores are pushing back by not carrying self-published books printed by Amazon. I have not yet reached out to any, but I start that marketing push next week. Wondering what I will find.

The New Yorker article is an eye-opener about many other Amazon practices. You can order just the recent copy (at Amazon of course) and learn some interesting things. You can find other information about Amazon by searching for “Amazon Effect” and “Indie Bookstores reject Kindle offer”.

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