Erotica author says Amazon is hurting her $10 million yearly sales


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you might want to credit the Slate[edit:Vulture] article this post is based on and quotes directly from, and its author, Phoebe Reilly:


I’d be a bit wary about accepting Engler’s claims on financial issues at face value. There seems to be some evidence that she’s stiffing Ellora’s Cave’s authors on royalty payments and this claim that Amazon’s hurting her imprint’s sales might be another way to justify her previous actions.


Wow, people still pay for their porn? Weird.


Lady wank is HUGE business!


So to summarize: self-publisher turns into publisher for other authors, and then complains when another publisher gives the other authors a better deal.


Dude, have you been living under a rock? The Fifty Shades of Grey movie is making millions. It broke a bunch of box office records. There are entire subgenres (probably NSFW, definitely ridiculous) of self-published erotica on Amazon.


Are these affiliate links? Does this make @frauenfelder a pornographer?


So… “The Empress’ New Clothes” sounds like “Clan of the Cave Bear of Gor”


Crocodile tears for her!

Sounds like she’s being taken down by newer, smaller authors with new access to publishing (through amazon). That’s a good thing.

Her fault for not paying off legislators to write new regulations to keep out newcomers. 140 hour training courses for Porn Technicians. That’s just business sense!


Right? If she’s netted $10mil a year for over a decade, how much more money does she need??

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Amazon has a very ambivalent relationship to the sellers because they promote free videos and free ebooks over regular products, so Amazon is missing its 12% or 15% cut that it gets from people actually selling.

If Amazon was making like $50,000 a month off sales of her books, was she getting $50,000 a month worth of service? On the IT side, Amazon is providing a static web page for the product, and that’s not worth fifty large. Was she getting $50,000 a month in marketing from Amazon? That would be a hell of a lot of marketing!

No, Amazon is taking that money and developing things like the Fire phone or trying to become NetFlix or something. They don’t even know what they want to do, but they are using the online sales as a cash cow so they can reinvent themselves. But if they want that money, they should be more focused on helping sellers sell. They are so focused on the next part of their journey of self-discovery that they are neglecting their core business.


Mod note: Stay on topic.

Cue the world’s smallest violin…

I dunno. Amazon, by nature of being Amazon (ie, the biggest online bookstore in the world, with the most traffic), is providing her with the traffic to generate those sales. It’s hard to say whether or not she would have made the same number of sales from selling the books directly on her own site, but I doubt it.

Always has been, right? Just dressed up in paperbacks, and marked with a secret sigil for those in the know?

(to say nothing of the ‘secret sigil’ of beefcake on the cover…)

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Actually, it seems she is complaining that there are similar books by authors she does not publish that are undercutting hers and that their search engine is biasing people away from her works.

The first complaint seems to be that she simply can’t compete in a saturated market.

The second one though, well, it is a little weird that when you search for “Jaid Black” on Amazon, you don’t get anything by her until the fourth result and the first three are free books. I looked and couldn’t find the word “Jaid” anywhere on the first result, Close Liasons - even in the comments.

That does seem like a rather questionable business practice.

I’ve noticed that Amazon’s recommender seems to be biasing pretty heavily towards self-published books over the last year, but that could at least be explained by the fact that more people are reading them. The search results? Looks like outright tampering to me.


That cover art! She has no nipples! He has nipples, but they’re alien ones!

Try selling something through a retail chain and see how much the publisher gets.