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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