Barely Legitimate

Commentary on a certain author’s claims about Amazon damaging his sales…

“Lets look at this for a minute – Amazon, a retailer, is discouraging sales. Being of some small journalistic training, I went to Amazon, and found Douglas Preston. Wait, if Amazon is discouraging sales, wouldn’t they not have any material for him on their site? I can get his books on Kindle and in dead tree format. I can’t pre-order his books. Perhaps this is how they are discouraging his sales? Amazon and his publisher don’t have a contract – Amazon doesn’t know that they’ll be getting his latest book when it comes out. Why should they try to sell something they may not get? More importantly why should Amazon even be carrying his books currently except as used materials? They don’t have a contract with the supplier. They can sell what stock they have in paper back and hard back format and sell what’s on their servers in e-book format, if they’re feeling nice about it. They don’t have to sell his materials at all.

The other part of this is even more important – his sales have dropped. According to other articles, Mr. Preston has stated that Amazon has pulled his discounts. Again, I looked on the page – some materials are discounted, some aren’t. But here’s something I’ve not seen anyone talk about – if it requires a discount for your materials to sell, perhaps the suggested retail price is to high.”

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6 thoughts on “Barely Legitimate

  1. All excellent points.

    However, none of that matters to some folks. They think that unless Amazon gives them every bell and whistle (including some that a lot of authors don’t actually get), they’re being targeted in some horrible way.

    If they want to see real persecution, I’ll be happy to pass along stories of actual persecution to show them the difference.


  2. Excellent post! And this… “if it requires a discount for your materials to sell, perhaps the suggested retail price is to high”. The market will tell anyone trying to sell anything whether the price is too high. Sales basics that some people either never learned or would rather not acknowledge.


  3. Poor, poor Douglas. He’s certainly damaged his own sales with this. Not that I was much of a fan to begin with.


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