Business Musings: Amazon: Year in Review Part 5

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I used to be quite dismissive of the usefulness of the 20Booksto50K conference. Pre-pandemic, 20Books was all about Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Select, and making money on page reads. Great money, for a few folks who learned to manipulate Amazon’s algorithms. Good money, for some who went exclusive to Amazon and manipulated the algorithms. Okay money, for many who did what they could when they were in Select, but who did not have the time or inclination to do the technical shenanigans to boost their books up Amazon’s vaunted bestseller lists.

A lot of people were making more money on Amazon than I was at that point, but I knew—because I’m older than dirt and I’ve seen this a million times—that any castles built on Amazon were being built on sand. I’d ask, What if Amazon goes away? No one could imagine that. Or What if they changed their algorithms? No one could imagine that either, until it happened.

I had a thousand what-ifs like that, and these Amazon-only folks had a thousand answers, which didn’t sound like answers to me.

So, I went to 20Books because it was in my hometown, and Dean and I could be lone voices in the wilderness, begging people to go wide.

Then—you know, pandemic. Changes. 20Books happened in 2021, but Dean and I had to cancel since the evil Covid was spreading like wildfire and even though we were vaccinated, the masking/Covid policies at the venue were awful (they’d been cited several times) and the conference relied on the hotel’s policy as their policy.

We decided that a couple of free talks weren’t worth the risk of getting the dread disease.

Fast forward to this year. To my surprise, we were invited back. We decided to attend, figuring it would be like it was pre-pandemic.

Nope. Things had changed dramatically.

20Books had become the indie conference. It tried to cover everything, not just Amazon and the algorithms. I asked a few folks if the conference was like that in 2021, and they said no. But I’m not sure my sources were the best, since their focus was other things.

It wouldn’t have surprised me, though. The Amazon changes were starting last year, but they hadn’t had an impact on most sellers. Or at least, a noticeable impact.

2022, on the other hand, proved to be a different story.

Talk throughout the conference was all about the problems with Amazon. Tricks that had worked in the past no longer worked. Even the folks who weren’t focusing on algorithms and ads were having trouble. Rules were changing, and income was down.

In some cases, income was waaaaay down.

The programming itself was very different. Many of the presenters were from Amazon’s competitors. Others had methods of making money outside of Amazon. And the talk of bestsellers and manipulating algorithms and making choices to write what the Kindle Select readers seemed to buy was mostly gone.

Yes, there was algorithm talk, but it wasn’t the focus. There was a lot more craft, and even more on audio and crowdfunding and new technologies that were not Amazon focused.

All of this made the conference the best it’s ever been. If it keeps going on this path, it will be the do-not-miss conference of the year. Dean and I learned a bunch, came home and changed a few things in our publishing plan for next year, things I will discuss in future posts.

But let’s start, as we did back in the beginning of indie, with Amazon.

During the pandemic, Amazon and other tech companies hit record high profit levels. We were all at home, after all, except folks whose jobs were considered essential, so we used our devices for entertainment. Then, in early 2022, the pandemic gravy train ended with a thud.

Most tech companies saw a decline in profits. In July, Amazon’s growth rate slowed to the lowest point in nearly two decades.

If you dig deep into the New York Times article about the losses, you’ll see that while subscription revenue grew 14% to over 8 billion dollars. Much of that was due to an increase in Prime fees. The retail portion of the business lost 2.4 billion dollars. This is for the second quarter of 2022. The third quarter numbers were better, but, Amazon cautioned, its growth could fall to levels not seen since 2001.

Judging by the company’s behavior, they’re planning for quite a bit of revenue loss. They’ve cut back on expansion, and cut tens of thousands of jobs, while announcing even more layoffs. They’ve been quietly closing parts of the business that aren’t performing to expectations.

The reason, at least according to the New York Times?

The company faced high costs from decisions to overinvest and rapidly expand, while changes in shopping habits and high inflation dented sales.

Some of the cuts Amazon has made have been in their Devices and Books businesses. Amazon’s Books business “spans all of the e-tailer’s operations that deal with books, from its online stores to its Kindle operations.” This comes after the company announced in the summer that it would cut its book orders from publishers (trad, I’m assuming) because of the overflow of inventory it had acquired during the pandemic.

While Amazon is saying that it is still committed to its book business, that commitment will be tested strongly in the next few years. As long as Jeff Bezos was in charge, books were always considered a major portion of the business.

Now, though, Amazon’s spokespeople are offering that corporate word salad that should strike fear into the hearts of all people who are involved in Amazon publishing. They’re saying,

We remain as committed as ever to the book business and to working closely with authors, publishers, and sellers around the world to offer the best experience for readers.

I can’t tell you how many times over the decades I’ve seen that kind of corporate BS just before the ax falls. I’m not saying it will fall, but I think there’s a greater likelihood now than there was a few years ago.

Some of the quiet cuts have already had an impact on some publishing businesses. Just a few days ago, Publishers Weekly noted that Amazon will shutter its textbook rental program sometime in 2023. The digital textbook rental program will remain, and Amazon will continue to sell textbooks, but this particular program is going to be history probably by summer.

Amazon has also decided to shut down their Kindle Publishing for Periodicals Program. That will disappear in September of 2023. Some publications were offered the opportunity to remain in Kindle Unlimited Magazines, but not all.

This would operate just like any other Kindle Unlimited subscription. The payment will come out of the Kindle Select Global fund which I will get to in a minute.

Neil Clarke wrote about this on his blog:

Earnings from Amazon subscriptions provide a varying and sometimes significant portion of the revenue that these publications require to stay in business. If you don’t already know, genre magazines are subscription-driven, meaning that subscriptions make up the bulk of their income. Some people think advertising is a major source, but it actually represents a tiny fraction for us. (Advertising tends to be a leading source of revenue for glossy magazines, so it’s easy to see where they could get that impression.)

None of these magazines are entirely reliant on Amazon, but as the largest ebook retailer in the field, the cancelation of this program will hurt and in some cases, hurt badly. Badly enough to shutter a magazine? Maybe. It’s too soon to tell and there are a lot of variables, including you.

He then made a pitch for subscribers to support their favorite magazines directly.

Uncanny Magazine editor Lynne Thomas told Locus  that Uncanny was not offered the opportunity to join Kindle Unlimited. The loss of the subscription program will have a huge impact on that magazine.

This is devastating and frustrating news for Uncanny Magazine, as well as our peer magazines in the Kindle Periodicals Program. While we maintain multiple revenue streams, especially Kickstarter and Patreon, this is a significant loss for us. We’re still in the process of talking to Amazon to encourage them to reverse this decision, or to provide us with tools to help our Amazon subscribers transition to other platforms. This could not have come at a worse time for SFF periodicals, since so many of us are also weathering the storms of reduced advertising revenue and the possible death of Twitter, which is vital for crowdfunding projects.

These are the canaries in the coal mine, Kindle Unlimited writers. As everyone was discussing at 20Books, the time to go wide is now. (Heck, the time to go wide was when you started publishing…or ten years ago, whichever came first.)

Mark Williams of New Publishing Standard offered a scenario in early November that should scare anyone who is relying solely on Amazon for revenue. He examined Amazon’s decision to add 98 million music titles, including ad-free podcasts, to its Prime membership, and noted that Amazon had probably not negotiated with the individual rights holders.

He asks this:

If Amazon will throw its music catalogue into Prime simply because it can, how long before audiobooks or ebooks are added too?

What will the publishers do then? Pull their titles? And then sell them where? For most publishers, the rival ebook and audiobook players in the US cannot begin to make up for the loss of the Amazon platform. Publishers long since handed Amazon the keys to the ebook gateway. The stubborn refusal of certain corporate giants to entertain all subscription options just makes Amazon all the stronger.

He’s talking about traditional publishers here, but the traditional publishers actually have more clout with Amazon than the indie folk. Amazon here is still acting like the behemoth it was, even though it’s desperate. Note from the New York Times stats above that Amazon’s subscription revenue grew due to an increase in Prime fees, when other revenue did not.

Amazon is throwing things into the Prime pie, while cutting programs that don’t make a boatload of revenue.

Writers need to pay attention to this, particularly writers who are Amazon only. Kindle Unlimited payments do not come from sales of books. They come from the Kindle Select Global Fund. From Daniel J. Tortora, who describes the system better than anyone I’ve seen:

The fund is based on the subscription fees paid by the total number of Kindle Unlimited members. As KU members join or drop off, the Global Fund changes.

I want you to look at that last sentence. The Fund changes. And if, in its annual cost-cutting assessment, KU no longer earns what Amazon thinks it should earn, the program will go on the chopping block.

That’s what’s happening with other Amazon programs above, including some high profile ones announced just a year or two ago.

Amazon was kind to the people in the Periodicals Program. They have some months to work their way out of the program and find other sources of revenue.

Most corporations announce cuts and implement them within a week or two. Amazon is currently giving six months or more on various programs.

Whether that will extend to other programs remains to be seen. If Amazon finds itself in more financial hot water, then they’ll revert to standard corporate behavior.

Right now, they’re cutting tens of thousands of jobs. They’re closing programs left and right. They’re not making any real promises to anyone.

This is a company dedicated to cutting what it considers to be things that do not add to the corporate bottom line.

Books rarely have the profit margins or the following that, say, TV shows have. Books don’t make a retailer a lot of money, especially at 30% of cover. Amazon would need a lot of volume to make money on books, and they might get that volume if they behave toward writers the way they just treated musicians.

Let me be clear here. I’m not saying it’s time to leave Amazon. I’m saying it’s time to go wide. To make Amazon part of your publishing portfolio, not all of your publishing portfolio.

As writer businesspeople, you need to ask yourself how you would do if your Amazon revenue vanished. What kind of changes would you have to make?

This is no longer theoretical for many magazine publishers. It might not be theoretical for book publishers in the future either.

Be prepared. In 2023, go wide. Expand your revenue base. We’ll talk about some of the good ways to do that in the next few posts.


Dean and I are finally getting to the point where we can look ahead. We started a Decade Ahead online class in January of 2020, and gosh, for some reason, our crystal ball broke.

Now, three years later, we are cautiously wandering into the breach. We’ve started the Decade Ahead class, and are offering 30% off on it for the next few days. Here’s the link. To get your 30% off, put this coupon code in when you’re checking out: Flash30.

Speaking of changes we’re making, we finally have a good, searchable website for all of our classes. Check that out here.

We’re making a lot of changes in 2023, but one thing that won’t change is this weekly blog. It remains reader supported.

If you feel like supporting the blog on an on-going basis, then please head to my Patreon page.

If you liked this post, and want to show your one-time appreciation, the place to do that is PayPal. If you go that route, please include your email address in the notes section, so I can say thank you.

Which I am going to say right now. Thank you!

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“Business Musings: Amazon Year in Review Part 5,” copyright © 2022 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © Can Stock Photo / artursz.

29 thoughts on “Business Musings: Amazon: Year in Review Part 5

  1. Thanks for this post, Kris. I’ve been ramping up after a couple of years of day job and health madness and this is really useful. I’ve been wide, but am now also pivoting to selling books from my website and investigating other avenues as well.

  2. One last comment and then I’ll go. You may also want to consider kicking up your social media presence quite a few notches. I know that people are going from Facebook to instagram, tick tock, and other places. I know I am exclusively at Instagram. I hate Facebook I can’t control what shows up on my feed. On Instagram I can. Two authors that I know of over there post links to their blogs, even though Instagram makes that difficult. There are ways to do it and I’m sure you have a few younger authors that you know that could help you get on the platform. I do like a Thorns idea of going to YouTube as well. The artist/ author I know over there is Mickey Mueller. She seems to do quite a bit over there but Wicca is a diverse topic that make for lively Quick videos. Nevertheless I wish you were on Instagram because I would love to keep track of your new and old publications. I am in love with the diving series. As I mentioned in my private message I thought that I was only relegated to the first one. I am Overjoyed to find that you have continued it over the years. If I’d been connected with you on Instagram I probably would have known about that sooner. Anyway as a reader, and one that has a very low budget right now, I am embarrassed to tell authors that I almost read exclusively used books. I hate the digital format because I never know when all my books will get stolen from me. And as Amazon has proven over the last few months anything goes. I’ve always been very afraid that something would happen within Amazon and I wouldn’t be able to keep the books I had purchased. I know that they are supposed to be yours and that you can get a copy from your account of any of the books you purchased. I didn’t have that experience when I signed up. Most of my books were not available on my Kindle unless I was connected to the internet. Anyway I wish you all luck and as I mentioned above I really hope that a bunch of authors can get together and create an online used bookstore that allows you all to get some revenue from your used books. It would make me feel so much better about having to purchase used. Oh and on a side note I tried selling a few used books on Amazon a few years ago. Everyone on there beat my prices significantly. The only people apparently who can sell used books on Amazon are those who can afford to take a financial hit. The only Revenue you get is part of your shipping. Everyone else outsells the tiny people who just want to sell a book or two. Anyway, thanks for listening and I will get out of your hair now. Please start an instagram!

    1. Thanks! I’ll be answering you privately, but right now, you hit squarely on the problem for all writers. Discoverability. I was on Twitter until November, which was my main platform. I use Facebook right now, but I’m also going to be researching other sites. There’s only so much time I can do not devoted to writing. I have a publishing company and a staff who does a lot of promotion, but clearly it didn’t reach you. That’s not at all unusual for any writers these days. I’m thinking about Instagram, although I don’t see a lot of people posting about the benefits. You’re one of the first. I would love to hear more.

    2. You need to understand a bit more about your Kindle. If you only see your books when you are connected to the internet then you need to download them to your Kindle for reading offline. Once you have them on your Kindle you can connect to your computer via USB cable and copy them for backup to your computer. Alternatively, you can access your Amazon account in your browser on your computer and go to manage content and devices. Once there you can chose an option on the drop-down menu for a book to download it for transfer via USB.

      If you don’t trust Amazon for the future I would suggest you download any books you own that you would miss to you computer and back them up as you would other important files. Keep in mind that however you get the copy of your book they are DRM locked to your particular Kindle.

      I hope that helps you have some peace about your current Amazon ebooks.

      PS for Kris: I know you must review these prior to posting them. If you consider this of insufficient general interest for a comment, please forward it with my email address to Melody in case she has more questions.

    3. I looked into what it would take to have a brick and mortor used book store, some years ago and I don’t know how anyone makes any money doing that. You at least have to own the actual store you’re selling books out of, to make things financially viable, but I think most people who do that kind of thing, do it out of the love of selling used books and not for financial gain. Why is why I would have done it.

      Regarding the digital vs hard copies. For many years now I’ve taken the approach to use digital because of its convenience, but also have physical copies of the books that I love. So if something happens to the digital versions I still have the actual books to read, but I equally get to keep lots of books digitally. And this applies to other media as well. I have a box of CD’s and blu rays 🙂

  3. I know this will squish A LOT of folks before the dust settles. But. This could be a very good thing. Amazon has for too damned long, been the Mega shark in a small tank. Its been eating way more than its share destroying small and large brick and mortar and online stores for decades. As it gives up these venues, maybe other people can take them up, even B&N could do books. I’d hate to see them turn into the new Amazon though and they are primed to try. I really hope this breaks up this illegal monopoly and lets others finally have their share of the pie. Hell, I’d love to see a few hundred authors or so come together and create what Amazon has ditched digitally. Maybe even start their own used online bookstore so that authors no longer loose some small profit from the resale of their books.
    All the luck I can send your way! I know few can make a living at writing. It’s hard.

    1. Actually, a lot of people make a living at writing. A lot. That thing about “a few”? It’s a traditional publishing myth…although it’s now mostly true for trad pubbed authors. Smart writers who know how to use all of the systems available to them can make a very good living. I’ll be writing about this in future posts. Although I have covered it in previous posts as well.

  4. Profit for Amazon has been in the hosting side that’s business to business for quite a while – hence Bezos’ replacement CEO being from AWS. Retail is almost there as a write-off at this point.

    BTW, as much of a PITA Amazon can be to authors, it’s NOTHING like they treat vendors of physical goods. You make motherboards and video cards and power supplies and want to sell them on Amazon? YOU PAY TO BE LISTED. Not to advertise, but to be SEEN ON THE STORE. Feel like the fees are exorbitant? Want to renegotiate? Amazon will just redirect all visibility you had to your direct competitor. In effect, you don’t exist on Amazon unless you pay.

    IOW, physical goods vendors are essentially paying Amazon protection money. Pay Amazon thousands per month to not have Amazon screw you over in favor of the business that pay without complaint. And Amazon knows these vendors are stuck listing there because almost everything still sells at Amazon more than any other online retailer.

    I started self-publishing in 2010 and I’ve always been wide.

  5. I’ve been writing/self publishing for about 6 and a half years, and have pretty much always been all in with Amazon. The reason I’m still self-publishing is because of KU and page reads. I uploaded a few non-exclusive books to Kobo and Apple a few years back and had hardly any sales, realising that it’s the same whether you are exclusive to Amazon or not. You have to advertise. The difference being that with Amazon at least you do get page reads as well. If KU went away, that would be a problem, no doubt, but I’m not sure if the current wide options would really help, even if it did. The only answer to any of this, is every waking minute of the day, build your brand. Make yourself known as that person who writes that genre, really well. I’m in the middle of planning for a whole new pen name and genre, which is going to be laser focused. I think if you manage to do that, then it will be easier to weather the storm when it arrives.

  6. Kris,

    Thanks again for this write up. I also really appreciate the comments here.

    When I shared the article about Kindle Magazine subs going away last week, I was shocked that more writers didn’t seem concerned. It was as if it had nothing to do with them.

    In reply to some other writers here, my book-retailer-only sales income still hovers at around 75% Amazon, which is why building even broader diversification is important to me.

    I have moved “offer direct sales from my website” to the top of my list for 2023. I’ve been putting it off. I’ve also scheduled a strategy call with an author who does a lot better with wide platform sales than I do, to see which of those systems I can tweak. And I just emailed another platform that’s outside all these other streams about getting started with them. They seem thrilled to talk with me and are offering 70% royalty. We’ll see what happens. I’ll let folks know if it ends up sounding worthwhile.

    But mostly? Not wanting to depend on one retailer—or any retailers—is why my writing income includes Patreon, Substack, and Kickstarter (and why I’m looking into my own membership site. I had one back before those were very feasible, but it might be time to try again). Those three platforms alone have pushed me into a modest mid-list income. So if my Amazon sales ever vanish, while I won’t be happy, I also won’t be devastated. Add in my Teachable income, and I’ll be just fine. I’m also prepping to reboot my YouTube channel as another possible income stream. All of these systems should work together and feed each other, giving me a healthy, sustainable career.

    You and Dean have always said we’re responsible for our own careers, and I keep taking that to heart. Twitter going rapidly downhill and now this Amazon news only serve to hit that home. I can’t rely on something someone else has built to keep working for me, long term.

    In order to have a long-term career, I need to be in charge and make decisions accordingly.

  7. I see Amazon as continually changing and expanding into different areas. Take Kindle Vella, for example. Yes, that is tied only to Amazon, but at least it allows authors to branch out in a different way. Personally, I don’t see any axe falling any time soon. As long as Amazon can make money by being creative and launching different avenues, author’s shouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

  8. A very interesting article.

    Do you think that, even without ‘tricks’ and trying to game algorithms, you can make sales if you go wide simply through good covers, good blurbs, good keywords and good stories, even without any promotion?

  9. I attended 20Books this year, too, and one thing my publisher pointed out (a small press who uses indie tactics) is readership is dropping off because of various economic reasons (examples may occur to you). We have to write longer books now, deliver them in a shorter time frame (I was doing a book every 120 days; now it will be every 90) and release them more frequently. We also have to focus on one series that’s selling well, and stay consistent with it, as opposed to bouncing through our various series (I have three). With people having to decide between gasoline and a book, and Amazon’s shenanigans as described, 2023 may be a rough year indeed.

    We’ve already had problems with Amazon ads, as mentioned above, so the asteroid is on the way . . .

      1. I suppose in some ways, they are trad indeed. Suddenly scales are falling from my eyes, haha. But in other ways they do non-trad publishing things. Hang on I gotta pick up all these scales….

  10. An astute heads up, Kris, to those writers who are all-in with Amazon. To underscore your point, here’s a statement from one analyst about the true source of Amazon *profits*, as opposed to revenue:

    “Most of these sales come from their retail and ecommerce operations, which the company has come to be known for. However, on the bottom line, the source of profit paints a completely different picture. That’s because 74% of Amazon’s operating profit comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS).”

    Having retired from an IT career, I follow such developments. And while the AWS personnel and admin expense is far smaller than for the retail side, accounting for its wider margin, that segment of the business is where new management will continue to focus, If selling book subscriptions isn’t good business, (profitable), they’ll drop KU, and probably with shorter notice than six months.

    My Amazon footprint is a mere flyspeck at this point, but my 2023 book release strategy has to change from KU only to wide, based not just on your takeaway from 20bo0ks, but also taking into account other indicators of erosion of the Amazon momentum and a propensity to chop and dice without regard for the effect on B2B partners.

    Another warning sign: I read frequently that the tweaks to AMS advertising algorithms are pushing cost and risk to the breaking point for some authors.

    Thanks for always staying on top of things. Enjoy your holidays.

    1. Can confirm on the Amazon ads, Dan. My publisher has had to raise our book prices because Amazon monkeyed with theirs and when the changes first happened, we started losing money on ads.

  11. I think the concern for many (at least it is for me) is that we don’t get a tenth of the traffic on the other platforms combined that Amazon gets. If Amazon took that away, I can see even successful wide indies struggling to stay afloat. Even if they have huge mailing lists.

  12. Hi Kris. This is indeed scary. I’ve been following your advice to go wide since the past seven years. Yet, 90% of my income (both e-book and print) still come from Amazon. I really won’t know what I would do if my income from Amazon vanishes tomorrow.

  13. If Kindle Unlimited vanishes, I’m curious to see what happens to KU readers. There is anecdotal evidence that most of these budget-conscious readers aren’t there to read books by specific authors but rather specific genres and niches. I have a sneaking suspicion very few will convert their $9.99/month to BUYING books by Author X or Author Y. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good portion decide to stop reading altogether (“It was a good run, but too pricey for me now.”). This is why I’ve always focused on organic followers. They are harder to EARN but worth so much more in the long-run. Similarly, if KU folds, then I predict many, many authors will also close up shop because it will be “too hard” to be viable.

    1. Or those voracious readers will discover their local library loans out ebooks and audio for no monthly subscription fee. In the US, metro areas and states have library consortiums that can provide large catalogs in popular genres. My library sales are slowly growing, which is another advantage of going wide.

      1. Exactly! I am amazed that more people don’t have their own Overdrive account. I’m pleased to report that with the pandemic and with our economic woes, my income from Overdrive, Hoopla, and other library services suddenly became noticeable.
        In fact, my husband got me to notice the importance of Overdrive when he’d download audiobooks before both of his eyes got fixed.

        1. I can think of three things that might make libraries less popular with voracious readers than they could be.

          1. More friction in the borrowing and reading process. My local big city library uses several different e-reader apps. Overdrive can send books to a kindle app but the main other one does not. The kindle ecosystem is simpler to navigate.

          2. Some genres are underrepresented at libraries. KU is the better option for fans of those readers. At this time.

          3. Lack of popular awareness of what libraries can provide.

        2. Not an author here. I ve tried to use Overdrive and can’t find s%$t. They don’t carry the authors I read or they don’t carry the whole series. I read neopagan/pagan nonfiction, sci-fi, urban fantasy, and cozy mysteries. Those are too niche apparently to be widely covered at Overdrive. Are authors responsible for promoting to Overdrive or publishers? How could Overdrive start being better stocked? Is each Overdrive local and not national?
          Thank you.

          1. As an indie writer, I interface with OverDrive (and Hoopla and Library Direct and a bunch of other services) through the same ebook distribution sites that I use for retailers. Kobo (for OverDrive), and Draft2Digital and Smashwords for a bunch of others.

            At that point, OverDrive etc. provide books to libraries the same way Kobo etc provide books to readers: the books are listed in a catalog and each library chooses to purchase the ones it wants.

            There’s still a discoverability issue, plus there’s the usual risk-avoidance that large institutions suffer that (I surmise) makes libraries less likely to buy books from indies than trad-pubbed authors. For now. I suspect this will change. I’m going to explore ways to increase my discoverabiliy by libraries in 2023.

      2. KU readers would have to be FORCED to go to the library. Many of them are entitled and complain at authors not in KU already. You can tell them about libraries and Scribd and Kobo Plus and every other non-exclusive option and they still cling to Amazon. They’re loyal to Amazon alone.

  14. Oh yeah. All this, and then some.

    As an Amazon customer, I have noticed two things that pushed my “tech company gone wrong” alarm button.

    On the cost-savings front: Amazon Prime stopped guaranteeing two day delivery earlier this year. I can see how this would save them money, but it’s clearly not for the customer’s benefit.

    They have also made buying Kindle books less convenient. Previously, when I bought a book I had a drop-down menu to select which device to send it to. This function has been turned off. To deliver a book to a device, I have to click through half a dozen pages. This is clearly for Amazon’s benefit, not the customer’s.

    I’ve worked in tech since 1995. When a tech company starts deliberately complicating their customers’ purchasing experience, they are in trouble.

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