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Amazon's ugly side.

I've had the most miserable of times trying to get some justice. Seems there's little hope where are concerned. They can renege on any deal when they like and mistreat their sellers when it suits them.




  1. go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract.

"the government had reneged on its election promises"

synonyms:default on, fail to honour, go back on, break, back out of, pull out of, withdraw from, retreat from, welsh on, backtrack on; More

For me they now represent the truly nasty side of capitalist exploitation where the first and most important guiding principle is exploit the seller to the max.

They refused to distribute my book directly because they suddenly discovered they didn't like the discount my printer/distributors offered. They know they can renege on a contracted deal because they believe they are invincible and can change the rules whenever they feel like it. Honouring their agreements appears to be an alien idea.

Today I received this email from (the publishers) and what they had learned from Lightning Source (Printer/Distributor).

Customer Service 15:19 (7 hours ago) to me

Hi John

Thanks for your mail and our deepest apologies this has taken so long, we hope that the full refund we made was received okay? We now think, though it wasn't clear to us until some considerable delving and repeat correspondence, that it's likely due to amazon wanting a higher percentage of each book sale than has been their norm during our publishing over the past 8 years. The bookseller's percentage of each book sale is known as the 'bookseller discount'. We asked our printers who deal with distribution and are a considerable sized company themselves if they could highlight to amazon the very low margins this can leave publishers, amazon though are bigger than anybody so ultimately that dictates the end of any discussion, commerce isn't a democracy. Whether this is ad hoc for your book, as we haven't seen much change elsewhere, or a sign of deeper change in the industry we will see as time passes. Amazon may of course perhaps see it as that they have a massive platform that has grown even larger over the past 8 years to raise sellers profiles so should accordingly get an increased share.

Accordingly on our side re the above, we have raised the bookseller discount for your book which is the amount amazon gets per sale and changes takes effect monthly, so once we knew about the above the closest date for increase was 1st May. The printers have informed us that after this date their catalogue feeds will reflect the new discount increase, and they are asked to allow up to 15 days for processing on book retailers side to reflect changes. So from the 15th accordingly we will resume our chasing up so that your book is on direct sale from Amazon with the increased percentage. As soon as we hear further once resolved we will let you know, which we very much look forward to completing to get your paperback out there and selling after all your own hard work.

best wishes


feedaread team

Pretty much sums up how a printer/distributor that produces 7.5 million books has to bow to amazon.

Finally let's contemplate this definition so we're clear. It sums up amazon to a tee.




  1. having or showing an intense and selfish desire for wealth or power.

  • synonyms:avaricious, acquisitive, covetous, rapacious, grasping, venal, cupidinous,

  • materialistic, mercenary, predatory, usurious, possessive;

grabbing, hoarding, Scrooge-like;

informalmoney-grubbing, money-grabbing;


rarepleonectic, Mammonish, Mammonistic



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TWITTER:  @JKnight_Author

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