It is not just Selling on Amazon. A KDP story

Received this email newsletter from a Kindle Offer, It comes daily

He is an Amazon employee as well as a extremely adept hack writer in many genres.

Making deals and negotiations.

Some folks don’t want It’s 9AM.

I’m okay with that.

But they have told me they do want to know when books are out.

And I’m okay with that too.

Here’s the deal part.

It’s 9AM comes out daily and includes free books, audiobooks and more, plus will expand and grow.

Stay in it if you like, and if not, just click the unsub button.

If you want to just know when books are out, click this link on Draft2Digital which will let you know whenever a book is released on Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, and/or maybe Amazon, plus in libraries and on other platforms.

Simple.

Easy.

And hopefully effective.

That way, you get what you want.

So what’s the deal with Amazon?

The short answer is, I don’t know.

Mailchimp raised their prices in February and it was going to cost to much to use them as an email provider.

I follow a couple of people on Substack and thought I would give it a try.

On Feb 14, I sent It’s 9AM to folks with a link to my books on Amazon and a few hours later, my account was closed.

No notice. No email.

And they kept the payments.

Huh? I said.

So I checked SPAM to see if I missed the notice.

Nada.

Then I emailed Amazon contact and waited.

I also did some deep dives on a few groups and message boards to see if I could get a chat link or phone number and speak to an actual human.

Now I have the inside scoop on Amazon, the company, because I also happen to work there.

Communication is not their strong point.

In fact, one might argue through experience, the company actively and routinely pursues a non-communication strategy across all their business platforms.

On the groups, I learned that hundreds of authors lost their accounts that day because bots identified suspicious activity.

Like a ton of traffic coming from one source was listed as “suspicious activity.”

So I waited, because this should be easy to clear up.

Two weeks later, after submitting an email through their contact page every 48 hours with no response, I got the first email from them me letting me know that they thought I was trying to “manipulate page reads.”

The email was canned, meaning just a copy and paste job, and it said if I had questions, just respond.

Which I did.

And it came back with an answer.

I was responding to an auto email to an address that doesn’t accept incoming mail.

Huh? Hmmm.

Working inside the Company should give me insider access, but remember, KDP is in Seattle (and remote) while I work in a Fulfillment Center (a different silo).

But I had a computer and access to the network.

More digging.

Here’s what I found.

KDP does not publish contact details of that division even within the company.

It is a Fort Knox.

Part of their strategy I think.

Meanwhile, I’m still emailing.

I email Author Central.

They direct me to the non-working email that is standard.

I contact Amazon Ads Platform.

They direct me to the non-working email that is standard.

I even email [email protected], the published email of Mr. Bezos himself, and get a response from someone.

It directed me to the non-working email that is standard.

I’ve read stories about authors who got their accounts back after a few weeks.

I’ve read stories about authors who got their accounts back after months.

Me…

I’ll keep trying.

And in the meantime, plan B.

Which moves up to plan A.

Go wide with all books.

So now you can find me on Barnes and Noble, and on Kobo and on Apple, and soon on Google Play and Payhip.

Plus in libraries, through Overdrive and Libby.

All of it takes a little time because I thought, since I have to reformat the books, might as well give ‘em an edit and once over.

And adding the audiobooks to Youtube, so you can access them at your leisure.

Each book has a social media plan to get the word out about the new locations and availability.

Plus, I have been approved as a Wal Mart seller, so I’ll order paperbacks and offer them on Wal Mart online.

While I wait to hear back from Amazon.

Failing that, I have a plan C.

And plan D.

Through it all, I’ll keep offering stuff up for you.

Free, discounted and otherwise.

Because if a window of opportunity closes, there’s always the back door

2 Likes

I know this post was long, and some might find it irrelevant.

But there are many authors on KDP who are following the exact same process as this author.

Give away books, either directly on Amazon with a zero price, or through Bookfunnel, BookHub, Book Raider, Hello Books or other sites direct or through Amazon.

These authors use their lists to promote existing books, build interest in forthcoming books and leverage their leadership. Many have written books in series and give away the first in the series or other older titles to promote sales of the latest releases.

Many have advance review copy lists which provide some readers who promise to review the book, pre-release copies.

Amazon itself provides pre-release copies of books to Prime Members every month,

Not only do free copies through the Amazon site improve sales rank, they also are reported as sales to various best seller lists. Sellers using these techniques can reach number 1 on their day of release.

It is highly likely that any book on the USA Today Best Seller list for Ebooks uses these techniques.

Some of these authors use this lists to select from alternatives for the book cover.

Another author recently shared a rumor which was circulating in the author community, that Amazon was going to deprecate KDP, extending Kindle Unlimited into a "streaming service’. That would be a major income cost to authors, like how iTunes has moved the bulk of its music buyers to streaming not downloads.

1 Like

In my strange mind, this does somewhat equate to how the free returns enable ‘borrowers’ of books, clothing, seasonal decor, costumes, etc to use and return at no cost to them. We pay their ‘streaming’ fee when they use these items (unsellable product loss, return postage, time). They borrow, not buy. It’s just not officially sanctioned but they get away with it if we don’t fight back, and when Amazon covers the A-Zs and Safe T claims.

The one thing you can count on Amazon to do is behave like Amazon.

Sometimes, some data points outside our own experiences help make it clear what that means.

They also make it clear that others who deal with Amazon are similarly paranoid, justifiably or not.

1 Like