Updated! Amazon’s Response To Book’s Price Change.

Talking At Work...

Okay, so I received an email from one of Amazon’s representatives.

Yesterday, last night, I had called Amazon twice for information. The first representative hung up on me, because she said she couldn’t hear me. Really? How is that my fault? I heard her perfectly fine. The second time I called, I got a rep named Derron. Very nice person who said they (Amazon) would call me in the morning at 8:05. But they didn’t call me. 😐 Instead I got an email…  Derron did just call me about a few minutes ago!

...

Talked to Michelle from Author Central and let’s just say she didn’t help in answering any of my questions. How they calculate what books are discounted or not, she couldn’t even tell me. To get more information about why they changed it in the first place, she had no clue. There was not even a superior rep who I could talk to. Sounds kinda fishy, doesn’t it? All she told me was to look under Createspace’s contract and see the clause that gives them and Amazon the right to change my book’s price at any time. What clause? I’m sure it’s Amazon that has the problem, not Createspace.

How long will my book be discounted for? She was clueless. Some help she turned out to be! Not to mention, the book’s price can go up and down. That wasn’t too comforting to hear about. So, one day my book could very well be sold at a higher price than $9.99. That seems like price fixing to me… which reminds me of Apple iBooks lawsuits. Inflation anyone? I did tell Michelle that it does sort of feel as though Amazon is undermining the self-published authors in order to make a profit. No big surprise there!

Here is my email to Amazon.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Can you please explain to me why the price of my book Nightmarish Reality has gone down from $9.99 to $7.78. I am the author and the publisher W.D.Lady. I was wondering why the price changed, because I have not changed it myself, and I have given them no permission to change it. I don’t mind the lower price, unless my royalties still remain the same. But if not, is there anyway you can just leave it at $9.99? Thank you for your time.

Amazon’s response to my email…

Hello Lady,

I’m sorry for any trouble with the price listed for your book “Nightmarish Reality.”

I checked our website and the price listed as $ 7.77 and below the price there is an option called You Save: $2.21 (22%). That means Amazon is giving a discount on your book.

Our decision to discount books is based on a number of strategic considerations, which can vary over time. As a result, we cannot confirm how long your title will be discounted. I can assure you that many people work to make our pricing calculations as competitive as possible for both you and your readers.

***Regarding Royalties:

Please also be assured that the discount does not affect the royalties you receive for sales made while the book is discounted. Royalties will continue to be calculated from the list price provided by your publisher, which you can see listed here above the discounted price on your book’s Detail page:

It’s possible that a future change will result in the discount’s removal from your title. In that case, the discount will disappear automatically and immediately. I’ll be sure to bring your feedback to the Author Central business team for consideration we rely on input such as this as we continue to make future changes to the program in the favor of our enrolled authors, and hope to make this service as useful to you as possible.

Thank you contacting Author Central. We hope to see you again soon!

Thank you for your inquiry. Did I solve your problem?

...

Hmmm… did Amazon solve my problem?

First of all, the PROS of this response:

  1. Amazon’s response was quick and I didn’t have to wait long. I had called and emailed them yesterday. So, three cheers for Amazon’s quick thinking.
  2. The representative was respectful and apologized for any trouble caused, even though she was a penny off $7.77. I forgive her. Not that it was all their fault, but at least they admitted it.
  3. The rep did explain that my royalties would not be affected, which is a plus. How they’re not affected is anyone’s guess.
  4. Thank God Amazon/Kindle did not touch my ebook’s list price. If they did, I would be so angry right now. The reason why my ebook is at $2.99 is to get the 70% royalties, which is based on Kindle’s guidelines. Any less than $2.99 and I’ll be getting 30% or less. So, for now, I’m so relieved it’s the paperback book and not the ebook. If they change that ebook’s price even once, watch out! Because I don’t take that shit lightly. Pardon my French.

THE CONS:

  1. Why is the Author Central not 24/7, but Amazon’s customer service is? Why is it only Pacific times from Mon. through Fri. 8 a.m to 5 p.m. I don’t understand this. Why does it take me several google searches to find Amazon’s phone number? Does Amazon hate getting phone calls? Here’s Amazon’s number for anyone who’s interested. U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072  Spanish Support: 866-749-7538  International: 1-206-266-2992
  2. Not once does the rep tell me exactly how they calculate why books are discounted and others not. How do they just determine this overnight? Did someone say, let’s just make this book $7.78 and that book $3.99? What’s stopping them from selling my book for .99 cents? Really, what’s stopping them? If Apple iBooks got into trouble for price fixing and putting ebooks at a higher price, which is why they got into lawsuits, then I wouldn’t be here. If you don’t believe me read these two articles. Apple Lawsuits. Penguin agrees to $75 Million settlement in Apple iBook Price Fixing Lawsuit.
  3. Now that my book is discounted, who would ever want to shop at my Createspace website, which clearly states that my book is $9.99. With Amazon, I make a fraction of my royalties. On Createspace’s Author Site, I make it to at least above the $1 dollar range. However, Amazon is international compared to Createspace which is stuck only in the USA. It sucks, I know. If I change my list price for my title on Createspace for a black/white book 5.06″ x 7.81″ with 356 pages, based on Amazon’s calculations of reducing the price to $7.78…  I’ll be making negative amount of money like -.46 cents on Amazon. The only reason why I had my book at $9.99 is because I’d be paying for it, literally.

Sigh...

Anyway, I’ll leave my book’s price at $7.78 for now and see what happens…

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