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27 May 2019

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Jordan Dean

Phil, I've been paying customs for orders over K300. Another additional cost. I've tried to minimise costs by ordering my books on standard shipping but the books went missing. I now use priority shipping via DHL. It's the most reliable service.

Kenny, let me know when your manuscript is ready.

Kenny Pawa Ambaisi

Valid information, thank you Jordan

Your information truly complements what one of our senior authors, editors and self publishers, Francis Nii has written.

Thank you to both of you.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I've given the very same advice to potential authors too Jordan.

I mostly tried to make sure they understood the economics of publishing with KDP before we started getting the book ready for publication.

I also stressed that the sale and distribution of their books was largely up to them. If they weren't prepared to do the leg work in selling their own book the sales wouldn't come.

It wasn't the workload and lack of returns that killed Pukpuk. It was a decision by the Australian government to charge GST on items below $1,000 purchased online and the decision by Amazon not to cooperate and to refuse to send books to Australia (even though they still send books to other countries with value added taxes).

This meant I couldn't order author copies at the wholesale price and had to pay the whole retail cost. This defeated the whole rationale for using Amazon to publish books in Australia.

Luckily PNG doesn't charge GST on books that go there. As I understand it they technically should but the government is too disorganised to do it.

I think it is important to understand that Amazon is ruthless. It's main aim is profit. It says it is helping writers but really it is exploiting them. It will publish anything these days no matter how bad it is.

It pays its workers appalling rates and works them to the bone.

The creative team they had at CreateSpace helping authors was arbitrarily sacked when the move was made to KDP to save money. Along with them went the ability to create more appealing covers and layouts.

This is all standard practice for big companies where profit is king so you can't really blame Amazon for the way it operates.

All we can do is use them to our best advantage while expecting no favours.

I personally abhor the commercialisation of literature but that is unfortunately the way the world works.

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