Stuck with the Big Boys;Kindle Sucks


For the first time in my life I am in a true quandary over a retailer. And it sucks salty monkey balls!

You all know my feelings on Wal-Mart; shop elsewhere.

For the majority, I practice what I preach. Unless it’s a DIRE EMERGENCY I do not shop at Wal-Mart. In fact, I just walk away from any retailer for which I don’t like/agree with their business practices. And it’s worked out well so far. I can’t say I’ve paid any hefty price for denying my ‘right’ to Save Money. Live Better.

Until now.

I am coming to hate Kindle. I mean…a real bubbling boiling steaming pot of loathing. In they end, they may outpace Wal-Mart and even Chick-Fil-A.

I don’t own an e-reader so I can’t speak to Kindle/Amazon’s ‘customer satisfaction’ on that end but as an author…it blows chunks. In the beginning of June, after coming off my 3 month ‘Kindle Select Exclusive’ gig with three books, I upped the price on ALL of my books a considerable amount. OK, FIRST….this has NOT hurt sales in the slightest, in fact, total sales have gone UP with the price. That should be a good thing EXCEPT I just discovered that instead of the 70% royalty I chose on “The Heart of War” I’ve been being paid 35% on all of those sales. The other books are just fine. The price is as I set it. The royalty is as I set it. But, for some reason, Kindle is thrilling in screwing me over on “Heart” and has been for the last year or more in one way or another.

I am trying to investigate this problem and I was directed to their standard FAQ page…here, see if it makes ANY sense to you. If it does, would you please kindly explain it to me. Kindle Pricing Page.

Now, since I OWN, well, EVERYTHING associated with this book, I picked ‘Worldwide Rights’….duh. I picked it for every single book I have with them and everybody else. So, that can’t be the problem. There can’t be any conflict with ‘Matching Competitor Prices’ because I listed the same price with every single retailer. Ok, so, if trying to figure out their little table doesn’t give you a headache and you actually make it down to #5 & #6 without tearing out your hair we might have something.

From #5-Additional 70% Royalty Option Terms and Conditions
“iii. New Features: Any new feature incorporated into the Program will apply to all Digital Books distributed under the 70% Option even if we make the feature optional for other Digital Books.

iv. Non-Compliance: If at any time your Digital Book does not meet the requirements for the 70% Royalty Option, the Royalty for the Digital Book will be as provided in the 35% Royalty Option and we can adjust previously reported or paid Royalties based on the 35% Royalty Option.”

Can they get ANY vaguer? At all? Is that possible? I don’t what “New Features” they’re talking about and it seems they don’t really know either.

#6. Other Pricing Terms

“i. Minimum and Maximum List Prices: To be accepted in the Program, Digital Books must have List Prices within the range of minimum and maximum List Prices indicated here.

ii. Price Matching Determinations : If you notify us through Contact Us (by selecting the topic Pricing & Royalties – Price Matching) that you believe we have made an error in price-matching your Digital Book, we will review the issue and make best efforts to correct the error, if any, going forward as soon as practicable.”

Oh, how nice. “Going forward”. To hell with ‘customer satisfaction’ when it’s just a lowly author, huh? If you bought something from them and were overcharged do you think you’d get back a little note saying; Oh, gee sorry about that. No, we’re not going to give you the difference back but, in the future, we will try to do better. Thanks for contacting Kindle. Have a nice day!

Or do you think you’d get YOUR MONEY back?

It’s the same damn principle it’s just in reverse. They have UNDERPAID me for at least two months but see no reason to rectify that problem. Hummm….if your job UNDERPAID you for two months do you think you might be a little pissed or would you just say; Oh, that’s all right, no problem. Just try to get my pay check right next week, will ya?

Here I am

Kindle is THE LARGEST EBOOK RETAILER. No ’bout a doubt it. They are. The overwhelming majority of my sales comes from Kindle.

BTW,I thought Kindle was an Amazon company! Geez, man, WTF? When did I get in bed with WAL-MART???? I’m having a hard time seeing the difference between the two companies at the moment. Wal-Mart also loved getting away with underpaying their employees for quite a while.

The worst part about it is, just like Wal-Mart with The Masses, Kindle’s fully aware they have most small Indie Authors, like moi, by the short hairs. They outpace Smashwords 10 fold…easy…at least where my own sales are concerned. All Romance Ebooks? Nah, don’t get much off of them. Let me get a chuckle and check my Nook account….hang a sec.

Oh, my, look at that…six sales in July. I made 30+ sales in July on Kindle.

Yeah…now walking away and sticking to my precious principles ain’t so damn easy. Oh this SUH-HHHHH-CKS!

I hate them! Now I hate ME too! I hate me for dancing to their damn tune.

This isn’t the first round of problems. I’ve had with them and chances are it won’t be the last. I don’t know what to do when “Rising Son” releases. Even though I didn’t fully enjoy the experience I had been toying with the idea of making it a ‘Kindle Select Exclusive’ for the first 3 months. Now I think I might sell it ONLY through my site for a while when it’s available in e-book.

Oh bother.

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About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 13/08/2012, in Life, The Writer's Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

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