One of the best markets for a small press is Amazon. It's easy to get our books listed, they take the same discount as a wholesaler but with a much lower return rate, and they are a huge portion of the online book market.
However, recently, I have been feeling a wee bit frustrated with Amazon. One of our books has been constantly showing up as being out of stock. On one hand that means the book has been selling well. On the other hand, it means that current sales are down. People are much less likely to order a book when it shows up as out of stock.
I would love for the book to start showing up as back in stock. But there's nothing I can do about it. Hence, my aggravation.
You see, Amazon works in a very specific manner. Once a week they place an order for books. I send them the books and they show up in stock. The book sells, they order more, etc. and the cycle continues.
My "problem" right now is that one of my books massively outsold the quantity Amazon had on hand. And for some reason, Amazon isn't ordering enough books at any one time to both cover the backordered books and to keep books in stock. So, the book keeps staying listed as out of stock.
Ah, the joys of small business ownership.