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Learning to Love Amazon – On Amazon’s Little-Known Author Benefits
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers
Something just popped up in Facebook Memories feature I just couldn’t resist passing along to my Reader Views friends because Modern History Press is releasing my The Frugal Editor in its third edition this month and I will be working with the very entity that authors love to hate. You probably know I’m talking about Amazon.
My Facebook post was like a little fable that reminds me of the benefits of avoiding the rumors rampant in the publishing industry by doing my own fact-checking using reliable resources. It reminded me of the benefits of personal contact over most other methods of contacting media or other entities essential to our success. (Email is probably the worst!) And it reminded me that perseverance is invaluable.
Sooo, I had often heard from others and from email communication with Amazon that they wouldn’t remove old editions of a book from their sales pages. That is only partially true. Because of the lessons I listed in the last paragraph, I have this fable to share with you:
“I just had the nicest telephone conversation with Amazon. I had worked for a long time trying to get the old edition of my The Frugal Book Promoter removed from Amazon using their AuthorCentral.com e-mail feature. I thought it would make it easier for them if they had all the ISBNs, etc. in writing! Silly me!”
So, the conversation goes like this:
ME: “I understand I can’t have the first edition of my The Frugal Book Promoter removed from Amazon even though it’s outdated—by about a decade. I’d like both the paper book and the e-book of that first edition gone, gone, gone.”
DANA THE WONDERFUL (At Amazon!): “Have you heard about our new widgets? It would lead your readers directly from your paperback book page to the new edition.”
ME: “Let me understand. You can’t remove the old, outdated book, but you can help readers following my old links to the new one?”
DANA THE WONDERFUL: “I’d be happy to do that for you.”
ME: Some chitchat, including thank you’s as she works. Then some magic words! “Too bad we can’t just hide the old edition and get all 128 of the old reviews transferred to the multi award-winning second edition!” (Were “multi award-winning,” the magic words?)
DANA THE WONDERFUL: “Oh, we can do that!” Typing noises. “It may take 72 hours for that to happen, but it’s done.”
DANA THE WONDERFUL: “Really.”
ME: Happy Dance. Huge thank yous, too! “So, that goes up on the old paperback buy page? Can you do it on the e-book page, too?”
DANA THE WONDERFUL: “Oh, you can remove that one by using your KDP account. Not your paperback, but your outdated e-book. It’s just a click away!”
Note: It obviously is worth the time waiting for a real person on the Author Central hotline! Wish I had a recording of the conversation for you!
Here’s a disclaimer. This is 2022, NOT 2011. Amazon changes policies all the time as needed or as they think are needed. I have even seen them revert back to old models, usually without a word of apology or notification!). So, if you are having this particular problem, try my method. But the real point of this post is to try it no matter what it is you want or need.
In the past, I have had Amazon…
1. Add several widgets that point to several of my books that were published in later editions.
2. To move reviews from earlier editions to later editions.
3. To remove early editions of e-books from their site completely—note that’s e-books, not paper books! (I didn’t have any luck with getting them to remove outdated paper books, presumably because removing paper books interferes with their second market (used books) feature.
4. To fix or update metadata.
5. To get blatantly biased reviews removed. Amazon doesn’t like vigilante-influenced reviews any better than I do and is working mightily to avoid them. There are all kinds of scammy approaches to reviews. In fact, I wrote a big, fat how-to book on reviews that includes a case study of sorts on the topic of Amazon vs. Scammy reviews. We don’t like to believe it, but there are actually fellow writers out there with an agenda. They somehow believe that dissing their competition’s books will be good for their own. It is in the third in my multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically at https://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews.
6. It seems Amazon has recently changed a wonderful feature they had where #authors and #publishers could add all kinds of helpful information to their own buy page—everything from professional reviews to notes from the author. I told you they change all the time, but keep checking. Better still, keep asking. You might even run into my dream resource, “Dana the Wonderful!”
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a regular contributor to Reader Views’ blog and the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including The Frugal Book Promoter (https://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered by Modern History Press in its third edition and the third edition of her winningest book, The Frugal Editor, which may soon be available or already is. Her How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically can be found at https://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (https://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (https://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses, and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The latter is available as an audio, too.
Carolyn has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it gives them information they need to convince retailers to host author workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (https://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). And, of course, you can always learn more and follow Carolyn using Amazon’s most author-friendly benefit at https://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile. You do have a bookshelf and bio of your own there, don’t you?
CONNECT WITH CAROLYN HOWARD JOHNSON!
Amazon Profile: http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile
Website: carolynhowardjohnson.com. (Do not use https or http with this. Use it as you see it– naked. LOL.)
There is so much to love about Amazon and in these times of pandemic and politics I am so glad Reader Views supports my effort to let my fellow writers know about them. We writers need to take advantage of every bit of support we get–including Reader Views!
Sending hugs and good wishes for holiday sales!