So many books are sold through Amazon these days that it seems like it's web pages are styled in gold awaiting writerly Whittingtons. It is the biggest bookstore on the planet and probably in the universe, so we are naturally drawn its tempting shelves.
But beware, not all that glitters is the stuff of alchemical dreams, and Amazon's motivations do not necessarily align with yours. Here are five exaggerated reasons to temper your faith in the largest book store in the universe.
- Distractions: Amazon is big, you won't believe how mind bogglingly big it is – to coin Douglas Adams – in fact it's so big that were you to lay out end-to-end every book Amazon holds in it's catalogue you'd build a reading list from here to Alpha Centuari and back. Your book has one spot on that list. It won't be found by customers no matter how fabulous the content, their heads will turn long before they have reached you landing page even if they happen to be looking for it.
- No chance: The chances of your book being found in Amazon is two to the power thirty seven million four hundred and ninety nine to on against and rising with each day that passes. Putting your book on Amazon and have a buyer accidentally buy it is like hoping your mother-in-law gets abducted by aliens, put in a jam jar and preserved in a museum somewhere on the outer spiral arm of the Andromeda galaxy.
- Motivation: Amazon want to make themselves rich. Your book is a window on Amazon not a product on a shelf. For every visitor you get to your Amazon landing page, Amazon gets another visitor from which they may profit. Your page is therefore designed to get people in, not necessarily convert them into buyers of your book.
- Blindness: You don't know how many page views you get because Amazon won't tell you. Without knowing how many page views you get, you can't know if your marketing efforts are working or how well your blurb, cover and extract is performing.
- Opportunity cost: People who do actually visit your page are immediately asked to buy something else either through the helpful, “What did people end up buying after viewing this book?” or with a friendly email telling them about related books that gets sent later. Anybody with a few dollars to spend is asked to spend it somewhere else, and because Amazon is so big, there's always likely to be a better, more attractive thing on which to spend money.
A man emerges from the sodden undergrowth, lost, lonely and starving he is mown down by a speeding car on the edge of a remote forest.
Rumours of ghostly apparitions haunt a rural Northumberland community.
A renowned forensic research establishment is troubled by impossible results and unprecedented interference from an influential drug company.
Hendrix 'Aitch' Harrison is a tech-phobic journalist who must link these events together.
Normally side-lined to investigate UFOs and big-beast myths, but thrust into world of cynical corporate motivations, Hendrix is aided by a determined and ambitious entomologist. Together they delve into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining.
In a chase of escalating dangers, Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.
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Genre – Crime, Thriller, Horror
Rating – R-16
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