Valid Book Distribution Concerns As an Indie Author

As many authors or those striving to become one, the second your book is published and available for potential readers, you feel a sense of accomplishment. In a way unexplainable. After all, you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into the project and deserve at least some appreciation for your accomplishment(s). So you wait, marketing yourself and your book almost daily to get the word out, hoping by some miracle your work is discovered and added to some favorite reading list or given at minimal a 3 star review, 5 of course if you are that lucky. Then one day you click on Amazon.com and discover there are a hundred variations of your novel, sold at different prices from some unknown online bookstores, and you pause, very baffled at how that could be possible. Especially when you’ve gone through a specific reputable distributor and set up pricing to make a dollar for every 10 sold. Who are these people you wonder? So you write an email to Amazon to find out, and they reply timely of course, but as follows:

 

Hello Kilian,

While researching this issue for you, I found that “Piazza Navona” is offered on the Amazon.com Marketplace by third party sellers.

Books which are sold by sellers using Amazon Marketplace list a number of used or new listings under the Amazon price. They may also list “Available from these sellers” in place of an Amazon price.

Sellers either collect used books or buy them wholesale from publishers. As sellers have already paid for the books when buying them used or wholesale, you’ll not receive any royalties for the copies they sold. They are free to set their own prices for their retail sales. Detail pages for Marketplace titles will remain in order to allow third party sellers to participate in Amazon.com’s Marketplace.

I hope this information helps to better explain the issues you noticed for your book and I apologize for any frustration this issue has caused you.

We appreciate your understanding and hope to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,
XXXXXX

While I understand Amazon’s take on business, what they don’t seem to understand with their seller’s Marketplace program is what that does to the actual owner of the product. So, If I understand correctly, I did all the work, and someone else is benefiting?

So I opened a Seller’s Marketplace myself (Atelier300), testing the system. But the concept that ‘someone unauthorized’ is selling my books was bothering me, almost obsessively. So I wrote to each and every one of the sellers simply inquiring, and so far 50pct replied as follows or close to it:

“We apologize, we will remove your book immediately from our inventory.”

Maybe now I can get some sleep, I resolved, closing my eyes.

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