Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The gates on self publishing are closing says Amazon

If you're an indie writer, you've probably heard the latest about royalty payments by Amazon. They are  going to start paying authors who self publish on the Amazon platform only the percentage of the book read by the reader, instead of the full royalty for the book at the time of purchase.

At first I was like, WTF? Then it occurred to me that they're right to do this. It is becoming the only course of action they can take against inferior writing.


There's a saying, "The good thing about self publishing is that anyone can do it. The bad thing about self publishing is that anyone can do it."

It seems as if Amazon is finally becoming it's own gatekeeper as far as self publishing goes. As an indie author, I understand why they're doing this. My first two novels were published through a small press publisher, and then the rights reverted back to me. So I thought I'd give self publishing a go until I can find a new home for them. But there is still a major problem. The market is flooded with inferior self published products. Covers are low res, I've invested money in software and images to create something high res. Okay, low res shouldn't matter so much for an ebook, but it matters a lot for a print book. It's getting harder and harder to get reviews because of the poor quality in the marketplace.

But what is worse is the poor grammar and spelling mistakes littered throughout self published books. I can't tell you how many authors I've tried to support by buying one of their books, but then I can't get past page 3. This poor writing is causing readers to demand refunds from Amazon, and it's a practice they just can't keep continuing. Not when the onus is on the self published author to produce something of high quality, higher than the big guys really, if we're to stand out against them. 

Just watch a thread on a Facebook writer's group and you'll see comments about inferior quality and spelling errors. There's a reason readers are becoming fed up with inferior works. Because self published authors keep producing it. We might as well start branding the words Made In Taiwan on the front cover of our books.


Writers need to be the ambassadors for the written English language. This means proper editing, proper proof reading, proper covers. We're already pushing shit uphill, pardon the language, and inferior writing is only going to convert more readers to Netflix.

I learned a lesson when I self published a novella and a reviewer stated she was put off by the number of errors. I was aghast. I'd proof read this novella a hundred times. But I had made a huge mistake by not engaging someone else to proof read. The first thing I did was admit my mistake and recall the product. But the damage was done.

What do you think of Amazon's new rules? Are they too tough? Are they fair? Will this influence you as an indie author to step up or will you keep going the way you have?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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