Comments A couple of years ago, I was tasked with revising the rulebook for students at a local high school. I had two choices, Microsoft Publisher or Microsoft Word.
Though it remains available, it will no longer be updated. Fixing Availability on Amazon Jan.
But I can finally prescribe a fix for at least the worst of them. But unlike in the past, this status is granted to only a segment of Lightning books. But if a book has slow or rising sales, Amazon can still underestimate and run out. And if a book has never or rarely sold, Amazon may wait to order till it does.
This happened to me, for example, with several Christmas books during the recent holiday season—the worst possible time for it. I believe it lost me a third to a half of my sales of those books. But this year, I may test a different solution: By spreading and alternating demand between two editions on Amazon, I believe I can greatly improve the chances of at least one being in stock at any time.
Again, this would only make sense for a seasonal book or another with a steep upward sales curve, since the cost for other books would be reduced sales rank. It can more or less kill your sales.
In the past, it seemed like nothing could be done about such a listing, short of sending the book to CreateSpace. When you complained to Amazon, they referred you to your publisher or distributor—even when you were the publisher. I once actually republished a book just to get around such a listing.
In the last year or so, though, Lightning has become surprisingly effective in dealing with this. But I eventually got curious and asked questions.
My sales rep tells me the standard feed is already sent out several times a day, so to fix a problem, maybe Lightning sends it in a slightly different way or with a different flag—but as I said, you can replicate it yourself.
This triggers a resend, and within a week, Amazon is again selling your book. Of course, if it ever failed to work on the first try, it could easily be repeated.
One is that Amazon is intentionally discriminating against Lightning books as a way to drive small publishers to CreateSpace. Though this was true in the past, I seriously doubt that anyone at Amazon cares about doing this anymore, and there may well be no one left at the company who remembers it was ever done.
The other myth is that Amazon is discriminating against books with low discounts and non-returnability. This is the common position of Lightning reps, who tell us that the bulk of availability problems on Amazon fall on such books.
But Lightning and Ingram have always pushed for publishers to have standard terms, citing a variety of rationales, and I think this outlook is just baked into Ingram corporate culture.
Anyway, offering standard terms and returnability is not a great solution if it cuts your revenue enough to put you out of business. One possible scenario is that Amazon tries sending an electronic order and finds the Ingram servers not responding—maybe just once, maybe on two or more attempts.
For sales outside the U.
Amazon UK is simply not ordering enough copies of Lightning books, so they can be almost continuously out of stock there.
In Canada, things are even worse, because Amazon CA has apparently stopped ordering from Ingram International across the border. Meanwhile, CreateSpace has recently started sending books directly to Amazon CA—something it used to farm out to Lightning through the Expanded Distribution Channel—and these copies are selling at normal prices.
So, if your sales strategy relies on Canada or the U. Meanwhile, pressed by Lightning, Amazon has located and fixed a computer error that was assigning this status improperly, possibly remedying the situation for good!
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As we celebrate another Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., I wanted to take a quick moment to once again express my thanks and gratitude to all of the wonderful people I have the honor and blessing to get to interact, associate, and work with each and every day here in my role at Microsoft.
Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS .