So, I stumbled upon these interesting articles earlier today. The first one is more slanted towards publishers – both large and small. Basically, it makes some really good points about what the KDP Select program does and doesn’t do for authors.
Now, one variable which isn’t tracked in this article matters overwhelmingly to erotic authors: Censorship. With rare exceptions, Amazon is the most capriciously censor-happy of all the publishers I’ve seen. And when they won’t ban content “up front”, they’ll flag it to be all but invisible in their searches so that you still don’t sell much of it. It’s probably a little easier for a publisher to compete against Amazon in the erotica space than the traditional space, given that even our readers get annoyed at the way Amazon hides the content they want from them.
The second article explains how books are ranked in sales, and how easy it is to manipulate traditional brick and mortar best seller lists. In short, they can say “this book is the #1 best seller” because they printed and shipped more copies of it than anything else – but it doesn’t actually mean it’s selling. Hilary Clinton’s biography – which is bombing in sales – actually denotes an interesting crack in the armor of the industry as it stands.