Saturday, July 13, 2013

So Why Is Amazon Fooling Around With the Price of My Book?

By now lots of you are familiar with my penchant for Q and As a la Ann Landers. Here is one from a recent issue of my SharingwithWriters newsletter:

 

QUESTION


If I set a price in Amazon, and the book is NOT enrolled in KDP select, how is it that they get to change the price?

How (if at all) does that affect my royalties?

Holly J., writer 

ANSWER
Amazon is huge. Amazon has power! Actually, the real reason they get to change prices any time they want to: Because they are the retailer and setting the retail price is the prerogative of retailers in most cases.
Amazon aims for the lowest price possible which is one of the reasons people buy from stuff from them including books. And that's why we WANT our books on Amazon at the lowest price possible. Make sense? There are lots of other reasons we want our books on Amazon, too. Huge reasons. But that's another day's SharingwithWriters post.

 And, no.  It doesn't affect your royalties.  But here's the thing. Sales are more important than the percentage on any given book. In the retail world of which I was a part of (other than books) for thirty years, it's about quantity of sales rather than large margin per sale. One sale begets recommendations and more sales still (especially with a good book!), so we don't mind discounting to get that. 
 
Of course, there can be limits--and Amazon knows where they are. I don’t see that they’re much interested in loss leaders. Even when books are given away free, there is something in it for them. And most times something in it for the author, too.

 
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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