A good friend of mine recently self-published his first novel (Blood Soaked and Contagious, by James Crawford) and decided to put it on Amazon. A HUGE accomplishment. So imagine his surprise when he checked Amazon (heh, I’m still obsessively checking my book on Amazon) and discovered that his book had been reduced in price—to free! He had no say in this and some sleuthing revealed that Amazon has a contract clause allowing them to match prices. More sleuthing revealed that apparently Amazon had discovered a teaser of the book he’d posted on Barnes & Noble for free, with a different cover and file size, and decided the teaser and the full book must be one and the same. More than 5,000 copies of his book were downloaded—for free. There now seems to be some resolution in that at least he’s republished the book and the price is finally correct (this took several tries and more gnashing of teeth).

Bottom line, I’m outraged on his behalf. He may look into a lawyer, and I hope he can fight it, but is it worth the time and effort? I know other people who are self-published and others who are considering going that route. The internet and places like Amazon have opened the door wide for independent authors and put some fear into the big publishers. But there’s no reason to treat your customers this way. Since the Dream Weavers is focusing on self-published and indie authors, I want to share my friend’s story as a cautionary tale.  Sadly, as authors our books are the foundation of the publishing world, but we have so little power in the industry.

(Reposted from my blog: http://cindyyoungturner.com/2011/10/20/lets-sic-the-zombies-on-amazon/)