[The Verge] Amazon has ended its periodicals program, and independent publishers are panicking

Amazon has ended its periodicals program, and independent publishers are panicking / Since Kindle Periodicals was dropped, many pubs are scrambling to find a way to stay alive.

independent publishers have been scrambling to figure out how to make up for the loss in income that would ensue when many of their subscribers would suddenly disappear. Subscribers who, according to Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld Magazine, could not be contacted directly and redirected to other subscription methods because “none of us know who these subscribers are.” Because they were subscribing through a third party: Amazon.”

IF Amazon had any decency at all they would tell the periodicals who the subscribers are.

We know that won’t happen but it would not cost Amazon any cash flow to do it since they are the ones discontinuing the entire deal.

I know that’s ridiculous and asking too much from them though. :unamused::frowning::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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It is the same mentality that is increasingly insulating buyers from sellers.

  1. Addresses are not shown on shipped orders after some time (I have not calculated that time frame). I had to send out a - delayed request - replacement for an item recently that I did not want returned (so I did not advise use of the Return/Replace option*) and the buyer’s address was no longer on the order page**. I did know to find it on the Order Report so all was well, but I wonder how long we will even get that level of detail on those reports.

  2. Just last week I inadvertently switched labels on 2 orders. Buyer 1 contacted me about receiving the wrong item right away and I immediately shipped the correct item. I tried to message Buyer 2 to give them a heads up about the wrong item still en-route, apologize and assure them it would be corrected. The only option active at the Contact Buyer link was Provide a Courtesy Refund. The other options were greyed out. So I had to wait for her to get a hold of me. Something went wrong on her first attempt to message me and I never received it, so her 2nd attempt was rightfully unfriendly because she thought I was ignoring her on top of sending the wrong thing. I could have prevented a few days of discontent on her part if only Amazon would’ve let me send a simple message.

True we would not have the volume of buyers without Amazon, but Amazon would not have the volume of buyers either without all the 3rd party seller merchandise at their disposal. I can’t say I fully agree with the idea that the buyers are strictly Amazon’s customers, IMO they are shared.
Does the B&M mall ‘exclusively own’ all the customers that walk in seeking a favorite retailer inside?

:fearful: I’m fully aware of all the arguments in this debate, no attacks please.


I know it’s risky to replace outside of Amazon’s infrastructure but for lower value items I don’t want back, I take the risk for faster resolution and less hoops for the buyer to negotiate.


I could have asked the buyer to message me their address, but that’s another message round required and doesn’t seem very professional.

Or even communicating something more than just “we’re ending this, contact them directly”:

  • Provide links directly to the pub’s subscription site!
  • Offer some Amazon credits with direct renewal!
  • Ask subscribers if they can share their info!

Literally anything other than simply “bye”. :neutral_face:


Why would they do that? It doesn’t benefit Amazon in any way. You think they care if the publishers go bust?

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Amazon is incompatible with niche marketplaces.

This is part of the same process which led Amazon to decimate the collectibles and fine arts categories.

This is an activity which is not compatible with a mass market cash cow.

The cannot do other than what they do. Between cost issues and privacy issues they cannot engineer a soft landing for those who are affected.


I disagree that there’s no benefit to Amazon.

If you mean there’s no immediate financial incentive, then I do indeed agree that Amazon will only act when there is such (or a significant financial/legal deterrent).

But it certainly wouldn’t hurt them and certainly would benefit them, to not be @$$holes to yet another entire industry at a time that they are under significant legal and governmental scrutiny.

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Look at the way they treat sellers. It fits their style exactly.

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If I am a subscriber to a periodical, and Amazon stops distributing it, and I want to read it, I will find another way to subscribe.

Why would anyone think that I wouldn’t?

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I don’t disagree.

But you (and I, because same) are not a typical Amazon customer or periodical subscriber.

And any abrupt cessation to any subscription service (be they print periodicals, streaming, whiskey-of-the-month, etc) artificially applies a non-standard decision point to a consumer and unplanned account transitions, that subscription services have no capacity to mitigate.

This is further complicated by Amazon’s proprietary ownership of the subscriber data, which was fine as long as the middle-man relationship continued but was likely not a foreseeable circumstance to businesses who participated.



My lord man, who’s going to possibly survive on one bottle a MONTH?

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Many of the subscribers to the e-edition of these periodicals have no commitment and limited interest in them, they are reading them with Kindle Unlimited which provides a tiny trickle to the publisher. They are unlikely to seek out the publication and pay for it.

Kindle Unlimited is an almost painless way to obtain a small revenue stream, if listing there you have to agree not to give your publication for free in other online methods. Authors are going through great effort to devise schemes to promote with free books, and also use Kindle Unlimited.

The Kindle world is full of the classic guru driven ways to become a successful author or publisher. It is also finally seeing the enforcement by Amazon against review manipulation and other activities.

An author with 60 books under his belt, who also works full-time at an Amazon FC lost his account because he slipped up in his promotion techniques.

I have some second-hand information on KDP.

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An author that works full time at a FC?

Well, there’s a reason for the saying starving artist (or author as the case may be)

5 posts were split to a new topic: “Contact Buyer” options

I don’t know why Amazon got rid of magazine subscriptions (print & digital). I know from the print side, Amazon worked with two magazine companies (Synapse & Ebsco) who handled the fulfillment and customer service for the vast majority of the magazines they offered. The others were fulfilled by the publishers directly. Amazon carried no inventory, didn’t have to ship or track anything, and did not need to provide customer service. They received hundreds of thousands of orders a day, so why cut off that revenue stream?

Interestingly, one of the companies that handled the fulfillment of many of the print subscriptions (Ebsco - https://www.ebscomags.com), closed their magazine subscription division shortly after Amazon cut off the subscriptions on Amazon. Ebsco is a large company, so it seems losing Amazon had a huge impact on their revenue, as they did sell magazines through multiple other venues.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: “Contact Buyer” options

Like any big corporation or even more specifically big tech in general, I don’t think they care. It is all about amassing as much power and control as possible.

It’s really sad and unfortunate.

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I stopped renewing my last magazine subscription a little over a year ago.

For the past year I have been receiving it for free. The economics of magazine publishing require making trade-offs between subscription revenue and advertising revenue. The number of people who have been cancelling subscriptions to many magazines is high, and without subscribers their ad revenue shrinks.

Many periodicals have undergone editorial changes which pis*s off their readers, in this case their changes have nothing to do with their subject and mission.

It is hard, in this country today to focus on satisfying one’s readers and ignoring irrelevant divisive issues. There are too many interests pushing to the irrelevant due to the need for virtue.

Amazon does not wish to be the caretaker for failing businesses. Or the platform for them unless they are paying AWS.

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…as do the print issues themselves, which leads to additional cancellations, etc…

I still receive some mindfulness/creativity magazines via print subscription, but the copies get thinner and thinner while the prices go higher, so I don’t see continuing those.

:persevere: My favorite print magazine ever (even more so than Games! which I received for many years in my childhood) ended up winding down their US edition and US-based subscriptions during lockdown due to the significant increases in shipping costs on both sides of the Atlantic.

However, they appear to have maintained both quality and pricing on their other editions, so while I’m disappointed, I celebrate their wise business choices that have meant that the brand and business survived.

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