I've been looking and have yet to find any threads about Amazon's latest scam, so I thought I'd start one here.
I live in the UK but my books are published by an American house. I occasionally check up on how my own books are doing on Amazon, and I was very displeased when I saw that the Kindle version of my book
had somehow doubled
in price -- overnight!
I immediately contacted my publisher, who had no idea anything had happened. To him everything was still showing up at normal prices. However . . . Well, I took some screenshots:
Then I confirmed it was happening for other books as well, titles from my publisher and unrelated friends. They had all had the same huge price hike.
The phrase that immediately leaped out at me was 'international wireless delivery', and this has been the only explanation I can find for the sudden jump. Even counting UK VAT at 15% of the $2.99 list price, that's only an extra $0.45. Apparently a couple of kilobytes of bandwidth are enough for Amazon to slap an extra $2.40 onto the list price.
I'm flabbergasted. I'll be sending my opinion of these practices to Amazon, and I'd like to call on everyone reading this post -- American and international alike -- to do the same. It's one thing to make international users pay a little bit extra, but I don't really appreciate this blatant rip-off. Between this and the Booksurge mess a while ago, Amazon seem out to make a bad name for themselves for small press and independent publishing.
Please, if you haven't already, take your business over to a more scrupulous company like Smashwords that doesn't treat its customers like moneybags ready to be squeezed. It's cheaper, better, more pleasant in every way, and I'm much happier to list my books there
[EDIT] A little bit more digging has turned up their pricing rationale and other interesting hidden charges
. If you add the per-book $2 international download fee the price becomes $4.99, and then add 15% VAT on that figure, you end up with $5.74.
Seems the International Kindle really isn't as great as advertised . . .
Ryan A. Span