Amazon barcodes

I want my book to look just right, so I’m working with my covers and placing that barcode in just the right place. Barcodes are already an intrusive thing, their white background shocking when nothing else has white. The books came out fine at Ingram.

But now I want to publish the paperbacks at Amazon also. Why? Because although Amazon can get my book from Ingram, and shows it on their site, it’s sometimes shown as unavailable because it’s Print on Demand. Even when it’s available, it takes weeks to get there. They say that on the book pages, discouraging purchases. So it’s no wonder my paperback sales on Amazon have been low.

When I order proof copies, however, they look like this:

ugly Amazon bar codes

Ugly, huh? I knew about the “not for resale” stripe (which I don’t mind, actually – on the shelf I can tell it’s a proof). But that barcode is the size of a small European country. It cuts through my Victorian frame, and partly overlaps my own barcode. I’m confused because during setup, it asks whether you have your own barcode. I assumed that clicking Yes means they use yours.

When I research in Amazon support, it goes on about barcode sizes and requirements if you use your own, but I’d done all that. And it says they might add a “Transparent” QR-looking thing. I google and see that some people are saying this horrid bar code isn’t printed on the real copies, only proof copies and maybe author copies.

Amazon support chat was there for me, and after I sent them this photo they confirmed that this is the case. These big-as-a-Buick barcodes won’t appear on author copies (thank goodness, since I sell some myself) or actual purchased books.