When my first book came out, I was excited. My wife and I did the happy dance, held the ARC close to our hearts and then gazed at it lovingly. When it was finally released, and we started the "pimpin" process, telling our friends of our new arrival. Of course they were excited, but it wasn't until they found the book on Amazon that they were excited. "Wow, you're really published," several said. When I formed them that you could purchase it on the publisher's website they responded, "okay, but I can buy it on Amazon too, right?" I tried to explain the publishing model and how an author gets more when a person buys directly from the publisher than from Amazon, B&N or any other book selling website, they just couldn't make the connection. Then a friend said, "let 'em buy from Amazon. Your ratings will go up with every purchase." So, hence the Amazon reality.
It was then that I realized that some people equate being on Amazon as "really" being published, similar to how an actor has legitimacy when he/she appears on Leno, Carson or Oprah. It just shows how the world of publishing is evolving.