Imagine my surprise then, when I found Amazon were discounting the book. I was quite pleased because when Amazon discount a book, the author still gets the FULL royalties on the original price. What I didn't realise was that Amazon also plays a dirty, nasty and underhand trick with the ebook pricing when it discounts books.
The ebook was at £2.99 - $4.75
When the price for the paperback book was dropped from £7.99 $11.68 to £1.08 they then dropped the price of the ebook to £1.03 claiming the ebook must be 20% lower than the print price of any book - that doesn't work out to 20% but hey, what do I know?
My publisher, Gingernut Books emailed Amazon to ask why they had dropped the price of the ebook if it was THEIR decision to drop the price of the paperback. This is the email conversation:
Subject: My ebook is listed on US and UK sites at a low price.
My book price should be $4.75 and £2.99 but is listed at $1.73 and £1.03.
Why is this and what do we get paid if they sell at this price.
If it's a promotion on your part then thanks.
We do not sell this book anywhere at a lower price.
Thanks for contacting us and giving me the opportunity to help you. I will
be more than glad to assist you with your inquiry!
Any update to a list price is subject to the KDP pricing terms and
conditions. For example, if you set a list price higher than the list price
in another sales channel, we may price-match your book.
In addition, if the digital list price is not at least 20% below the list
price of the corresponding physical edition, we may lower the sale price.
Please see our pricing page for more details:
Royalties paid under the 70 percent option are calculated off of your list
price, unless we sell your book at a price below the list price to match a
third party's price for a digital or physical edition of the book, or
Amazon's price for a physical edition of the book. In that case, the
Royalty will be equal to 70 percent of the amount equal to the price at
which we sell the book, less the delivery costs.
Your sales report will show the weighted average of the price at which we
sold your book, so that you are able to determine the royalties due.
Our reporting does not specify what other sales channels price matches occur
with, or the individual sales prices of each unit sold.
Please visit the link below for more details on the 70 percent royalty
In case if you have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us back, we
are here to help and we will gladly assist you! You can contact us back
using the following link:
I hope you have a very nice day! Thanks for using Amazon KDP.
In effect, because they're price-matching the book, I don't get the full royalties, even though it's Amazon that has determined the price that they're matching.
Hatchette is beginning to seem quite reasonable in all of this, aren't they?