Last week, we promised to share why we are parting ways with Amazon. ”A break up?” you ask. Gasp!
Really, it’s not quite as juicy as it sounds. To be honest, like millions of others, our family has come to rely on Amazon’s unlimited options of products, low prices, and fast shipping (which really isn’t so fast these days). We are taking small steps over time to break away from the convenience of online shopping at “the giant” and getting more intentional to seek out smaller businesses to support, whether it be local or online, even if that means spending a little bit more money or waiting a few more days for our order to arrive.
I won’t hesitate to acknowledge that, on the plus side, Amazon provides a convenient service with Kindle Direct Publishing for self-published authors. This service allows many people to fulfill their dream of publishing a book without having to navigate the ways of traditional publishing. This is what we used to publish my children’s book Baby Adventurer and Hope’s first book Mr. Skandinoovy Takes an Exciting Trip to Florida. Amazon’s KDP was a great starting point.
Despite the ease and convenience of KDP, I always felt like there was a better way. After we published the first two books, lo and behold, I came across a local printer! This intrigued me, but I didn’t pursue it until recently when Hope had a new book to publish. We reached out to the printer and discovered that they offered the resources we needed. Better yet, the printing cost is quite comparable to what we were paying with KDP. Score!
So let’s get into our reasons for parting ways with Amazon for printing our books and generating sales.
- One small business supporting another Being a small, family-owned business, it feels good to know we can do our small part of supporting another small business. I always felt like Amazon’s printing services were a springboard that would eventually allow us to jump into something else that would better fit our vision. Finding a local printer just an hour away from us was a sure sign that we could pursue a new way with the next book
- ”The giant” struggled with quality control. There is a raw excitement that comes with putting your book out into the world. But every time I would put in an order for author copies from KDP, I would find myself worrying about the quality of the final product. Too often, the boxes of books would arrive with too many inconsistencies in the print quality. For example, in one of our large orders, I found at least 50 copies where the image was printed crooked, leaving a white line at either the top or bottom of the book page. Another time, the coloring was all off, leaving a dull pink hue. These types of inconsistencies happened too often, which caused me to lose my confidence that KDP was a reliable and dependable printer. When we received our first proof copy from our local printer, we were blown away by the print quality of the book. Again, one major benefit we are seeing in going with a local printer is the fact that an actual person is on the other end and cares about the product quality they are shipping out to their customers.
- Time to exit the crazy train. The final reason for parting ways with Amazon’s KDP is simply a matter of principle. We don’t have to dig too deep to find that what Amazon values as a company and what we value simply don’t line up. Rather than ignore that fact, we can simply take our business elsewhere. Even though Amazon generates the largest amount of book sales in the world, we decided we can live without it. We know that the small amount of sales that we do with our books doesn’t make even a dent, but it feels right not to have a dependent relationship with Amazon. Granted, it’s a work in progress, as we still need to get our other books switched over to our local printer, but we are ready for the challenge. Also, we know that our customers, the people who want to support us, won’t be deterred by purchasing our book through our website rather than Amazon.
So, that’s it in a nutshell! Watch for our next post when Hope share’s how she landed on writing a Bigfoot book. As we continue navigating this world of self-publishing, we sure appreciate your support.