I’ve been sticking up the last few editions of The Testing Planet up on Amazon as a Kindle edition.  Upon reflection, I’m really not that impressed.  I put up the latest edition with reluctance.

Perhaps I’m missing some tricks, please enlighten me if I am!

There’s a few reasons why:

Reporting is really poor

I like checking our figures and stats.  And I like having information being made immediately and having it in an accessible format.

The fact is I don’t know exactly when the sales are made, this can be important for me.  I don’t have a good grip and easy way to find out how much is selling and how much I’ll get paid.

You’d think it would be pretty standard to be able to search the history of sales easily.  You know, stick in a date range and get some figures back. Not so.  Instead we are faced with monthly downloadable reports where the information needs to be decoded.

Bah.

I don’t know who my customers are

Any marketeer, if given the opportunity, would want to know who their customers are.  I sell The Testing Planet directly from our website shop.  I know exactly who my customers are.  This is important to me.

I like to reach out. Sometimes I follow them on Twitter or Google+. Or add them to my email list, with permission of course.  If I see they have a blog I add it to the Testing Feeds RSS collection I have been maintaining.

I can also see where many of them have come from - how they came across The Testing Planet website.  This helps me understand what marketing efforts are working, or not.

I also like them to know who they can contact if they have a question.

With Amazon it is hard to do any of this. I don’t get any of the information. All I know is how many copies I’ve sold.

The stuff I publish is niche

Perhaps it’s because the stuff we publish is still fairly niche.  The sales reflect this.  Kindle sales reflect about 3% of total sales.  Add that factor to the above two I’ve mentioned, and it makes me wonder if it is worth the effort.

I get paid by cheque (!)

I got a cheque from the Kindle sales recently. Yes a cheque.  It was the only option on how to get paid at the time I signed up…perhaps this has changed now…I haven’t actually checked.  But I had to physically go down the bank to cash it.  To add to the hilarity, it will take 6 weeks to clear.

Will I publish in the future?

I’m still mulling over this one. It’s not hard to publish as we create all the necessary files anyways.  I probably need to investigate all these issues into more detail.  Perhaps there is room for improving it all.  I just feel like it’s not worth the time and effort.  Though something keeps niggling at me because I personally like to buy Kindle books from Amazon.