The Good and The Bad

Here’s some of The Good and The Bad of what goes on behind the scenes for me as an author whose book is sold on Amazon. 

The Good: You can nowLook Inside, small So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village online! You can read the Table of Contents, read pages 1 – 12, and read through the acknowledgements page. It will give you the flavor of the book. It’s a great use of technology and I’m thankful for it. You can buy a Kindle Version at Amazon. Good for e reader types of people. Again, I’m thankful.

The Bad: Amazon takes 55% OFF THE TOP when they purchase books from Autumn House. After paying shipping, tax, cost of production and paying Amazon, Autumn House makes a profit of approximately $6 per book. I make, according to my contract 7% of the profit. So 7% of $6 … ta dah … I make about 40 cents a book. It seems a little paltry for all the work that went into it. It seems like the ratios of who earns what is off balance. It seems like the creator should at least profit more than the middle man. 

Okay, so money isn’t the reason I wrote the book. But really … I’m disgusted by the way the system works. Mega-corporate-bottom line sales that don’t honor the person who did the work. And yes, I’ve heard this all before. But I never Got It. Now, I do.

So, bottom line, I understand that buying at Amazon is a good ‘deal’. I live on a budget. So buy from A. if you must, but when you do, please know what that means to artists. If you can buy local: do. If you can buy direct from an author: DO. If you have other options: use them.

So there’s your Look Inside, smallfrom my view.



Jill Kandel
  • Linda Carlson
    Posted at 15:22h, 17 March Reply

    I am so sorry Jill! It is so unfair. Thanks for letting us know how the real world works. I hope you will continue to get local sales that will give you some income.

    PS I would love to get together when your schedule permits

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 09:18h, 19 March Reply

      Thanks, Linda. Like most any job, there’s more than one side to what you know and learn, what you respect and what you don’t. I think it’s intriguing to see it from both sides.

  • Wendy Benton
    Posted at 12:20h, 18 March Reply

    So can you sell your books as a private dealer on Amazon? I mean that when I see a particular item on Amazon and then I see a choice of buying from a seller plus shipping?

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 09:14h, 19 March Reply

      Not that I know of, Wendy.

  • Mary Austin
    Posted at 12:28h, 18 March Reply

    Jill, thanks for sharing the underside of the book publishing / selling industry. I’ve learned a lot from your posts about how the whole business works, from the author’s viewpoint. And this leaves a sour taste in my mouth about Amazon. Shameful!

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 09:15h, 19 March Reply

      Mary, I’ve learned so much myself! It’s quite a journey. Sometimes I think, now what will I write about? And every day something new still pops up. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Thank you!

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