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Why We’re Saying Goodbye to Amazon’s Book Publishing Services

We've been major hypocrites, and it's about time we admit it.

So, here’s the deal. Competing in the book market as independent authors and publishers is complex. We want our books to reach a wide variety of readers. We hope to cultivate a network of bibliophiles who honor the integrity of the books we publish. We have faith that our books are comparable to other high-quality works. We know most independent authors and publishers feel the same.

For most of us, that has looked like selling books on distribution channels like Amazon. Who wouldn't want to have books available on the biggest book-selling site? Isn’t that, like, #authorgoals?

Well, to be honest, we think that goal has been contradicting our values.

We're a platform founded on promoting independent women authors at the forefront of publishing and supporting the amplification of diverse voices. We value advocating for equity in the industry by proving that writing and publishing a book is an achievable goal for all individuals who desire this path.

When we started this press, we wanted to prove that our demographic of authors could do it differently. That we could take the wheel and steer the industry in a way that advocates for our unique voices in mainstream media without relying on a corporate approach. Most importantly, to prioritize creative control and the integrity of one's intellectual property.

But Amazon doesn’t want us to be great. It wants world domination.

Amazon's dominant position in the market allows them to exert significant control and influence over pricing, distribution, and visibility of products, making it challenging for independent authors and publishers to compete on a level playing field. Their aggressive pricing strategies create an uneven market landscape. This leads to independent creators struggling to compete with the prices and convenience offered by the retail giant.

Depending on how you set up your book, Amazon will take anywhere from 30-65% of your book royalties. They also reserve the right to set the sales price of books enrolled in KDP Select, including the ability to offer temporary promotional pricing or discounts without author consent.

Their emphasis on low prices and discounts creates challenges for independent authors and publishers who are not on the same economic scale as the big publishing houses. This expectation of competitive pricing affects profitability in a major way. For independent authors and publishers who don't have thousands of dollars in ad budgets, it can be soul-crushing to try and compete.

Plus, if you choose to use one of their ISBNs, Amazon owns exclusive rights to that version of your book. This automatically feels icky in regard to intellectual property and creative control of authors’ works. You can't even offer the book on your own website. But Amazon’s power makes independent authors feel like they need to heavily rely on them to reach readers, which only limits their options and bargaining ability in the market. Not to mention, Amazon’s algorithms are not in favor of independent creators. They influence book recommendations and search results that favor popular and highly reviewed books.

In our opinion, Amazon's dominance can stifle innovation and creativity in the book world. With a concentration of power and limited consumer choice, independent authors and publishers become less incentivized to create and publish their work, especially marginalized people who already face many systemic barriers. No single company should control a significant portion of every market. It undermines the principles of a free and competitive economic environment, impacting independent and small business owners operating in the book industry for all the same reasons.

Frankly, Scarlett, that shit ain't cool. It's slowly killing book culture in a way that doesn't align with what our press is trying to do for the authors we publish directly. We will always guide self-published authors to choose a path that best suits their goals. But for us, it's beginning to feel like we're not being a part of the change we want to see in the industry, especially as it applies to the equity of women and other marginalized voices.

We can't get behind the gatekeeping anymore. So, we're taking a stand, Jeff Bezos. Dassit.

As of July 1st, Our Galaxy Publishing will no longer be selling the books we have curated and produced on expanded distribution channels (this includes Barnes & Noble). Our books will only be made available for purchase on our website (and our authors' websites). This is our way of refusing to appease this form of suppression and taking some power back.

Unfortunately, Amazon third-party booksellers might still have copies of our books available for sale until their inventory runs out. We encourage our readers to support our authors directly, instead.

Please note, this is not made to be preachy. Do you, boo.

As publishing advisors who value the importance of you making informed decisions about publishing, we will never deter you from publishing your books with Amazon KDP. Our goal is to offer you all the educational resources and tools you need to make the choice that's best for you.

If that includes Amazon, go off, sis. We'll tell you everything we know about leveraging the platform (we know all their secrets). Depending on your publishing goals, budget, and marketing plans, you might be a candidate to compete on Amazon's platform in a way that lets you come out on the winning side of all this. We won’t say there aren’t advantages to Amazon’s publishing experience for certain authors.

This is a choice we're making for the books we've produced and published directly through our press. We’ve made this decision based on our personal values and professional integrity, not necessarily our industry expertise. We've toyed with this for quite some time. It is not a decision we made lightly or without proper research and consideration of our authors and readers. ⁠

But we don't want to be a platform that talks a lot of crap about what we believe and the impact we want to make as contributing members of the literary world. ⁠We have to show up for it. We have to take action that always prioritizes our values with an unwavering determination to be a part of the change we want to see in the publishing industry. ⁠

This includes avoiding interactions and collaborations with markets that do not favor independent authors and publishers. It includes pushing back against platforms that monopolize the industry as a whole. ⁠And that includes the likes of Amazon. With the ongoing illusion of visibility, discoverability, and opportunity offered by their services, we can't keep saying we align with their practices. ⁠

We want to try and do it another way, to put our efforts toward a more connective, autonomous approach. Over the years, we've traditionally published a small selection of works that align with our individual and collective passions, including our bestselling anthology, Venus Rising: Musings & Lore from Women Writers. We hope you’ll continue to support our authors and their works as we make the transition to solely selling our books independently. We will do our best to continue to promise affordability and an enjoyable reading experience.

In case you didn't know, Our Galaxy Publishing is an independent, woman-owned, and operated educational and service-based platform for aspiring authors and creative business owners. We offer book writing, design, and editing services, along with marketing mentorship and publishing advisement.

Thank you for keeping us going. Whether you're an author or business owner we've worked with, a reader of our books, a supporter of our authors, or a follower of our platform, thank you for continuing to be a part of our community as we continue to grow and develop.

So much has changed for us since this platform launched in 2020, and we are sincerely grateful for those who have stuck with us and for those who have joined us along the way. We love you.

And to those we have yet to connect with, come hang with us, future bestie. It's fun around here.


Christine Weimer is a New York City-based content writer, award-winning author, and publishing advisor whose work has been published in various anthologies and literary journals. She holds an MFA in English and is the co-founder of a woman-owned and operated press, Our Galaxy Publishing, an educational and service-based platform championing inclusivity and diversity in publishing. She can mostly be found sharing her introspections on her Instagram as they ebb and flow. If lost, check the crevices of Washington Square Park—look for the disheveled lady with a toddler in tow.

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