Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing
Conglomerate giant, capable of destroying and creating with barely a thought, this is the creature we must face when we publish novels. They virtually own the publishing industry, and even though they are gradually losing some of their power over time they are still a force to be reckoned with.
We can't avoid it. Amazon is too powerful, so even if we avoid KDPSelect and go with competitors, we still have to use amazon as well.
Of course, I have a lot of people available who would like to review, but they aren't allowed. In July, Amazon began cracking down heavily on who was allowed to review your work, and anyone associated even remotely is blocked. That includes family and friends. It also includes, in many cases, fans.
Which means that in this world of social networking, one of the ways you can have reviews blocked and removed from amazon is by networking with people who read your book. If they ask a question on facebook, and you answer, then Amazon might consider your relationship too 'friendly' and block that fan.
This might seem draconian. Probably because it is, but there is nothing we can do about it, because Amazon has all the power.
If you want to check out more about the author blog and resources I've compiled, click this link and view all of my author resources and experiences!
*Update August, 2017
I have decided to pull out of Kindle Unlimited with all of my books except for the World on Fire series (since Raven's Peak is required to be included). In general, I've stopped selling more than a few copies a month inside of the KU program and have no incentive to stay in.
My original plan was going to be to put World of Shadows in there as well, but I decided to try a wide reach instead and am hoping to get some traction on other platforms instead of only Amazon. Being locked in is just painful and it seriously harms the entire market.
I'm also planning to try out Pronoun with some more of my books. I recently pushed forward with Pronoun using The Ninth Circle free and it has done amazingly well in delivering copies out into the world. It helps to centralize and also widen my reach (now my books will be available in 18+ stores) so I'm hoping that this will work out for me.
In general, though, I've had fairly good luck with Amazon. I feel like they are trying to hone their power and push some indies out, but considering how many new books show up on their site every day it isn't a difficult thing to believe. All in all, it is just life!