Controlling The Price of Your Books
So, you have written your ebook and done some research into pricing and you have determined what you want to sell your book for, let’s say that that is $4.99
Then you publish it on Kindle, which sells on Amazon, as a part of that company. All well and good and you are happy to move on to marketing it or and writing the next one.
Then ne day, you go back to admire your book or to check for reviews, since Amazon seems to find it too much trouble to inform authors when there has been an interaction with one of their books.
There must be some mistake! Your book is marked up as $7.99. You wondered why sales were lower than you had hoped for and now you know why, there has been a mistake in the pricing.
You can check that on your Kindle dashboard.
Many authors have had this happen to them and so have I. I recently wrote a book and priced it at $2.99 but after a week of no sales, I looked it up on Amazon to see that it was priced at $4.99, so I contacted support.
A young man told me that Amazon had no control over overseas prices because of ‘local taxation’.
‘Oh,’ I replied, ‘which country charges 40% book tax?’
‘Well, where are you?’ he asked. ‘Thailand,’ I said. ‘Well, Thailand must then.’
But they don’t and I was logged into Amazon.com there is no Amazon.co.th and that man was either a liar or stupid.
So, faced with this level of contempt for writers, what can you do about controlling the price of your books?
One way of controlling the price of your books is to publish with another company as well as Amazon, say Lulu, XinXii or Smashwords. A lot of authors are uncomfortable with this because these companies do not protect the copies that they sell, others say that protection is not important. I don’t know yet.
Anyway, if you are only concerned with controlling the price of your books you could publish with Lulu and mark your book as for private sales only, if you are worried about people counterfeiting your book.
Then, when you have published elsewhere, find your book on Amazon, scroll down and you will see: ‘tell us about a lower price’. Click that and give them the URL of your book on the other site.
This will ‘force/encourage’ Amazon to reduce their price to the one you set, but it does not always work. If it doesn’t for you, get your friends to follow your example.
If ten or twenty people complain, you will almost certainly see the price of your book be what you intended. It is worth doing, because this is pure greed on the part of Amazon and they do not share the extra revenue with you.
I am not aware of a better way of controlling the price of your books, because Amazon seems to be of the opinion that they can charge what they like after you have set the ‘minimum price’.