Monday, 24 January 2011

One publisher's struggle with Amazon 'Search Inside'

At last! The Search Inside feature on for David Henschel's Heres and Nows actually works! (Click the link to go to the Amazon page, then click on the picture on that page to see inside the book.)

This means that you can go and browse the book on-line just as you would in a bookshop.

I believe that people want to see what they are buying, especially if it's a poet they've never heard of. You have to give something away so that people see the quality, then they'll want more and buy.

I originally asked Amazon to activate Search Inside back in August 2010. The whole process was immensely complicated. The link provided was simply wrong. Then they didn't tell me that my password wouldn't work on I had to set up a new account.

I finally uploaded the book's pdf file at the end of September.

By early December the Search Inside function worked on but still not on, so again I clicked the link inviting publishers to activate this feature. Once again I was invited to sign up to I emailed back explaining that I had done all this already and nothing had happened to the book's listing on

Amazon replied as follows:
We can use the same files on for so you don’t need to resubmit. In future, just contact us if you wish your titles to be active in other Amazon territories.

to which I replied:

Yes please, please do this.

To which they replied:

Your title will be live on within 24 hours.

My advice to other print-on-demand publishers: as soon as you hear from Amazon Search Inside, set up an account with Amazon Seller Central at once and upload the pdf file without delay. Then expect to wait two months before anything happens on When it does, email them again and ask them to activate the feature on as well.

Kindle edition coming soon!

It's been a struggle but I think I'm there. Watch this blog!


  1. thanks for your post. I was wondering how to get Amazon the full book of and your post mentions uploading a pdf. My only concern is that they'll steal the contents and reproduce it on their own in another format. I guess that's what copyrights are for, though, unless their legalese jargon prevents us from pursuit...


  2. Of course they won't steal your contents. As you say, that's what copyrights (and lawyers) are for.