Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

What Wednesday: Indies and the Vitriol Against Amazon

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of vitriol against Amazon from indie authors on my feed. I haven’t clicked any of the articles they’ve linked to because I’ve mostly been fixated on their comments: ‘I won’t be surprised if Amazon fails.’ ‘All they want is money.’ ‘Amazon will collapse.’ ‘Amazon never does anything good.’ So on and so forth…

I’m astonished by these comments because our careers as indie authors wouldn’t exist without Amazon and its Kindle. Amazon is the reason why self-publishing is becoming an increasingly acceptable way of getting one’s book out there. Amazon is the reason why so many careers have launched. Amazon is the reason why there are successful authors out there that agents and big publishers wouldn’t give a chance. Amazon is the reason why many indie authors were able to find publishers, albeit much smaller ones. And Amazon lets our publishers and us put books on their website for free.

We receive 70% of the profits. We can list books for free to get our names out there. Amazon has opened up so many opportunities out there for writers whose voices would otherwise not be heard. I have one author friend who is successful because of Amazon. She found a literary agent, but that literary agent could not find a publisher for her, so she eventually had to drop her agent and fly solo. And she has Amazon to thank for this. I have another who is still with his literary agent but opted to self-publish the book the agent had since so many publishers kept rejecting it. He has Amazon to thank for this. I have Amazon to thank for making it possible for my current publisher to exist.

As indie authors, we’re really shooting ourselves if we wish for the downfall of Amazon. The downfall of Amazon can mean the downfall of our careers; I don’t foresee another online retailer being able to overtake Amazon’s ability to sell books, unless this retailer is able to create an e-reader far better than the Kindle–which is difficult considering the Nook couldn’t beat the Kindle.

I am grateful for the existence of Amazon. Yeah, book sales aren’t any easier, but at least When Stars Die will have a chance on the market, a chance to find new readers. I don’t wish for Amazon’s downfall. This is like wishing for the downfall of my own career. For now, most readers flock toward Amazon when purchasing books online, so Barnes and Noble or Smashwords or Lulu or whatever aren’t going to help book sales for many indie authors if something happens to Amazon.

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You can now pre-order When Stars Die! preorderYou can purchase it here.

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