Cruising the Amazon

Is this the new criteria for being an official published author? My book is now on Amazon. Some would say this is simply another sales channel. After all, Random House and others also have books all over Amazon. Big deal, right? Or has Amazon become the benchmark now for becoming a serious writer?

On the one hand, anyone can write a book nowadays and, thanks to digital publishing, can produce your work in paperback or electronic format with minimal cost and nearly zero oversight. Amazon has very loose criteria for what they will print. Basically, if you can type, you can write a book. Nobody said it had to be a good book. And you may never sell a single copy to anyone but your own family and friends.

On the other hand, Amazon is the world’s largest book distributor, so if you play your cards right you could become the  next overnight publishing success, shatter Amazon’s own sales records, stuff the front displays of every book store across the country, appear on talk show after talk show, and negotiate the rights to an eventual Oscar-winning film based on the work it took your five years to write in your spare time while juggling your job and all your other grown-up responsibilities. It could happen. Just ask JK Rowlings. (No, she didn’t publish through Amazon, but you get the point about overnight success, right?)

So what are your thoughts? Does having your book appear on Amazon lend it extra credibility? Or is it just another sales channel? Post your comments.

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4 thoughts on “Cruising the Amazon

  1. It doesn’t mean that you have arrived as an author. It means that people can have access to your organized thoughts. It’s easier than telling each person who is interested your entire story. But if there are people in the world who do not know how easy it is to get published on Amazon, let’s not tell them and just let them think that you are a well-known and even revered author!

  2. This is a FANTASTIC post! My basic answer is the more places your book can be listed the better. In my opinion, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Bookiejar (and there are numerous others) are sales channels, but also afford the author added exposure. My marketing rule since the beginning is be everywhere. As to whether it makes you credible, that’s entirely up to you and how you market yourself 😉 In my eyes, you are credible, whether you are listed there or not. However, with that said, personally, I’d want my books listed at the big stores (B&N, Amazon) as well as other smaller book-selling sites as well. I know my own book sales have been spread across the board. I’ll have a really great day on Amazon and then, boom, nothing. But then B&N picks up. It seems like it changes every hour… ha (I’m still figuring it all out).

    Again, great post and I wish you nothing but success with your own book!

    ~L.M.

  3. I don’t believe there is such a thing as overnight success, but that’s just me. We just don’t see everything that happens that is not told to us outside of the, “Look what they accomplished so fast and so well!”

    I remember the first time I saw my book on Amazon. I was SO excited, and quite honestly, it still excites to see my books go up. I don’t know why. It was also really exciting to see my book on a bookstore bookshelf. The little things make it fun. 🙂

    As for Amazon being the benchmark of a serious writer, I don’t think that’s what sets the standard for being serious. I think it makes your work available in the widest market there is right now, but I as far as being a serious writer, I think that can only happen over time.

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