Amazon is soon to be abandoned by serious indie authors, and rightly so!
The market is about to go authentically independent as fitness writers realize posting their work on Amazon is synonymous with throwing it in a cyber trashcan; the digital Walmart of ebooks. Here are five major reasons why.
1) A Completely Rotten Review System
Amazon’s review system is completely eroded and decayed to the point of being impotent. Real ebook consumers pay little attention anymore because they know that more than half of all reviews on Amazon are fake, false, traded, bought, and abused beyond recognition.
Those poor souls out there falling for this over-hyped and outdated formula are wasting time and money:
get good reviews = rank better = exposure = sales
Right now Amazon is screwing around with their algorithms erasing tons of reviews, both good and bad. Doesn’t matter, what fitness ebook writers are learning is that it’s unwise to leave work at the mercy of internet trolls, competing writers/publishers, snotty and overcritical readers, and fake review services. Wouldn’t it be nice if writers could moderate this stuff? On Amazon they can’t.
It used to be that only the good reviews were fake, but now the small amount of indie authors who actually manage to rank well discover competitors will pay for fake bad reviews to reduce their exposure.
Old lady convinces tech-savvy grandson to help her publish an ebook on knitting. They get a cheap ebook cover, polish the writing a bit, embellish, format and publish on Amazon. A few days later her grandson calls complaining about a 1 star review from someone who didn’t buy the ebook, admits they didn’t read it, but created an Amazon reviewer profile just to bash it for cosmetic reasons…
2) Better Chances Playing the Lottery
Fact: the average fitness writer will never see any real payoff from Amazon. There’s a vast amount of gimmicks that claim to provide better chances of exposure, but those have all been used ten million times by other authors and people are sick to death of seeing the “free KDP promo” ads.
From Facebook ads and guest blogging, to posting in forums and tweeting like crazy, it’s all hogwash. Don’t fall for it. Don’t waste precious time.
There’s little difference between income disparity in America at large and the profits in the Amazon ebook sphere. A tiny fraction of authors soak up all the money and sales, while the other 99% scrounge around for less than a hundred bucks (and that’s stretching it) a month. Thinking of publishing on Amazon for profit? Go buy a lotto ticket instead.
3) The Degradation of Quality
Since Amazon took the reins and started commanding control of over 70% of the ebook market, consumers have witnessed a steady decline in quality. Years ago, the norm was to perfect one or two ebooks, edit/polish the hell out of them, get great looking professionally done covers, and produce quality products. Here are a few things on the decline under Amazon’s guidance.
Price – Ebooks were meant to be the slightly cheaper digital version of print books. However, with so many free or extremely cheap ebooks on Amazon (innumerable) why bother raising the price to what it should be? If the typical ebook consumer on Amazon has stockpiled 500 free ebooks on their Kindle, $6.99-$8.99 is going to be an extremely hard sell.
Length – These days the normal amount of words per ebook is about 10,000 to 15,000; not even novellas. Why? Because the industry standard has become quantity over quality. Why publish a single 80k word drop in the bucket, when it’s so much easier to publish eight 10k word quick and dirties?
Writing – If someone went out and anonymously poled hardcore ebook consumers, they would discover that for the most part they avoid indie titles altogether (don’t listen to the internet hype because it’s all paid for) due to low quality. They stick with heavy hitting names they know.
The contemporary norm is to pump out as many as possible, leading to the creation of ebook farms publishing thousands of super low-quality specimens shooting to make money off sheer numbers.
Furthermore, because there are so many services out there to game the system, the hype tells people to publish crap and then market the hell out of it anyway. Who needs quality when someone can pay for 50-100 fake good reviews, and then pay other people to vote them up and vote the legitimate reviews (which probably shed light on the reality of the product) down?
There are services out there that sell 30-50 “ebooks” for around $1000, or sometimes much less. These are basically small word documents that the “author” has to embellish a bit and then publish. These are typically written by overseas writers, outsourced for their cheap hourly rates on major freelancing sites.
4) Lost in a Sea of KDP Marketing
Wow, Amazon added a 2.2 million dollar bonus to their KDP system…so what?
“Oh man, the goal is 20,000 downloads during the free promotional period!”
It seems this jaded system has convinced many fitness ebook authors they should not only sell their work for dirt cheap, but also give tons of it away for free, and yet Amazon still gets paid. Forget about it! Again, 80-95% of authors in the KDP program rush around, spending all this money on KDP marketing, only to get a few borrows and a quickly declining small spike in sales numbers for a few weeks afterward.
“Oh my God! The ebook is #1 in two categories in the Free Kindle Store!”
So? After all the KDP sensationalism is done with (which made the fitness author no money) that ranking is going to tank, and hard. It’s extremely common for people that spend tons on KDP marketing to see that 20,000 downloads, and get maybe 10 borrows and a few sales in return. How much will Amazon raise it to next to try and dupe a few more authors, 5 million, 10 million?
5) Most of it was Hype Anyway
From the beginning of the independent ebook industry to now, very few authors have seen any real returns. The only people actually making money are marketers promising to gain them exposure and bring in ranking/sales numbers.
- How much money have Fiverr contractors made spamming tweets and cheap press releases?
- How much money has Facebook brought in over ads and promotional tools?
- Fake review services have raked in millions upon millions and counting.
- Marketing packages, Kindle ebook Author Clubs for trading reviews, and on and on. Leave it alone and evolve.
Check Out: The Future of Publishing Fitness Ebooks