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Thread: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?


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Permlink Replies: 13 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Sep 13, 2012 11:41 AM Last Post By: therrimouse
xdesk1

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Registered: 03/04/12
Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Mar 14, 2012 4:37 PM
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I didn't mean for my subject line to seem too dire...but I've asked something like this in a email to KDP support and haven't had a reply in a day or two, so maybe someone here can offer some thoughts.

In Amazon's KDP terms of service they state something to the effect that they reserve the right to remove all/parts of your books cover, change product descriptions, and even reformat the book...and if that isn't enough, if their 'editing' causes any errors then you have to find them and your only recourse is to remove the book. But then they say they also have the right to "correct any errors" existing in the book..etc.
So, what exactly is this giving them the right to do to an author's book? I'd like to hear any experiences, especially bad ones, you may have had with Amazon editing your book/descriptions/cover/format..?

Also, I've read a few posts about book prices suddenly being lowered for no apparent reasons--not because of 'price matching' another price elsewhere. After that, it's said that it can take an 'act of God' to get the price back up on Amazon.

Anyone have any experiences with either of these issues. I'm just about to put my book on Amazon, but am still trying iron on some nagging questions that have bothered me.
Thanks,
-CL
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 2:52 AM   in response to: xdesk1 in response to: xdesk1
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Formatting: I suspect that's boilerplate to protect them from a lawsuit if they find it necessary (for example) to remove your naughty cover and substitute a generic one because they find your version too offensive. I am still haunted by a book touted here some years ago; not only was the title pretty bad, but the cover made me gag.

Pricing: yes, Amazon experiments with lowering prices. One of my books was listed at $3.99 and being sold for $3.03. I thought that such a ridiculous price that I solved it by changing the price to $2.99. It happens rarely.
marcellusshale

Posts: 8
Registered: 03/25/12
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 3, 2012 11:58 AM   in response to: notjohn in response to: notjohn
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Hi Notjohn.

That rare pricing thing happened to me today---Amazon's got the price of my book "Unaccounted For" listed at $3.99, though it is supposed to be $4.99. The "Publisher's Digital Price" of $4.99 is still visible on the book page, but it's been crossed out. Now the Kindle price is $3.99.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to have them fix this? And in the meantime, will they pay me on my price, or theirs?

Thanks!
vlgallas

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Registered: 05/13/09
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 3, 2012 12:16 PM   in response to: marcellusshale in response to: marcellusshale
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Usually the price discounting is a price match. Are you 100% positive that your book is not listed elsewhere for $3.99? Perhaps it was in past?

In answer to your question, Amazon would pay you on the discounted amount. What notjohn described is extremely rare.
marcellusshale

Posts: 8
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Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 3, 2012 12:42 PM   in response to: vlgallas in response to: vlgallas
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Back in March, it used to be $3.99 until I raised it. Don't know why it would slip back to that, especially when my Bookshelf/Reports are still showing it at $4.99.

But, I just managed to get an Amazon customer Service rep on the phone and she filed an inquiry request for me---the Kindle Author people are supposed to get back to me within 72 hours. So I should see some action soon.

Thanks!
vlgallas

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Registered: 05/13/09
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 3, 2012 2:21 PM   in response to: marcellusshale in response to: marcellusshale
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Amazon did an old price match then. I had the same issue with a book long after it was removed from sale in Google ebooks (now Google Play). The price match just kept popping-up, but eventually KDP fixed the issue... Now the book is back in the Google Play store, so it didn't stay $9.99 for long anyway. Google automatically discounts your books by 20%.
notjohn

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Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 3, 2012 2:44 PM   in response to: xdesk1 in response to: xdesk1
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Ah well, never mind. I'm in a frisky mood this evening.

Message was edited by: notjohn
vlgallas

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Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 5, 2012 10:53 PM   in response to: notjohn in response to: notjohn
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@notjohn

Whew! Took a while to find this thread. I just figured out how your book ended-up priced at $3.03 in the Kindle store. That is an odd price so I figured I'd return to tell you.

Turns out that it probably was a price match. I decided to lower a price on a title and promote it for the month of May - I priced it at $3.99. The book is available in the Kindle store, Nook store, and in Google Play. Well, Google discounts it from $3.99 to $3.03!

I was expecting the automatic 20% discount, so I knew I couldn't price it at $2.99 or I'd lose my 70% here on all sales. I expected it to be $3.21 - odd, but workable anyway. Instead it's priced at the $3.03.

I'm fine with it - just wanted to tell you since it was unusual.
yartek2

Posts: 5
Registered: 04/14/12
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 6, 2012 12:36 AM   in response to: vlgallas in response to: vlgallas
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Amazon put the UK cost of my short story collection down from £0.77 to £0.72 the other day, a truly bizarre piece of discounting. I don't know whether there's some price match thing going on that I'm not aware of (I have just been listed in iTunes for $0.99, so perhaps), but it's just... odd.
serenityvalley

Posts: 103
Registered: 01/10/12
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: May 6, 2012 4:36 AM   in response to: yartek2 in response to: yartek2
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A lot of people ask me this very question weekly through Twitter @johndavisbooks. If you are writing part-time, then of course you are a part-time author. There is nothing wrong with that, it just means you are doing something else for income.

How do you know when you are "officially" considered an author? Is it when you begin writing or when you officially publish? Neither. When you finally get your first royalty check and it's much less than you thought(it usually is), at that point you have a tough choice to make. Quit and do something else or continue writing full-time. If you choose to do something else, no harm no foul. However, if you choose to continue writing full-time, grab a cap and gown. At that point you have officially earned your "degree" as a professional author. At least that's what I tell my followers on Twitter because that's what separates the authors from the author wannabees. That first, pitiful paycheck.
yartek2

Posts: 5
Registered: 04/14/12
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 6:09 AM   in response to: serenityvalley in response to: serenityvalley
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I failed to spot this reply to my post for some time, but I have to ask exactly who asked "this very question"? It certainly wasn't me, old bean.
notjohn

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Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 6:34 AM   in response to: yartek2 in response to: yartek2
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The forum software can do strange things. Once in a while a reply gets posted to the wrong thread. It has happened to me a time or two.
raphyboithomas

Posts: 4
Registered: 09/13/12
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 6:50 AM   in response to: xdesk1 in response to: xdesk1
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i hope they dont change any of my books, formatting i dont mind but if they messed the flow up then that would ruin my books
therrimouse

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Registered: 08/11/08
Re: Amazon's right to change your book...and change the price?
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 11:41 AM   in response to: xdesk1 in response to: xdesk1
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Unfortunately, Amazon does precisely whatever it wants. If you want to sell your book here, you had better be prepared to take it on the chin and like it. The Amazon terms of service are advantage Amazon, with little consideration to the author.

Changes in pricing relate to price matches, Amazon promo events and often sheer whim of the staff. Whatever you set as your list price, they will find a way to push it lower. If Google is artificially discounting a price, it is to undercut Amazon. And vice versa.

If you want to counter that tactic, I suggest you set a relatively high list price everywhere (but not more than $9.99) and then that will force both of them to pay you what they owe you.
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