I read this very upsetting article in The Guardian –
Cheap books, high price: why Amazon.com’s ‘one-click’ sales can cost authors dear
US sales on the web giant have recently begun defaulting to secondhand merchants, meaning writers receive nothing at all from purchases
It is a hard sell: the idea that cheaper books might be a bad thing. But an adjustment to how Amazon sells books on its site is being attacked by authors’ groups, which claim secondhand copies of new books sold at rock-bottom prices are selling in such high quantities from the retailer that authors are unable to earn a living.
A week ago, buyers on Amazon.com, the US site, began seeing heavily discounted secondhand copies of books sold by third-party sellers being presented as the default buying option, instead of new copies supplied to Amazon by publishers. Using that “buy-in-one-click” button for, say, George Saunders’s novel Lincoln in the Bardo, you’ll get it for a bargain $10.52 – but that’s an “as-new” copy from a secondhand seller, not a new copy sourced by Amazon.com (which will cost you $14.64).
I link all my reviews to Amazon because I try and make enough money to pay for my website, and I usually just about break even. But it is upsetting to learn that if you buy a “used” new book from a third party seller, the author doesn’t make a dime. I like cheap books as much as anyone, but authors deserve to get paid. This practice doesn’t seem to affect anyone else – the publisher still makes their money, so why shouldn’t the author?
So if you are going to buy a book on my recommendation, please click through the link I provide – usually in the book cover. Then make sure you are purchasing a NEW copy, if that is what you want, directly from Amazon and not from a second party seller.
Climbing off my soapbox now.