An Unholy Alliance with Amazon Books

January, 2019. It’s book, bookkeeping time of year. Thanks to all who bought one of my books for Christmas presents in the end of 2018, in various versions, hardcover, paperback, ebook, Kindle, from our various distributors. Now, for some insider info of the book industry.

Brace yourselves, the business of books is sad and tough. Since 2015, records show I have sold over 33,000 ebooks (about 8 of my books have e-book versions. This doesn’t count paperbacks and the martial textbook, hardcovers I’ve sold.) 

Not one individual book of mine, (ebook or otherwise) sold over 25,000 copies, which, officially, you could declare one a “bestseller” in ads on the cover. (Some folks, flat out lie about this). It sure would be nice to be a bestseller. Maybe someday. Indie publishers throw that word “bestseller” around in their ads. No. Unless they preface it with “Pudunk Press” bestseller. Then yes.

Now…33,000 ebooks alone since 2015. (We have no pre-2015 stats, so there are more sales. Wow. Sounds like I should have a new sports car? No way. Let’s take Kindle (Amazon). Their algorithms are bizarre screw jobs changing in roller coaster sales, wheels and deals. Sometimes an author gets pennies. Sometimes fractions of pennies. I have. In the records there are times and groupings where I sold 300, 400 ebooks and received only a few dollars for the whole batch. Then you get tossed into the 99 cent sale. Sometimes the “free sale.”

It is mysterious and explained away in happy, positive, sales jargon campaigns. But once translated – Amazon keeps all the money. Translated – author screwed. One of my friends sold 187 of his ebooks and made…81 cents. Thanks Mr Bezos.

Plus, you-the-author cannot contact the purchaser-reader. No list. No emails. No author-reader relationship. 41,000 stranger-readers that otherwise I could advertise to. But they want to keep me apart from them, so I will not cut Amazon out the of the middle in future sales? (Our German publisher lists for us every sale they make adding reader emails when they get one. But if they sell to stores, then stores sell to customers, we don’t know who they are either. But the Germans at least try. )

It is an unholy alliance with Amazon books (Kindle). Can’t make a living with them, can’t live without them. Indie authors hate to admit their books are not selling well so they lie about the money they make and the volume they sell.    

Through all book-racket-business, I still want to thank everyone who bought a dang book of mine! Really. Thanks. If you buy one directly with me on the below page or in my appearances, it helps keep me in hamburgers and flip-flops better, and there is only ONE middleman company then, who lets me keep a few dollars more and not fractions of pennies.

We can see my Gunther westerns do pretty darn well, and if we have our own little bestseller? I think its Fightin’ Words, but it’s all hard to decode, decipher and add up.

Gunther will return late this year in Rio Grande Black Magic. I loved writing this book. Did Gunther help assassinate Pancho Villa? And my Gun book should be done, adding to the martial set (so many photos, so little time).

THANK YOU so much again! I hope I entertained you and caught lightning in your jar, even if for just a second.


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