Is Amazon Good For Authors?

bookshelves_01Amazon: good or bad? There are writers and readers on both sides of the argument. On the one hand, people see the influence of any global brand as a bad thing and Amazon is the Big Daddy of all global brands. Traditional bookshops are closing every day as more and more orders are placed online, most of them via Amazon. On the other hand, Amazon’s Kindle program has opened up a whole new business opportunity for thousands of new writers – and readers. Let’s look at the argument for the defence:

When You Write For Kindle, You Retain Control Of Your Own Work

Some writers are perfectly happy to turn their work over to an agent or a publishing house. This is the traditional route and the main advantage is that your writing will be assessed, edited and, if accepted, put you into the literary mainstream. The downsides are that it will take ages and at the end of the process, you will receive only a fraction of the revenues generated by your work. That’s why many writers are increasingly turing to writing books for Kindle, over which they have total control.

The self-publishing platform means no one will change what you have written. When someone reads your book, it will be exactly the way you wrote it. You can have a true sense of pride and accomplishment when you see your own material in print. The downside is that all typos and errors are your own. If you are not very careful, this can prove disastrous. The simple solution is to pay an editor to prepare your work for publication.

Your Work Is Published Faster Online

Every aspect of traditional publishing takes a considerable amount of time. From locating an agent or a publisher to the time it takes to actually publish a book, writers are often stunned at how long this can actually take.

Amazon Kindle is  different. Rather than waiting a year or more, your book can be available to customers within 24 hours of being completed. People can start purchasing copies, and you can begin to get paid. The downside is that you have to do all your own marketing. No one else is going to sell your book for you, whereas with a traditional publishing company, even the smallest will have several people working on it.

No Need To Deal With Rejections

jk_rowlingWe all know that even the best writers first received rejections from traditional publishing houses. Many of the top-selling authors of the past had their books rejected a number of times before successfully finding a publisher. No need to go into how JK Rowling received 4 million rejections for her Harry Potter books, or how many people turned down bestselling authors. This is not an issue you’ll have with Kindle for Amazon.

Once your book has met your own expectations (and I encourage you to be a little critical), there is no one who can reject it, apart from the readers. You don’t have to worry about what agents, editors, or publishers say. People who may tell you your work is not good enough to publish. With Amazon’s Kindle, the book you write has the potential of becoming a bestseller.

Self-Publishing Online Is A Booming Industry

When prospective authors receive all of these benefits, it is not surprising to find so many choose Amazon. However, the benefits are not limited to writers who produce and sell books. More and more readers are choosing self-published books, too.

The Amazon Kindle makes purchasing and reading books a better and easier experience. Customers appreciate being able to read a small sample of a book before they buy. Not to mention usually lower prices and the convenience of having one small Kindle device. Going on holiday for a fortnight with a pile of books has always been a problem for me, but no longer. If I wanted to, I could take my whole library away in one convenient device.

Customers who own Kindles can take their reading material anywhere. That’s what people like. Kindle has increased sales of books to people who never used to buy them at all. That’s got to be good.

Why Some People Prefer Old-Fashioned Methods

If you decide to publish your book on Kindle, be prepared for a raft of negative reaction. Although self-publishing is becoming more and more common and accepted, there are always individuals who do not understand that things have changed.

You may hear people say: if your book was good enough, it would be accepted by a traditional publishing house. Or that selling your book online means it is not as good as books sold in regular bookstores. You may even hear self-published books are low in quality. In some cases this is true, but as I stress, the whole publishing business has changed enormously in just a few short years.

When you hear these types of negative remarks, you do not have to justify your decision. You can already see how many bookstores have been closing, and how many popular authors have self-published their own books. The case for self-publishing is clear.

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You Can Start Today

You do not need to be an expert with computers to publish for Kindle. Almost everyone who has tried this process has found it to be fast and simple. When you go through each step of the processes yourself, your book will be ready for customers in no time at all.

It Is All About Priorities

An author may have some degree of pride in saying his book was accepted by a traditional publishing house, but most authors today have priorities that are more important. An independent author today can expect…

  • …that their work is theirs and theirs alone (for better or for worse!). Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, you do not want editors making changes for the sake of it. When you publish for Kindle, there will be no editing or changes that you do not make yourself.
  • …their customers to be happy with your book. People who love to read love buying books for their Kindles. They are assured of quality products, convenience, and an enjoyable experience when they read on their Kindles.
  • …their work can be available to the widest range of customers. Anyone who owns a Kindle, a laptop, computer, tablet or smart-phone can buy and read thier work. Their customers are not limited to certain locations or specific bookstores.
  • …to make more sales. Everyone who accesses the internet can find their books. Whether the reader is looking for one book in particular or whether they find it by chance, everyone who sees a book listed on Amazon is a potential customer. This now includes the entire world. Something only the most successful authors could achieve up until very recently.

When your book is available on Amazon, it is a source of pride and accomplishment. You can begin receiving income from sales much faster than if you had approached a traditional publisher. While authors who continue to submit in the traditional manner are still waiting through the long process, your book can be in the hands of people who want to read it within 24 hours of completion. It may even become a bestseller. No one pretends that 50 Shades of Grey was a masterpiece, but it made its novice author a multi-millionaire in just a few weeks.

Here’s an interesting video about Writing Your First Novel. It’s very hard to fault any of the advice John Reynolds imparts here:

3 comments

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