Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Amazon!

Before we publish any book, I always have to have the "talk" with authors. No, the talk isn't about the birds and the bees or "It's not you, it's me." The talk is about what I'll refer to as "Amazon World". In Amazon World all the rules of customer service and effective communication are obsolete. In fact, Amazon World has no such rules or cares to have them. You have to think of Amazon as this other planet where the laws of gravity do not apply. In Amazon World, the sign "Out of Stock" hangs on the doorknob to turn customers away. The irony is the more sales your book attracts, the longer the signs hangs. The ugly outcome is the same sign also repels sales, too.

I give authors the Amazon World talk. I warn them. I explain, "It's not us, it's them." But no matter how many times I give the talk, the authors' frustrations ultimately override my words, and I always receive "the email". The email is almost always the same: Dear 3L Publishing, what can I do to remove the Out of Stock sign on my Amazon page? Can you call them?" My response is always the same because the system never changes, "We can submit a Help Ticket." Submission of said Help Ticket will not propel orders any faster or get the Out of Stock sign off the site. It might make the author feel better for all of a day or two only to discover that the sign is back (if it's a hot seller) within days.

I know it stinks! I agree. But as the headline aptly says, "It's Amazon!" Amazon on one side. Boutique publishers on the other side. You can tell who "weighs" more. Do we like it? No. Do authors like it? No. Do we all want to start a war with Amazon World? I'm thinking I might be vastly out numbered LOL ... so all you author warriors sign up and let's go get 'em. ;)

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