Hello, visitors of the site and readers!
The last news from my books’ fate: Amazon just discontinued paying me royalties that I have been receiving for my self-published books every month for 10 years. I had received insignificant amounts from a Russian newspaper in Hollywood, California, for their publication of separate chapters of my first book in Russian language “The Girl from California” around 1998 – just to make it clear here since when I have been in writing. Or, rather, first, my book was published by chapters in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1996. I started self-publishing on CreateSpace (USA) in 2010. It was so long ago, that I forgot the dates, but a few days ago I came across a royalty payment invoice of December 2010 from CreateSpace self-publishing platform. It reminded me that I started self-publishing with them in 2010. My royalties have never been big. I earn my living with teaching languages at adult education (in the past) or community college, and also, sometimes, with occasional lessons with individual students or occasional translations.
My monthly royalties were just the recognition of the big work I have done with my books: looking for good translations, matching them, working with them, creating the inside file, then creating the book covers. To create the front cover takes special individual view on the literary work it presents. I love the front covers of my books – they tell me a story about each book creation and the thought under each project.
Now we can see all my books – about 20-22 of them – on the multitude of Amazon distributors channels: many bookstores, Author’s pages in many countries of the world that are in many different languages. My books are mostly multilingual, that’s why it makes big sense to have them all over the world.
When Amazon speaks about its charities, it makes me think now: well, without asking a low-income educator, they took all the books from her, banning her from her self-publishing portal, and then they channeled her royalties into their charities (or maybe to their AI dream projects, or maybe to build more warehouses and buy more trucks for deliveries – we don’t know). That’s a wonderful way of doing business in the world: take from a teacher her life creations and put the label of your nobility and charity on your doings.
I wonder – is this a theft or is this business by Amazon’s way? Or the two notions have just smoothly grown into each other before our eyes?
What am I doing here writing this personal information? I am just documenting what’s happening. I guess I will have to change now the title of one of my books in English language written around 2011 “How I Published My Books by Myself and Sold on Amazon 96 Books in One Year”. Or, rather, I will write a new book “How Amazon…”. However, I have to wait and see what the three top executives will say, or their arbitration team before publishing something like that. Let’s get this story its own ending!
Dates of Events:
May 29, 2020 – AmazonKDP sent me an email note to notify they are banning me from my author’s platform. (They said I violated something with my book in Russian “Work in USA”. Really? The last time I touched that little book was in 2017, when I republished my three Russian books on the platform of Russian Federation, that is different country. They could just remove any violation they didn’t like. But they didn’t. Instead, they have all their distribution channels up and going banning the authors).
July 1, 2020 – no one cent of royalties. (There were like 10 dollars in the previous month. My royalties were melting from month to month in the last six months especially.) They banned me not only from the access to my files, but to the money that my books earn, too. You know, I had a letter about a year ago, from one reader from USA about my five-language book based on Edgar Poe. He was so grateful; they were staging the story.
February 2018 – AmazonKDP rolled over all the book files from CreateSpace to AmazonKDP self-publishing platform – massively. Nice, good CreateSpace, with easily manageable portal and templates for self-published authors stopped to exist. Amazon did not ask the author at that time which files I wanted to transfer to the new place, which not. They never asked the author – did I want to have my files in e-format or I didn’t. Actually I didn’t. Many of my books have three languages on one page, or four languages in paragraphs on one page, or even five languages on one page – it goes and shows badly on those little electronic devices. So, for this kind of books it is not a good idea to show them on a small screen. So, they are better to be just paperbacks.
Zoia Eliseyeva, July 7, 2020. CA/AZ, USA