Amazon giveth: and taketh away

You may have seen that Amazon are changing the way they pay authors enrolled in their book loan schemes. The library fund will now be shared according to how many pages readers have read, not simply on whether they have borrowed the book. There was previously a 10% minimum proportion read caveat on books – presumably to stop desperate/unscrupulous authors borrowing their own books time after time.

Readers join the scheme for a flat fee, and can read as many books as they like that are enrolled in the scheme.

I’ve made the point to Amazon that no library in the world is concerned with how many pages of the borrowed book are read and that introducing it with e-books, just because you can, is yet a further barrier to the indie author-publisher getting any kind of return on their hard work.

They said my feedback was ‘valuable’. Humph.  I was enrolled in the scheme, I’ve told them I’m going to let it lapse in August (I would’ve yanked it straight out if I could’ve worked out how). I don’t think I’ve ever been borrowed (!) so it is entirely a gesture of principle on my part. But if it affects you, you might consider your position.

I am less and less impressed with Amazon. Having made self-publishing possible, pretty much single-handed, pretty much at a stroke, they are now retreating at speed. They have always paid my royalties back up the stream (if you see what I mean) that I use to pay for my purchases. Now they want a bank account. I have told them that there is no way I am giving them the account number of an account that has actual money in it. So they have my royalties, and will keep them unless and until they start to use Paypal. Why don’t they use Paypal? The world uses Paypal! Doubtless because Paypal refused to be browbeaten into a deal that would cut their own throats. I have lost my little seller account too, because of Amazon’s insistence not only on details of a (as they call it) checking account, but also tax information about the business. I think I’ve sold two books (not my own) that way. So that’s also had to go. I’ve had words with them about that too. Amazon’s backward waltz with indie publishers and sellers has become a real irritant. And as with all online behemoths, if something goes wrong it is almost impossible to sort it out. Will I ever get my royalties? Perhaps I should leave them to someone in my Will and leave it to my Executor to try and screw what little I’m owed out of Amazon …

And THEN there is the way they treat their staff, which is so bad, which is to do with Buying Stuff from them and a whole different can of worms.

Is it time to abandon Amazon? Hmmmm.


Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

One thought on “Amazon giveth: and taketh away

  1. Ugh. What a bad situation for indie writers/publishers. It is unfortunately also a symptom of the publishing world more widely and in general in that authors are always at the whim of someone with a financial whip in their hand. I do like using amazon and probably spend, proportionately, more money there than elsewhere but it galls me to hear how badly you and others are being treated. Not good at all. x


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