***The $6.19 Kobo price in Canada is likely the US$5.95 list ... so both booksellers have it for the same list. But Kobo has a 20% sale ... isn't that ok? Amazon has the opportunity to put the titles on sale if it wants to, doesn't it?***
Hya SP: It's this kind of unsanctioned messing with cover prices, I'm afraid, that forced the Agency 5 model on stores.
You see if Kobo discounts our books by 20%, retail agreements with all other stores mean that we must immediately discount 20% there as we'll or be in breach because ebook prices in one shop must not be lower than the cover price anywhere else.
So where does it stop when stores use our work in their price wars? Our prices are very, very carefully calculated alongside our paperback prices so that they are a fair deal and we at least break even. We cannot afford to offer ebooks at prices any lower than those we set. Neither can our authors. These stores are already taking a huge slice in sales commissions.
But what I'm ranting about here, Suzie, (because stores discounting is a risk we take by refusing Agency 5) is pricing up.
In another thread here today, you can read an open letter from Amazon blaming high Kindle ebook prices entirely on publishers who insist upon it. At the same time, Amazon is, willy-nilly, increasing the prices of titles by those publishers who don't.
Is it any wonder publishers go Agency 5?
And think about ebook prices a little: When you see an anomaly like a hardback costing $8 and the ebook version $9, what you must remember is that the ebook is fairly priced (Agency won't allow Kindle to discount) whereas the paper price has been arbitrarily slashed by a huge percentage because publishers have no control over cover price.
Is this policy (often meaning that Amazon loses on every treebook sale) a deliberate ploy to undermine the stance of the big publishers who insist on Agency 5, or is it sheer coincidence because Amazon is altruistic and likes to lose money on paper sales?
PS: You didn't upset me, SP. Sorry if I gave that impression. Your comment, as always, is invaluable and is received in the generous good spirit in which it was offered. Thanks. N