Monday, November 6, 2023

I have no idea how the book business works, so I can't explain why my book is being sold in these strange places

Does anyone here speak Danish??

As I've mentioned more than once (I apologize if it's getting annoying), I recently wrote a book. Like this blog it's called "5 Kids, 1 Wife," and it's a compilation of some of my favorite posts since 2011.

I published the book through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which means it is available for purchase through Amazon. Between that and any copies I sell directly to people I know, I figured that was the extent of my potential sales channels.

But then, within days of the book coming out, it mysteriously showed up on I couldn't explain how that happened, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Then I found the book popping up online in a dozen or so other places, many of which I wasn't even aware existed.

That's when I remembered I had agreed to take part in KDP's Expanded Distribution program, which they promise will "make your book available to distributors so booksellers and libraries can find your book and order it."

Here's what a simple Google search turns up:

A question worth asking – at least as far as I'm concerned – is whether and how I get paid if someone buys my book from any of these people. Other than the eBay merchant, I'm assuming the other sites have some sort of arrangement through which they buy the book from Amazon/KDP and I still get my standard royalty, which is an admittedly small but symbolically important $3.42 per book.

I have no way of tracking this or confirming it's truly how the whole thing works, but I'm going to trust Andy Jassy (the president and CEO of Amazon) and his team to treat us small-time authors fairly.

Of course, as I describe in the book, I also once trusted a local panhandler named Maurice to pay back $80 I gave him, so this could be another case in which my enduring faith in humanity proves to be foolish.