Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

Amazon Is No Longer Price-Matching All Self-Pubbed Books

This is a word to the wise–if you normally shop at Amazon and don’t shop around before buying, you may now be paying too much for certain self-published books.

I discovered this morning that the price of my novella, THE LESSON PLAN, has reverted back to $2.99 (the list price) on Amazon rather than $1.96 (which is its price on other sites). Without going into a long-winded explanation of why I had the list price at $2.99 on Amazon and less elsewhere, I’ll just say that this was giving me more favorable splits on my sales (70% instead of 35%) due to the way in which Amazon chose to calculate payments on my sales. (I emphasize that this was Amazon’s CHOICE. They were never under any obligation, under the Terms of Service, to pay me 70%. The fact that they did so was to my benefit, but I knew at any time, they might change that. I just didn’t expect them to change it by NOT price-matching.)

The reason this matters to consumers is that Amazon has made a pretty big deal in the past about always having the lowest price for digital books, or at least, never pricing their books HIGHER than any other retailer. Occasionally, because price-matching took time, there might be a period of time during which a book was free or cheaper on other sites than on Amazon, but by and large, you could pretty well count on Amazon having a price that was at least as low as any other retailer. Now, you can’t do that.

Edited: I was going to leave the price at $2.99 on Amazon, but on further review of the TOS, I’ve decided I really have to drop it to $1.96 or raise it to $2.99 everywhere else. I will, however, point out that if you have a Kindle, you can get THE LESSON PLAN at AllRomance eBooks in Kindle format without DRM for $1.96 and ARe’s royalty terms for authors are much better, if you care about that sort of thing (which, of course, you are not under any obligation to do!).

Just thought I’d give you all a heads-up :). If the book you’re looking at isn’t discounted, look around–you MIGHT find it cheaper elsewhere. Others may not be as quick to decide to lower the price on Amazon as I’ve been.

2 Comments

  • JoAnne Kenrick April 8, 2012 at 9:22 am

    oh, wow. Amazon keep changing the game, don’t they? Thanks for the heads up! Definitely something worth knowing as an author and a reader. Thank you so much x

    Reply
  • Michael A. Smolen April 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve noticed the Amazon price difference and I am not a happy camper. When I was trying to decide 6 months ago, which e-reader to buy, I decided on the Kindle. I now have downloaded over 450 titles to date.

    Reply

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