Saying the “A” Word Out Loud

Saying the “A” Word Out Loud

We operate in a strange world. In Christian publishing circles no one wants to say the “A” Word out loud, but the reality is that 85% of books today are sold on Amazon. In fact, as someone in the publishing end of this world, I can honestly admit our whole publishing system has not changed with the times and is in many ways still operating as if Amazon doesn’t exist. 

Instead, Christian publishing is set up to support the Christian bookstore market. While we unquestionably want to support the local Christian bookstores, this is not where a large part of our market is shopping anymore. We must begin to get honest about this “disconnect” if we want to change the world with the messages God has given us.

The disconnect is seen everywhere from on the back end where traditional publishing distribution is almost exclusively focused on the bookstore market, to the font end where book proposals from authors require marketing plans that likewise focus on the bookstore markets. So, what is an author to do when the publishers and marketers are focused on 15% of the market, and yet they are expected to meet sales goals that ought to capitalize on targeting the largest market share—Amazon?

We must become Amazon savvy. We need to become experts in this field, understanding keywords, search engine optimization, and how algorithms work. We need to learn all we can about the Amazon shopper, their habits, and what makes them purchase one book over another. We need to understand how Amazon works. 

At EABooks we often have authors who are resentful of Amazon for putting their favorite bookstore out of business, or they dislike the political and, yes, un-Christlike business practices of this giant that they tell us they don’t want to play their game. And we get it. I’m certain Jesus didn’t want to play the game the religious leaders of his day were playing, but Jesus was wise. He used his knowledge of how they played the game to his advantage, and he won. 

We, too, can win the Amazon game because we have God in the game with us. And as the Bible says, if He is for us, who can be against us? How the game is played is no surprise to our God. Therefore, He can help us move forward with integrity, just as Jesus did with the Pharisees and Sadducees. God knows the moves Amazon will make before they even make them, and thus can help us make the moves we need to make to reach the world for His glory, even using Amazon.

So, let’s say the “A” word out loud. Let’s agree to jump in the game with both feet and play to win. Someone’s life—their eternal life—depends upon it. And with God on our side, we can win.

Question: How has Amazon impacted the way you purchase books?  Please share your comments about this important blog.

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  1. Misty Cramer on 2022-01-26 at 8:31 PM

    Thanks for this blog Cheri. Great information. In the rural area I live in, the small Christian bookstores went out of business quite some time ago, so Amazon has been the way I have purchased books for years. I appreciate that EABooks is training in this area (as I see in your comment above to Vicki), and look forward to jumping in on that session at Speak Up. Hope you are doing well Cheri! Take care.

  2. Cheri Cowell on 2022-01-25 at 4:40 PM

    Thanks for chiming in….blessings on your book sales.

  3. Cheri Cowell on 2022-01-25 at 12:55 PM


    We now have an Amazon expert on staff with EABooks and she is putting together some resources we will soon share on our Facebook Page, so please like us and you’ll get the latest updates.

    We’ll also be at Speak Up offering that info, and of course, if you want a personalized coach, our Amazon Optimization Program is the answer. We’ll teach you everything you need to know and then apply it to your book, even doing a one-month Ad campaign for you so you can learn in a hands-on approach.

    There is so much to know, but I’m excited that we have Rhonda on our team to teach all of us….


  4. Vicki Heath on 2022-01-25 at 12:28 PM

    Cheri, great blog, question: do you know of resources we can become Amazon savy? I want to learn but not sure where to find the teaching. Becoming an expert on anything takes a lot of learning. Where can we find help?

  5. Sue L. Hamilton on 2022-01-25 at 9:42 AM

    Thanks for your encouraging blog. I only know Amazon as I have self-published from the beginning. It is key to making sales happen. I have more negative thoughts on trying to get into local bookstores and the amount they want for commission. Amazon takes care of the shipping and allows me to promote myself as an other on their Author Page. I like Amazon.

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