COUNTING DOWN THE STORM (Temporarily Unavailable) A Novella by D. Ryan Leask
For two days the storm has taken over the city, and two people's lives. A man convinces himself that his life is worthless when his lover leaves him for another man. Alone and depressed, he allows his life to sink into the bowels of civilization. When a wife and mother discovers that her husband is having an affair she abandons logic and gives in to the perilous abyss of jealousy and revenge.
Re-Launch Tentatively Scheduled for Oct 17th:
¦Goodreads - For All E-Readers ¦Smashwords - For All E-Readers ¦Diesel E-Books Store - E-Pub ¦iTunes - For Your iPad/iPhone/Mac¦ ¦Kobo - For Your Kobo¦Sony - For Your Sony E-Reader¦Barnes & Noble - For Your Nook¦Direct From the Author - Mobi E-Pub or pdf¦

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm no longer supporting or selling on Amazon

I should just warn you that this is one of those "Opinion Piece" blogs from someone (me) who did about ten minutes of research and fired pretty much off the cuff.  There are likely ten million arguments out there against what I am saying and likely even more denouncing the Huffington Post piece I have used as the basis of this.  I don't care, nor do I want to get in an argument from someone with a different opinion.  If you don't like what I have to say keep it to yourself and just ignore me and at least give me some credit for being honest about my ignorance!

The saying "don't bite the hand that feeds you" doesn't really apply here as I have eaten nothing from Amazon and before I make a single dime from them I have decided to remove my books.  Why would I sell my wares at a site that I have decided to oppose?  I am taking a stand damn it!

I recently read an article on The Huffington Post (be informed read the article!) about how Kindle/Amazon is being bombarded with junk eBooks.  This isn't the first time I have read about this.  There have been a number of articles about this phenomena recently.  According to the article Nook, Smashwords and others aren't having the same issues.  Two reasons according to the article is that either there isn't enough users of these services to warrant bothering with it or they are taking actions to prevent it.

Here is a (possibly cynical) look at Amazons Policy, red notes are mine:

Publishing rights are the rights you need to publish a book. To publish a book for Kindle through KDP, you must have obtained all rights necessary to publish the digital book from the book's author and any other content creators, or, if you are the book's author, you must have retained all of the necessary digital book publishing rights. -this is good

If you are publishing a public domain book, keep in mind that the duration of copyright varies between countries, so ensure that you indicate your territory rights accurately. (If your book is in the public domain in one country but not another, you must identify you territory rights accordingly.) Books that consist entirely or primarily of public domain content are not eligible for the 70% royalty option -because it doesn't belong to you and you are likely selling loads of crap for cheap so Amazon needs to make as much money from you as possible.  If they thought your work may have some value added potential they'd likely have a category for such stuff so you could receive a higher royalty, but they don't encourage that. For full details, terms and conditions see the Pricing page and Terms and Conditions.

If your book is under copyright and you hold the necessary rights for this content, select "This is not a public domain work and I hold the necessary publishing rights."

So big surprise that Amazon won't pay the higher royalty rate to junk (provided that the person submitting it checks "This is public domain work".  Another part of the article talks about how these junk books sell for $0.99 which is also a low royalty area on Amazon, coincidence?  If you want to sell your original book at $0.99 you have to compete with Private Label Rights content (fancy name for junk/spam books).  I don't think Amazon has any desire to stop this practice.  The believe they have the corner on eBooks, and they likely do, most people are buying "Best Sellers" which is likely a very high percentage of Amazon's eBook revenue stream and the $0.65 they make from every $0.99 book that is sold is just a nice bonus.  Why would they bother changing it? To help independent authors?  I bet the majority of the money they make from $0.99 books are from these junk books so why would they limit this revenue stream if the majority of people aren't even buying them?  I would say that if it becomes a problem or this revenue begins to dry up they will just stop allowing self publishing through their site.  Of course this is all just conjecture, speculation and a hint of doom.

Here is the last line from the Huffington article:

"This is why email spam has become such a problem -- it costs nothing," she said. "If people can put out 12 versions of a single book under different titles and authors, and at different prices, even if they sell just one or two books, they can make money. They win and the loser is Amazon."

Really?  I can't see where Amazon is losing, they made $1.30 from those two books, more than the "author" made.
Here is an interesting blog from "Writer Beware™ Blogs!" with Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords.

Amazon has rubbed me the wrong way for quite a while and this is the final straw.  Support your favourite Independent authors through Smashwords, they format books for Kindle.  Go ahead and get your Nora Roberts and Suzanne Collins from Amazon, or better yet, if you haven't bought a Kindle yet, don't.  I ♥ my Kobo and many swear by their Nooks!

Thanks For Reading
D. Ryan Leask


  1. I missed that article. Amazon needs to work on that. I prefer buying my ebooks from Smashwords because I like the Stanza reader. It has far more options than the Kindle app.

  2. It's a bold move. I'm not confident that I could be a success without Amazon (here's my thoughts on the issue: I'll be watching your progress with some interest, because the sooner we can get away from Amazon the better

  3. While I think it is noble to boycott a product or service to stop harm, I don't know if this is the most effective way to enact change in Amazon.

    Amazon is developing their own publishing arms, and independent authors who have sold well on Amazon are not only getting these publishing deals, they also have Amazon's ear when it comes to potential policies about ebooks.

    I think as Amazon's publishing arms take off, there will be a stronger filter on the KDP. We all forget that originally, the Big 6 WOULD NOT publish ebooks, on principle. Amazon had little to no choice but to reach out to other writers and smaller publishers to get ebooks for their e-reading device. There was a time when B&N sat on the sidelines and everyone was with them in the opinion the Kindle was a flash-in-the-pan gadget no one will ever buy.

    Now, we have nearly every BIG 6 book coming out in both printed and electronic versions. Indie authors making major sales figures for the company. Those are the people Amazon is going to listen to when they say "Stop the junk, or I'm pulling my product." It hasn't quite happened yet, but I bet come the New Year, free-for-all KDP will be a thing of the past. There will be an editorial board and writers will likely need to pay an editorial fee for their book to go through.

    So I think your intent is good, I just am not sure the efforts will bring about the change you desire.

  4. I agree with you completely however I have no delusions that my actions will have any effect on Amazon what-so-ever or that I will have any influence in the foreseeable future. All that I have the power to do is stand on my own principles which tell me that Amazon, in its current state, does not deserve what ever paltry commission they may get from me. If others feel that they can effect change from the inside they should do so.

  5. Interesting...just started that journey with 3 poetry books on amazon and looking right now to kindle one of rights and all is a bit hard for me to figure out so i saw your blog and here i am. Getting digital rights for your own work for dummies?