The gate opens. A snorting bull bucks his way into the area determined to unseat his rider. The cowboy hangs on for his life–survive for eight seconds and he’ll be the winner. When he leaves the bull’s back, elated or disappointed, the rodeo clowns will save his life.
Like the bull rider, I had hoped to buck and snort my way into the Amazon rodeo ring with my first book, In the Right Place: A Gallery of Treasured Moments. Sure, I know. Spiritual books from unknown authors aren’t number one best sellers. I only wanted to sell a few on Amazon to augment the dozens sold on Carr Twins & Co. website bookstore.
NO! Amazon said. I had committed the cardinal sin of publishing by a company not contracted with Amazon. I must pay an exorbitant monthly fee or wait until a preferred seller listed my book. A half-dozen of my books trickled down to yard sales. The autographed copies sold on Amazon at prices higher than new. Finally, I could set up a free Amazon Carr Twins & Co. seller’s store. Amazon labeled my store as “Just Launched.”
Launched? Boats are launched. From small craft to oceanliners, there’s a moment of bliss when they glide into the water for a maiden voyage. Independent authors fight their way out of the rodeo chute with personal appearances, websites, blogs, give-a-ways and trades, selling a few books during the brief ride.
Another trample by Amazon. Even with my own bookstore launched, I could not post my second book, Moments of Meditation until a top seller picked it up. (The books I sold must have been too good for yard sales, because none are offered on Amazon after six years.)
My flagship store has floated under the caution flag for years without a single sale while used copies of In the Right Place have sold higher than my price for a new autographed copy. Now I’ve been notified that my “Just-Launched” boat can’t dock in the Amazon harbor anymore. Carr Twins & Co. store will be branded “Inactive” and treated like a disabled ship. No, the email message was stronger than that. My independent press is being trampled by the Amazon bull. Where are the rodeo clowns when I need them?