Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price?

Recently, on the SFWA website, Jim Hines posted an excellent article on how Amazon changes the price of an e-book an author sells directly to them. Here's an excerpt:

On Saturday (2/11), I noticed that Amazon had marked Goblin Tales down to $.99. I don’t know why, and I don’t know when exactly this change was made.

This wasn't the first time I’d had trouble controlling the price of my own e-book. I put Goblin Tales on sale over the holidays, then returned it to $2.99 in early January. Rather, I tried to do so. Only Kobo was slow to raise their price, and since Amazon’s Terms of Service allow them to match any competing price, Goblin Tales stayed at $.99 with its reduced royalty rate for several more weeks, earning me about 1/6 of what I normally made for each sale (35% royalties based on the $.99 price-matched price).

He concludes:

Bottom line? They make the rules, they can change the rules whenever they feel like it, and they aren’t liable when they break the rules.


We're so appreciative of the honestly, clarity, and specificity of Jim's article - there's precious little data about publishing, and maybe the real numbers will help clear up the misconceptions and inaccuracies.


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