Tuesday, 30 September 2014

on small publishers who sell online

When I published Inking Bitterns, I set up my own website to promote, inform about and sell it. You can find it here. I also registered the book with with Nielsens, the people who supply ISBN numbers; and I think it is from them that the big online sellers get their info on what is newly published, and, in the case of Amazon, automatically list the book. It was odd seeing all these Big Sellers advertising my book, especially because I had decided not to sell through Amazon, because they take such a big cut that I would have made a loss on each sale, quite apart from any other consideration, like, you know, TAXES.

So yesterday I got yet another email from someone who wanted the book, but had been discouraged by going to Amazon and finding that it was listed as CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE - we don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

I tried putting a review on the Amazon page, explaining this and suggesting where prospective buyers could go to find the book. But the review wasn't accepted- it jut dropped into a hole in cyberspace.

So then I wrote to Amazon, thus:

I am the publisher of Inking Bitterns - it is a book of illustrated poetry, and I sell it at a low price because I think that's important. So I haven't used Amazon to sell it, because it would mean my making a loss on each sale. But you have listed it anyway, presumably as an automatic response to its listing by Nielsen.... and you have marked it as out of print. Feedback from other sources tells me that people wanting the book have been put off by this information; it is in fact sold through my own website, and has been ever since I published the book.
Could you please remove the listing for Inking Bitterns, or amend the information you have on your listing?
Dru Marland
Gert Macky Books
...and got this reply

 Amazon Your Account Amazon.com
Message From Customer Service
I understand your concern about published book "Inking Bitterns" which is listed on our website; I'm very sorry for the information you found on the book.
Given the case, I would like to introduce you to our Author Central; in order to make changes into the listing of the book, "Inking Bitterns" on your end, please join our Author Central. Author Central is a resource designed to help authors become more active participants in the promotion of their books.
Amazon's Author Pages also offer customers a new way to browse favorite authors, discover new books, and more. The pages also include bibliographies, biographies, and discussion boards.
You can find out more at:
For further assistance, kindly click the link below so you can contact our Author central customer service through phone or email:
I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Hmm, it didn't help. A further mail, after a complicated trawl through the Author Pages:

I would like the information on Amazon about Inking Bitterns, a book that I published, to be amended so that it does not claim that the book is out of print. The book is in print, but has never been available on Amazon because it is not economic for me to sell on Amazon.
...and another reply, which may be more helpful (time will tell)

I understand your concern about the book you published.
I forwarded this information to the appropriate team so they can check and correct the issues found on the details page of the book.
Rest assured, as soon as I hear from them, I'll get back to you via e-mail.
Thanks for giving me time to find the resolution to your inquiry and we hope to see you again soon.
Best regards,

...Meanwhile, the book is, and always has been, available from GERT MACKY!

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