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Old 04-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
LeeGoldberg
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Warning -- Take Your Books Off Kobo Now!

If you are using Smashwords, go there right now and OPT OUT of having your books distributed to Kobo, the ereader used by Borders, Chapters, etc.

Today Kobo, without my knowledge or consent, has slashed the prices on a bunch of my ebooks from $2.99 down to $1.99 and 99 cents....and Amazon has followed suit. This is going to literally cost me thousands of dollars this month.

I don't know how long it takes for Kobo to remove your books after you have opted-out through Smashwords, so I have contacted Mark Coker directly to see what he can do before I lose a lot of money. In the mean time, get your books off Kobo now before they do the same thing to you...if they haven't already.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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Crap, it appears they did this to me too. Didn't Mark Coker say they implemented an agency model deal with Kobo (and others) to prevent exactly this?? It must be a glitch, but it could be a very expensive one for some.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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That's awful.

Question: if I have a couple short stories up through Smashwords, and they're priced at $.99, can they do something insane like ... make them free?
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamVitka View Post
That's awful.

Question: if I have a couple short stories up through Smashwords, and they're priced at $.99, can they do something insane like ... make them free?
I'd be interested to know this, too. The only short story on Kobo I have is free right now, but if I decide to release another one for 99 cents, that'll be kind of important.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeGoldberg View Post
If you are using Smashwords, go there right now and OPT OUT of having your books distributed to Kobo, the ereader used by Borders, Chapters, etc.

Today Kobo, without my knowledge or consent, has slashed the prices on a bunch of my ebooks from $2.99 down to $1.99 and 99 cents....and Amazon has followed suit. This is going to literally cost me thousands of dollars this month.
How do you know this will cost you thousands of dollars? Maybe you will gain new readers who wouldn't have bought your books otherwise.

Anyway, I agree it's in very poor taste to do something like this without any kind of authorization.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:33 AM   #7
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Hmm. I think they may have done this to me as well, though not as severely. I'm still in two minds as to whether this will hurt me, or whether I might actually sell more. In any case, it does go against their arrangement with Smashwords.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:20 AM   #8
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
Richard Herley
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Lee, thanks for the tip. I tried to access the Distribution Channel Manager just now and all I got was this:

Quote:
Smashwords Channel Manager
Fatal error: Call to a member function render() on a non-object in /var/www/prod/system/application/views/dashboard/channelManager.php on line 21
Looks like that page is being overwhelmed.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeGoldberg View Post
If you are using Smashwords, go there right now and OPT OUT of having your books distributed to Kobo, the ereader used by Borders, Chapters, etc.

Today Kobo, without my knowledge or consent, has slashed the prices on a bunch of my ebooks from $2.99 down to $1.99 and 99 cents....and Amazon has followed suit. This is going to literally cost me thousands of dollars this month.
How many thousands of dollars were you making at $2.99?

I'd be inclined to leave the books with Kobo for a couple of months to see what difference the new price actually makes. From what one hears, the 99 cent strategy works well for many people.

As for Amazon, it has always been the case that they would drop their price if they found themselves being undercut. Their terms and conditions give them complete control over the retail price.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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If the vendors are paying the author the same amount and only changing what they're selling a book for, it's a different matter than if they're changing the price of the book and cutting the author's percentage as well. I'm a little unclear on which one we're actually talking about in this case.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #12
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The interesting thing about this thread is that Kobo appear to have taken a policy decision to drop prices for self-published authors, presumably on the basis of sales figures for this type of product. Those of us who habitually price above $2 should be pricking up our ears.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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I'm mildly curious as to whether any of the affected authors have been playing around with the price points on their affected books at any venue in recent weeks (pricedrop sale @ Amazon, etc).

Because sometimes Kobo is slow to update their pricing on Agency books to catch up with the other stores when there are special discount promotions, but when they do, they kind of do it with a vengeance and are slow to adjust back if it was meant to be a temporary price drop.

So some authors may or may not be seeing the after-effects of having done a 99 cent introductory spring promotion on their titles.

Or maybe it's just Kobo being wonky, which certainly happens on its own.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:37 PM   #14
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Last time I looked, the Smashwords FAQ mentioned that the royalties on books sold on other websites are based on the suggested retail price, so if I read it right, lowered prices on Kobo and Amazon should still give an author the normal royalty (as would someone lowering prices for one purchase with a coupon).

Does anyone know for certain either way?

Or what Amazon does in this case if the book was placed on Amazon directly, rather than via Smashwords?
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
If the vendors are paying the author the same amount and only changing what they're selling a book for, it's a different matter than if they're changing the price of the book and cutting the author's percentage as well. I'm a little unclear on which one we're actually talking about in this case.
If your Amazon price drops below $2.99 you only get 30% of the sale price compared with the 70% you would be getting before.
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