Tuesday 1 October 2013

Amazon/Createspace - strange experience

I created my song lyric book through Createspace, which is now part of
Amazon.  As I explained in one of the things I wrote about this project -
'Love Death and Whiskey - the Hollywood movie'  (it is on this blog, lower down...)  - suddenly in 2010 all the elements came together.  Self-publishing
such a book became not just possible but easy.  This has worked well - 
once you accept that you have to work within Amazon's rules and methods... 
For example, the print on demand source is in the USA...

The book has worked for me, as a little basket of samples - and in other
ways.  In working out ideas, in developing new projects.  The Amazon links
have meant that the book is visible throughout the world - and can be bought
throughout the world.

I keep an eye on the reviews on Amazon...


(Recently there appeared a review by a former lover...  And we have to
wonder what would happen to sales if we wrote to every former lover saying,
You really should look at this book - you might be in it...)

And recently there appeared on Amazon 3 copies of my book at absurd prices -
one copy at 6 pence, one at 7, and one at 8.  Including postage - which is
how these book dealers make a profit - that is £2.86, £2.87, £2.88.  How was
this possible?  Where had these copies of my book come from?

I bought all 3 copies.  And - of course - it turned out that 2 were signed
copies that I had given to friends or to contacts, as gifts.  Or samples...
Judging by the printing information so was the third copy.  So, all fair
enough...  Maybe...

But...  I seem to have created a problem for myself and the world.
Somewhere within Amazon an entity - I think it must be a computer, it cannot
be a human being - has decided that there is a market for my song lyric book
at around the £3 mark.  Amazon is now selling the book for £3, including

I look at the costs - Amazon's costs and my costs.  Clearly now, for Amazon,
the cost of producing a paper copy of my book is almost negligible...  Is
their print on demand source still in the USA?  I am tempted to buy a copy,
to see what they have done - but that would confirm the entity in its belief
that the ideal price for my book is £3...