Amazon is actually part retailer and part search engine. As a publisher we can’t dictate to them what they do. As a business they just want to make sales. In order to do that they are more geared towards supporting the customer than the publisher. Yet a publisher or indie author can learn to work with them and get some very pleasing results.
They’ve recently made linking books easier. You are invited to flag this up as you load the book up to Kindle. They will then promote the linked titles as a package. They usually also manage to find the paperback even if you’ve not had it published by them.
For most of our titles we’ve used Ingram Spark / Lightning Source for our paperbacks rather then Amazon’s KDP. This is because you’re offered slightly more choice in formats, and it’s easier to get books into bookshops,. However, they now offer extended distribution on their paperbacks which would help to get them into bookshops. And actually do that many get into bookshops anyway? We’re using KDP for some titles – e.g. The Best of CaféLit series and the CaféLit serials. We might think again, especially for our standard paperbacks. Amazon KDP makes distribution to other countries easier.
Amazon offers some really good marketing tips from the KDP site. They also offer advertising and webinars on how best to use that.
Though Amazon can be very frustrating at times, if you work with them, they can be very helpful.
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