My perspective on the IPG vs Amazon battle

The Internet is a wonderful thing. If you know how to use the medium to market a product, you can reach a wide audience at very little cost. That’s exactly what I’ve been able to accomplish with my book 35 Miles From Shore. So when my distributor informed me a few weeks ago that the Kindle version of my book was being pulled by Amazon due to a contract dispute, I was disappointed but willing to stand behind my distributor.

The fact is that without the help of IPG I would not have sold nearly as many copies as I have. They got me into bookstores. They got me into libraries. They got me onto the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony e-reader, and the iPad. They continue to warehouse and distribute print versions of my book. And all they ask for in return is a percentage of net sales. Unlike some other companies out there that nickel and dime authors to the point of losing money on every sale, IPG has allowed me to actually make money from the sales of my book.

At the same time, Amazon has been phenomenal. I was fortunate to have Amazon feature my book a few months back. I sold over 3,000 copies (all Kindle eBooks) during that one month period. Since then Kindle sales have outpaced print sales five to one. Before Amazon pulled the Kindle version of my book, I had sales from all over the world. That’s the beauty of Amazon and the Kindle. Anyone, anywhere can purchase my book in a matter of seconds. No shipping, no shelf space, no hassles. And Amazon knows how to market books. When combined with my own marketing efforts, the end result is a steady stream of sales four years and counting after first publication.

Am I losing sales because of this contract dispute? Yes. But I am 100% behind IPG. My dealings with them have been nothing but professional. It wasn’t that long ago that Amazon tried to weasel authors by offering them a 30% royalty on eBook sales. Amazon’s thinking was that the normal author royalty was around 10% to 15%. They were offering twice that. But if you actually looked at what they were trying to do, they were in effect asking for 70% of all sales. They didn’t write the book; they didn’t design the cover or take care of any editing. All they were doing was selling the book on their device, and for that they were expecting 70% of sales. Unbelievable. They backed down from their absurd demand months later.

Amazon is a great company, but they have issues. Try reaching someone from Amazon on the phone. It can’t be done. Amazon can be a bully. We need companies like IPG.


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