Posted: May 18, 2011 in Eye of Darkness, The Writing Life

Amazon is cracking down on self-promotions, which has the immediate effect of making it harder for independent authors to hawk their wares – which also has a negative effect on Amazon’s bottom line.

I can’t help but think that they made this decision after a lot of thought, and after looking hard at the numbers. Surely this isn’t just a disgruntled customer or two complaining about author self-promotion. So perhaps we should trust Amazon that this move is good and proper, and will enhance the bottom line – at least for Amazon.

That may be the reasoning, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work, of course.

In a perfect world, customers will recommend books to their friends, thus generating that magical word of mouth that sells books. Of course, the simple fact is that readers don’t often recommend books – not because the books are bad or because they didn’t enjoy them or even because they don’t have good things to say about them, but simply because they’ve got better things to do with their time. Thus, promotion still largely falls on the shoulders of those who benefit from it the most: the authors themselves.

Which means that tying our hands isn’t all that friendly or helpful. I think their efforts would have been better spent trying to support us, rather than dumping all our efforts into a Meet Our Authors forum, where there is zero structure and no way to navigate the threads effectively to find what you’re looking for, or even to discover something you didn’t know you were looking for, but which you enjoy anyway.

All of this brings to mind the simple fact that authors will need to rely on someone else for effective marketing. I’m leaning more toward book bloggers, and I have an incredible list of them I’ve assembled, but I just haven’t finished going through it yet. Oh well. More work for me.

On a positive note, I’ve crossed 40,000 words on Eye of Darkness the other day, and it looks like I’ll be on target to have it released by the end of June. What fun!

  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for your post on the Amazon boards. Very helpful!

    • MJ Scott says:

      No problem. I’m glad I was able to help. I’ve only been at this indie publishing thing about ten/eleven months myself. Steep learning curve. Lemme know if you’d like that excel file, and I’ll send it your way.

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