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I’m Selling My Book and Deliberately Keeping it Off Amazon


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Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Originally Published as The New Negro an Interpretation Edited by Alain Locke and Introduction by Troy JohnsonThe book Voices of the Harlem Renaissance: Originally Published as The New Negro an Interpretation Edited by Alain Locke and Introduction by Troy Johnson was published in March of 2020. 


Tragically the owner of the publishing company passed earlier this year, so I was never informed of the book's publication until I inquired about it this summer.  I immediately purchased a box of books which I promptly sold (making it an AALBC bestseller for the upcoming period).


I noticed the books were not in distribution and inquired about the remaining inventory. The family decided to shut down the publishing company (Konecky & Konecky) and were motivated to sell the books.  I made an offer to buy out the entire inventory, and the following week a pallet of books were dropped of at my front door. 


Have you ever stored a pallet of books in your home?  Fortunately, I have a two car garage and one small vehicle.  Now, how the heck do I sell all of these books?


Amazon has a $1.7T (yes trillion) market capitalization, and sells more printed books, online, than all other booksellers combined. At first glance it seems foolhardy to ignore Amazon as a platform to sell one's book.  Well you can call me Troy "foolhardy" Johnson, because I'd rather give the books away than sell them on Amazon.


Since I have a monopoly on this book, I can keep all new copies of this book off Amazon's site.  The screen shoot of the book on Amazon, from October 12, 2020, below shows three used copies of the book on Amazon. There are three sellers of the book on Amazon and each sells has only one copy.  I'll monitor Amazon to see if any of the copies I sell end up on Amazon as new.





Other than a newsletter mention and a couple of social media posts I have not done much to push this book.  I did have an ad running, but I took it down to make room for paid advertisers.  Here is what I plan to do moving forward:


I will create an affiliate program such that anyone who direct a reader to AALBC who buys the books will earn $5.  $5 is a huge commission on the sale of a book retailing for $19.99.  It will be interesting to see how this goes.


I will also reach out to indie booksellers and offer them the book at a 60% discount and pay for shipping.  Below is a video I created for the purpose. I have not shared the video yet. 


Lets see what happens.



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  • 3 years later...

Interestingly, I never did aggressively promote the book to Booksellers. I do have some in a few stores most notably The Dock Bookshop in Fort Worth, Texas, and Community Book Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a few others.

You can find copies offered by third parties on Amazon. however, I’m not sure how those copies have been secured.


At the time I created this video I’m sure I was still boycotting Amazon. I not boycotting Amazon today. I got tired of telling Authors I can’t promote their book because it’s only available through Amazon. Besides, they never was a great deal of support for boycotting Amazon.


@Wendy Jones that video is only four years old, but it seems like decades ago.

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