While their numbers are dwindling, there are always Amazon-only indie authors who believe that Amazon is the be-all and end-all of publishing. Because Amazon allows them to sell their books and make them money, it is automatically their BFF. Hugh Howey says so, so he must be true, and Jeff Bezos is sent down by Jesus to spread the word of these indie authors to the world.
The numbers are dwindling, I believe, as I read about and hear increasingly more often from authors about how the rice bowl is becoming smaller due to the glut of indie titles and the proliferation of scammers taking a dump on Kindle Unlimited. Some authors are starting to feel trapped, as their digital titles don’t move elsewhere as well as Amazon, so with Amazon increasingly reveling in their monopoly and taking the authors for granted, their rear ends must be blistering from the constant bruising. Oh, I’ve no doubt some authors are doing amazingly well, but the ones I come across who say this are long-timers with big following, many of them pitching down their indie flags some time before the glut begins and the scammers come in.
Anyway, that’s the author side of things, and to be honest, as a reader I have no emotional investment in that issue. I’m more curious about why, after all these years, after all those claims of Amazon doing amazing things to promote and spread the reach of digital titles, I still cannot buy anything indie from their blasted Kindle section. I’ve told some of the white knights before, but they never take me seriously (I’m clearly lying as I must have Amazon Derangement Syndrome). Anyway, since I have a nice blog here, I may as well bring it up again.
Here’s a nice example of an indie title page, viewed from my end. Amazon knows that I am a Malaysian because I dutifully keyed in my personal details ages ago, hence they can do fun things like disabling the buy button.
But hey, I can buy for online reading digital titles from New York publishers!
Interestingly enough, Amazon shows love to the small to medium presses too, although I hear grumbles that Amazon bleeds them dry in many other ways.
And it goes without saying, Amazon’s own imprints are purchasable too. Only indie authors are not allowed to get my money, and I can only wonder why. I thought Amazon love their indie authors and exist only to allow these authors to make a living doing what they love? Amazon wants me to support the big and medium “traditional” publishers. Maybe indie authors are too amazing for folks outside the US and the UK?
Hilariously enough, every year, many of these Kindle-only authors would take part in some yearly “World Literacy Thing”, advocating an end to illiteracy (by reading their books, of course). How nice, but I can’t buy their books, so hurray for literacy, here’s a cookie for lip service.
Oh, and the same also applies to Kobo and the other suspects. Only the much-maligned Smashwords – which authors hate because, oh, it makes their lives so inconvenient – allows me to buy indie titles without DRM and device restriction, hence I will always love that place and give authors who complain about how useless or obsolete that place is my side-eye. The only reason why I don’t give them the middle finger directly is because I suspect that they have no idea that their books are sold only in a number of countries that I can count with one hand. I’ve given up trying to tell them, though, because most of them either shrug this off or believe that I am lying because everything is a lie unless Hugh Howey or JA Konrath says it first.
Good thing that I still have print books to read. Oh, right, many of those indie authors are also calling for the demise of print books – you see, they don’t do print books anymore, so print books can die now. But that’s a blog entry for another day.