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October 2019 - Workings of Amazon

Updated: Jan 9

It has been fascinating to see the workings of Amazon from an author perspective. Specifically, I wanted to know why the Amazon site originally said that it may take three months to deliver my new book and who is selling used copies of my new book?


Delivery times

I’ll begin with the varying timescale of how long it will take to receive ‘An Ordinary Man’s Travels In An Extraordinary World’. Now, my book was due out on the 26th August 2019 and Amazon were highly efficient in becoming the first online bookseller to make my book available for pre-order. It was just bizarre to see that they stated that it would take one to three months for a purchaser to receive the book! Why could I get a book printed and received in four days, but it could be potentially three months for Amazon? Maybe it really was coming from the Amazon? Or could it be that my charm and good looks were more influential than Amazon’s big business? No, obviously not, but there was some algorithm at play that seemed to automatically state that it would take one to three months for my book to be delivered. When Amazon started to receive pre-orders (2 weeks before the publishing date) then the estimated delivery time gradually dropped to one month and then by the time the 26th August arrived the estimated delivery time for a new book purchase had dropped to two weeks. On the 8th September the pre-ordered books started arriving through letter boxes and the Amazon website started to state that it could provide next day delivery. The theory with the print-on-demand service I use is that when there is a book order from an online bookseller then my printer prints a book and sends it to the bookseller. At the moment the algorithm loves me (mainly thanks to my pre-orders) so I think it is telling Amazon to keep a stash of books. However, at some point the algorithm will take me back to the standard self-published delivery statement of 1 to 3 months, even when it will probably take 2 weeks.


Used books

What is strange is that on the 27th August 2019 (one day after my publishing date) it was not only possible to purchase my book, but on Amazon it was also possible to publish used copies of my book. On the 27th August there were only 2 copies. I had one and ……….MUM! What have you done with your copy of my book? No, she still had it, so it is a company offering used copies of my book which they would get by purchasing new copies of my book. Odd! Does this mean that some people prefer books which they think are already used?


Books sales

Anyway, book sales are now totaling 235 and projected money raised for Meningitis Research Foundation is £800. How is the marketing going? Slowly, but hopefully a press release will be issued soon and I am talking in Waterstones in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.

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