Monday, December 23, 2013

Three Important Lessons About Amazon

You want to hear the no. #1 complaint made by authors after working with my company 3L Publishing? Authors have a seamless experience working with my team, and then when the book comes off press and it gets posted to Amazon and starts selling, the upset starts. So I thought I would take a moment to blog about the perils and realities of Amazon.

Lesson no. #1: I don't own Amazon. Yes, tis true. If I owned Amazon I promise this blog post wouldn't be written. Amazon does what Amazon does. They are an enormous corporation. Think of me like an ant compared to a redwood tree. Ants have very little power or influence over the tree. They can walk along the bark and up the tree, but they can't make a dent in the wood.

Lesson no. #2: If it's "Out of Stock" it's not 3L's fault. Amazon orders in metrics based on demand so that they don't keep a large on-hand inventory. This means they order "as necessary" with a few extra copies. Books that begin to sell will almost automatically face the infamous "out of stock" label. No, it's not because 3L didn't fulfill the purchase orders. We always fill the orders right on time. Until Amazon receives the book and replaces inventory, the infamous "out of stock" pops up. Authors will panic at the sight and get upset with us. Again, it's Amazon ... no control.

Lesson no. #3: Amazon doesn't pick up the phone; they only offer online support. Try to call Amazon, I dare you. Can you even find a phone number? It's not likely. They force online support requests. They do not provide a phone number. You have to do it all in the email and they typically send cookie-cutter responses that do not directly resolve your problems.

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