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Old 07-02-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Confusion about Amazon Direct Publishing Pricing

I have a bad feeling I'm asking a stupidly newbie question, so bear with me and point me to the right forum if I've missed something. Which I'm sure I have.

I set an ebook on Amazon to $2.99, but when it appears on Amazon, it's 'discounted' to 99 cents. Why is that? And is there any way I can change it?

I did, by the way, click on the 'pricing page' link to how it works, but I'm a touch baffled by it. Okay...more than a touch.

Last edited by garygibsonsf; 07-02-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by garygibsonsf View Post
I set an ebook on Amazon to $2.99, but when it appears on Amazon, it's 'discounted' to 99 cents. Why is that? And is there any way I can change it?
Amazon retain the right to discount any price to match the price available elsewhere. So, for instance, if you're offering the ebook at Smashwords as well at $0.99, Amazon are allowed to drop the price. (And pay you 70% of ($0.99-delivery fee) instead of 70% of ($2.99-delivery fee.)

If the ebook isn't available anywhere else at less than $2.99, Amazon are still allowed to discount it. But then they still owe you 70% of ($2.99-delivery free).

The details are all at

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishi...=APILE934L348N
and
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishi...A29FL26OKE7R7B
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:47 AM   #3
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Interesting! And yet it's $2.99 at Smashwords as well. I know they distribute to other sellers, so maybe I should check if it's discounted at any of them as well. It's *slightly* worrying to me since I deliberately raised the price so as to make it not seem too cheap (after reading up on how price affects consumer expectations). I guess one way I could do it is raise the price on Smashwords...?
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by garygibsonsf View Post
Interesting! And yet it's $2.99 at Smashwords as well. I know they distribute to other sellers, so maybe I should check if it's discounted at any of them as well. It's *slightly* worrying to me since I deliberately raised the price so as to make it not seem too cheap (after reading up on how price affects consumer expectations). I guess one way I could do it is raise the price on Smashwords...?
Have you checked the amount you're being paid for each copy sold, in your kdp control panel?

And which book is it?
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:04 AM   #5
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The book is here on Amazon US and here on Amazon UK. On the Direct publishing page, I'm not sure exactly what it says, since there's two rows of details, which is confusing, but here it is.

Royalty Rate Delivery Costs Estimated Royalty
35% n/a $1.05
70% $0.07 $2.04


The US dollars price is set to 2.99, and I've selected '70% royalty rate', so now that I think about it, I guess only one of those rows applies to me.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:06 AM   #6
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In other words Amazon are paying you $2.04 per sale. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garygibsonsf View Post
The book is here on Amazon US and here on Amazon UK. On the Direct publishing page, I'm not sure exactly what it says, since there's two rows of details, which is confusing, but here it is.

Royalty Rate Delivery Costs Estimated Royalty
35% n/a $1.05
70% $0.07 $2.04


The US dollars price is set to 2.99, and I've selected '70% royalty rate', so now that I think about it, I guess only one of those rows applies to me.
The 70% royalty rate only applies to books sold in US, UK and a few other countries, elsewhere you just get 35%, even if you opt for the 70%.

The delivery costs only apply to the 70% rate. you get 70% of (RRP-delivery costs). And since ($2.99-0.07)*0.7 = $2.044, it seems that Amazon are gettin the sums right.

I see that the digital list price is given as £2.15 (=$2.99/1.6(exchange rate) * 1.15(VAT)), so it seems to me that Amazon are discounting it for their own unfathomable reasons, but are probably still paying your the royalty based on the list price.

You can double-check by going to the "Reports" tab of your kdp account pages, and looking at "Prior Six Weeks' Royalties". Do check Kindle UK store as well as US store.

That page should tell you exactly how many have sold in each of the pas six weeks, and what royalty you've been paid for them.

Last edited by pdurrant; 07-03-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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So Amazon takes the price the author sets and pays the author 70% of that, but at the same time they only charge the buyer 33% of the set price? It's no wonder people get confused.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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It's also kind of ironic, given that I originally put the price up because I was worried I might be 'undervaluing' the book. Now it's back to just slightly more than it was originally, except that I get a hugely inflated cut. Weird.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:41 AM   #10
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Can't help OP, just wanted to say that after seeing the link to your book here I have brought it and can't wait to read it. Sounds thrilling.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:09 AM   #11
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Thanks Tome!
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:05 AM   #12
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Wow. The ways of Amazon are strange and mysterious indeed...
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:54 AM   #13
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Wow. The ways of Amazon are strange and mysterious indeed...
Strange, perhaps, but the are the Big Kahuna of sales, at least in my experience, so their quirks are well worth tolerating. I get relatively few sales from Smashwords or B&N. The surprise, at least to me, is Apple sales, which I hadn't expected. Of course, my books are already priced at 99 cents so I haven't experienced any "discounting." (I am in the "cheap, buy two" camp of e-book pricing.)
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:41 AM   #14
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GJ, I read by an author called David Hewson that he's not putting his books up on Ibooks because the process is enormously time-consuming and expensive because of the requirement to purchase ISBNs. Did you find that to be the case yourself?

http://www.davidhewson.com/blog/2011...on-ibooks.html
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:49 AM   #15
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GJ, I read by an author called David Hewson that he's not putting his books up on Ibooks because the process is enormously time-consuming and expensive because of the requirement to purchase ISBNs. Did you find that to be the case yourself?

http://www.davidhewson.com/blog/2011...on-ibooks.html

That is why I use Smashwords. I fight through the extremely slow and inefficient vetting process... and they give me an ISBN, and get it Apple, and the other E-Book stores for me. I opt-out for the Amazon (which does not work yet) only because I want to have it on Amazon on release day (well... takes 48 hours) since the are the big dog of sales...but other then that I let Smashwords worry about iBook store and others.
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