What’s Bigger than (an) Amazon?

What’s Bigger than (an) Amazon?

Folks, I’ve been in a tizzy for a long time now about Amazon’s listings of our print books in terms of availability.

I’ve called Amazon. To no avail. I’ve submitted product queries, as an informed reader.

I’ve called Ingram/Lightning Source, the print-on-demand (POD) distributor of our published authors’ books.

I’ve ranted and raged.

How can a print-on-demand book be “one to two months” out for availability?

Interestingly, when I push, the availability changes to something more reasonable. But I have to push. And push hard.

Does this happen to the books they create themselves through Createspace? Seems not, but I can’t check them all.

I queried Ingram many times on how this can be true, how this can happen. No other bookseller does this: not B&N, not BAM, etc.  Unfortunately, Ingram is as much at the whim of Amazon as all of us – their algorithms.

Here is just one of the messages I’ve received from Ingram re: Amazon’s “availability” listings:

Good morning.

I apologize for the issue you are experiencing with the Amazon listing.  We have resent the information that the title is available in less time than 1 to 2 months.  However, how Amazon lists a title and the availability status on their website is ultimately up to them.  Amazon’s purchasing decisions are supported by an algorithm that is proprietary to Amazon. In choosing to stock titles or even show products as available on their sites, Amazon considers many pieces of information about your book. Factors in a decision to stock a book may include discount (with a maximum trade discount being most favorable), whether a book is returnable, product page views, and sales history. Even print on demand books may not show an ‘in stock’ message at Amazon.

Okay, so, I’m thinking maybe I need to up our trade discount. Done that. No difference. No rhyme or reason. So, I’m thinking, maybe if the book is a good seller, it will help. No difference. No rhyme or reason.

I’ve just ordered one of our books that was listed as being available one to two months out. According to my email confirmation, I should receive it in a few days. Totally misleading. Total bullshit.

I’ll leave you all with this: Amazon is a player. (yeah, in that sense)

What a shame.


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