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Thread: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?


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Permlink Replies: 15 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Nov 12, 2017 10:27 AM Last Post By: John Shors
John Shors

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/22/17
Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 12:40 PM
 
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Hello. My name is John Shors, and after many years of publishing novels through Penguin, I decided to publish my most recent novel myself. One of my sales platforms is KDP. I listed my trade paperback at $16.99 and my ebook at $14.99. For some reason, Amazon keeps offering discounts for my books. They are now selling at like $11.15 each. I'd appreciate knowing why Amazon is offering my book at a discount and if this is affecting my royalties. Also, does anyone know the best way to reach out to Amazon about this issue? Thank you so much. - John
Dave Casey

Posts: 314
Registered: 03/03/16
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 12:50 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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The best way to reach out to Amazon is through the Contact Us link at the bottom, right-hand corner of this page. As for why they keep lowering your price, no one knows. It could be it is being sold on another website for a lower price and Amazon is matching it. It could be a glitch in the Amazon software. It could be any number of things that only Amazon is going to be able to tell you.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,129
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 12:57 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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Welcome to the wondrous world of KDP! There are a lot of previously trad-published folk on here.

The way to contact KDP is through the Contact link at lower right of this page. When they discount your book(s), you still get your normal royalties. The only time you should be concerned is if your book is also on sale for less on another platform, in which case Amazon will price-match down, and your royalties will be less. If there's the price you set with a big cross-out through it and the new price, that means you'll still get your regular royalties. If it just seems to be the price now, they're price-matching.

By the way, you're shooting yourself in the foot pricing an ebook at $14.99. Yes, I know, you feel it's worth it, it's what trad published ebooks are going for in your genre. But you aren't trad published anymore. You are actually getting less in royalties that you would if your ebook was $9.99. This is because you can earn 70% royalties (sounds pretty good to those of us used to 6% or maybe, if we're lucky, 10%!) on ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Outside that range, you only get 35%. I assume you have a large and well established fan base, so $9.99 may well work for you, but for most new KDP authors I'd recommend $3.99 or $4.99.

Good luck!
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 344
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:03 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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Read Section 5.3 of the TOS for KDP. It gives them complete and sole control over promotional prices. There is a similar provision for print editions. As to how that affects your royalties (I don't think it does) using the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page is a good idea.
John Shors

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/22/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:08 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Thanks to the two people who took the time to answer my question. I appreciate it. Yes, Amazon put the big line through my regular price, so it sounds like they have simply discounted the book to match a price somewhere else. I'm glad that my royalties won't be affected... I also appreciate your thoughts on the high price that I've listed my book at. I thought a lot about this, and went with the high price for many reasons. One, I didn't want to do the 70% royalty plan, as I didn't want to be forced to be in Amazon's 'pay per page read program' which seems to me to not be a good deal at all for authors. I also would rather sell fewer copies at a higher price, at least for now. I don't really want to cannibalize my potential market by practically giving the book away. I realize that these strategies are quite debatable... Again, I appreciate the good advice!! Happy Friday.
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,554
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:28 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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John Shors wrote:
Thanks to the two people who took the time to answer my question. I appreciate it. Yes, Amazon put the big line through my regular price, so it sounds like they have simply discounted the book to match a price somewhere else. I'm glad that my royalties won't be affected... I also appreciate your thoughts on the high price that I've listed my book at. I thought a lot about this, and went with the high price for many reasons. One, I didn't want to do the 70% royalty plan, as I didn't want to be forced to be in Amazon's 'pay per page read program' which seems to me to not be a good deal at all for authors. I also would rather sell fewer copies at a higher price, at least for now. I don't really want to cannibalize my potential market by practically giving the book away. I realize that these strategies are quite debatable... Again, I appreciate the good advice!! Happy Friday.

70% royalty has nothing to do with KDP select.

John Shors

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/22/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:40 PM   in response to: Diana Persaud in response to: Diana Persaud
 
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Thanks for circling back to me on the royalty issue. My understanding when I researched this issue a few months ago was that to get the 70% royalty, you had to price your book between something and $9.99. But then you were automatically included within the 'pay per page read' program, which I really didn't like the sound of. So, I priced my book higher, and took the lesser royalty. I don't know. You may well be right, but I think that it's interesting that none of the big publishing houses participate in the 'pay per page read' program, and while there are a lot of less than brilliant people in publishing, it seems to me that there must be a reason that the big houses aren't participating in that program. Anyway, I have a lot of loyal readers and to me it made sense to price the book a bit high. But I am totally willing to concede that I may be wrong on this strategy, as I know that a lot of people have done great with pricing their books really low. Best wishes.
robert d dorazi

Posts: 607
Registered: 04/20/14
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:55 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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Hi John

There may be several reasons why traditional publishing house doesn't enter their books in the KU scheme, but one reason is probably that in order to do so you must give Amazon the exclusivity for the book for 3 months periods. That is you can't sell the ebook on another platform or on another website. (of course, this doesn't apply to paperback versions).
The second reason relates to the price. For an average book of 80k words, the nb of "KENPC" pages is about 400-450, which would result, if read completely, in a $2 royalties. But a big house will be able to sell the same ebook at $9.99 and get nearly $7 in royalties! So the choice is quickly made :)

Robert Dorazi

John Shors

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/22/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 2:25 PM   in response to: robert d dorazi in response to: robert d dorazi
 
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Thanks, Robert, for your additional clarity on the issue. I believe that my thinking pretty much lines up with yours. I am the first to admit that I'm a novice when it comes to the intricacies of Amazon selling. I will confess, that one of the reasons that it was hard for me to consider pricing my book really low is I just couldn't wrap my head around spending two years writing something, and then selling it for about the price of a pack of gum. Of course, I also realize that the price of many, many packs of gum does add up into a good profit... Thanks again, everyone, for your input. I hope all of you have a great weekend.
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,129
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 7:28 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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We're not talking packs of gum here.

A $14.99 ebook at 35% royalties earns you $5.20 in royalties.

A $9.99 ebook at 70% royalties earns you just under $7 in royalties. At the lower price you will sell more books and earn more for each. The choice should be simple. I doubt you are getting $7 for each print sale unless your book is quite short, so go ahead! Cannibalize your print sales.

$9.99 is not a low-low price. Look at the best-selling books in your genre. There will be some 99c books in there, as well as a lot in the $2.99 range. NO one will look at a $9.99 ebook on Amazon and think of it as cheap.

To reiterate, being in Select has nothing to do with your royalty. Really. Drop your ebook price and go with 70%. You'll thank us. Good luck! And enjoy KDP.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 344
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 9:06 PM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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John Shors wrote:
Thanks, Robert, for your additional clarity on the issue. I believe that my thinking pretty much lines up with yours. I am the first to admit that I'm a novice when it comes to the intricacies of Amazon selling. I will confess, that one of the reasons that it was hard for me to consider pricing my book really low is I just couldn't wrap my head around spending two years writing something, and then selling it for about the price of a pack of gum. Of course, I also realize that the price of many, many packs of gum does add up into a good profit... Thanks again, everyone, for your input. I hope all of you have a great weekend.

It's your choice, of course, but for each book you sell at $14.99 you lose $1.74 over the royalty you would earn by selling your book at $9.99. In either case, you're not in Select (Kindle Unlimited) unless you opt into it. Pricing is not a factor.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 344
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 9:16 PM   in response to: robert d dorazi in response to: robert d dorazi
 
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robert d dorazi wrote:
Hi John

There may be several reasons why traditional publishing house doesn't enter their books in the KU scheme, but one reason is probably that in order to do so you must give Amazon the exclusivity for the book for 3 months periods. That is you can't sell the ebook on another platform or on another website. (of course, this doesn't apply to paperback versions).
The second reason relates to the price. For an average book of 80k words, the nb of "KENPC" pages is about 400-450, which would result, if read completely, in a $2 royalties. But a big house will be able to sell the same ebook at $9.99 and get nearly $7 in royalties! So the choice is quickly made :)

Robert Dorazi


The thing to keep in mind is that KU subscribers are a separate demographic from those who purchase only. The question is not how much you'll make on KU but if you'll make more or less on KU than you'll make in selling to the 18% of customers who don't buy on Amazon.
John Shors

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/22/17
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 11, 2017 6:30 AM   in response to: Salamander Mall... in response to: Salamander Mall...
 
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Thanks for the additional clarification. I guess I had it wrong. My understanding was that the the book was priced between something and $9.99 and I opted for the 70% royalties that I had to do the pay per page deal. I also hear what you're saying about the two different groups of readers... So, as to the exclusivity deal, is the fact that my book is also available to Nook readers an issue? Many thanks! -
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,129
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 11, 2017 6:37 AM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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John Shors wrote:
So, as to the exclusivity deal, is the fact that my book is also available to Nook readers an issue? Many thanks! -

Yes. If your ebook is available for Nook, you cannot put it in Select. (It's not exclusive to KDP-Amazon, the sine qua non of Select.) As already noted, Select has nothing to do with royalty rates. So if you're selling well on Nook, I'd recommend keeping your ebook there and staying out of Select.

(Btw, I believe the Harry Potter books are available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers to borrow, as well as all the books by those indie authors who have decided to sign up for Select.)

Let's go back to royalty rates. Reread my post about 3 above this one. Good luck!
La Venta West

Posts: 434
Registered: 05/18/14
Re: Amazon keeps changing the price of my KDP offering. Why?
Posted: Nov 11, 2017 11:47 AM   in response to: John Shors in response to: John Shors
 
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Here's the link to the KDP Select info page to help you understand it better https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200798990

KDP Select is not automatic, and has nothing to do with whether you choose 70% or 35% royalties. If you choose to enroll, it just means that people can "borrow" it, and you'll get the pay per page royalties for it. The downside is that you must sell your eBook (not your print book) exclusively through Amazon, and are locked in for 3 months at a time (you can choose to unclick the box, or autorenew). If you want to distribute your eBook through Nook, etc., then you cannot enroll in Select. It's a personal choice every author should seriously consider - do you want wider distribution, and potentially less $$, or do you want anyone with any ereader to be able to read your book?

And yeah, you'll probably make a whole lot more $$ by lowering your eBook prices. I rarely see self-published authors sell their book for more than $4.99.
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