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JoshuaOver9000
06-27-2013, 10:03 AM
Hi and thank you for taking the time to read this.

I've spent a day or two doing a lot of research about this issue regarding Amazon's KDP price matching thing or whatever. I understand how it works and everything but I guess I'm wondering how often this happens where your 2.99 ebook gets price matched because your ebook is discounted for a limited time on another retailer like B&N.

I can't really find this anywhere and I even searched through the threads in this website and didn't find much on it. I mean I did find everything on it, but not this specifically.. if that makes sense.

I mean let's say you have a kindle version of your ebook on the Amazon KDP program. Then you go to Smashwords and upload your ebook and have it sent out to all the other retailers like Kobo, Apple, B&N etc.. and you have all of the prices set to 2.99.

Well then say another retailer has some special going on and your ebook is discounted, and then Amazon KDP price matches that then your 2.99 ebook on Amazon goes down to .99 cents. So then how does that work like do you have to just keep trying to change it back to 2.99? Or do you have to wait for a bit before doing it? Do you have to send a letter to Amazon?

Does this happen often?

I'm sure most people have to deal with this every once in awhile if they have their ebook in other retailers. I thought about even just being exclusive with Amazon with my ebooks because I don't want to have to deal with these problems. Then I hear a story from someone day that KDP booted them because Amazon thought they were intentionally trying to get it lowered to 99 cents or something to still keep the 70% royalty rate or something.

I don't know. I have a lot of specific questions like that but I can never find any real answers anywhere so I was hoping to get some help here from anyone who has been through this before. I know it's probably not a big deal but I guess it's a big deal to me because it feels like a sort of block or something. I can't do something unless I have everything planned out and ready to go. That would be very frustrated to have to constantly be raising my ebook back to 2.99 because other retailers discount my ebook without my permission.

Does anyone else ever have this problem or is it just very rare when it happens? And if it does happen how long does it take to get your Amazon ebook back up to 2.99? I've searched on google and many other forums and websites and really haven't found much. I mean yeah I found some stuff but most of it is just pretty basic stuff I already knew about it, either that or people talking about how to get your ebook for free on Amazon which is what I'm not trying to do.

Does this ever happen to people a lot who just want their ebook to stay at 2.99 at all retailers?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

shelleyo
06-27-2013, 12:19 PM
Hi and thank you for taking the time to read this.

I mean let's say you have a kindle version of your ebook on the Amazon KDP program. Then you go to Smashwords and upload your ebook and have it sent out to all the other retailers like Kobo, Apple, B&N etc.. and you have all of the prices set to 2.99.

Well then say another retailer has some special going on and your ebook is discounted, and then Amazon KDP price matches that then your 2.99 ebook on Amazon goes down to .99 cents. So then how does that work like do you have to just keep trying to change it back to 2.99? Or do you have to wait for a bit before doing it? Do you have to send a letter to Amazon?

The retailers that Smashwords distributes to have agreed not to discount because of the problems it causes. At least B&N, Kobo, Apple and Sony have agreed that. i would suspect the others have, but I can't testify to it.

Google Books, which isn't a Smashwords option but can be reached direct, discounts all the time, and yes, Amazon will price match them and/or not match but notify you. This is one reason I don't publish through Google Books. Not worth the hassle.



I'm sure most people have to deal with this every once in awhile if they have their ebook in other retailers. I thought about even just being exclusive with Amazon with my ebooks because I don't want to have to deal with these problems. Then I hear a story from someone day that KDP booted them because Amazon thought they were intentionally trying to get it lowered to 99 cents or something to still keep the 70% royalty rate or something.

I've been doing this for a long time (relative, I know), and I've never heard of anyone getting their account closed for such a thing. Have a link to this claim so I can see it?

If you have a $2.99 book and lower the price to .99 elsewhere, Amazon may price match. And they will probably send you a notice that you need to lower your price at Amazon or raise it elsewhere. They don't like that, but I've never heard of them actually closing an account over it. If they price-match to free, on the other hand, it's not an issue, I'm guessing because there's no royalty discrepancy.

Don't go exclusive with Amazon just because you're worried about price-matching. Upload direct where you can and use Smashwords (or Draft2Digital, which is almost always faster and pays monthly) for the rest. Price-dropping against your will should never be an issue.


Does anyone else ever have this problem or is it just very rare when it happens? And if it does happen how long does it take to get your Amazon ebook back up to 2.99? I've searched on google and many other forums and websites and really haven't found much.

There's an explanation about it right in Smashwords TOS/FAQ. http://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq


How is price determined?
You (the author/agent/publisher) set the price for your works. The price can be free, any price above $.99, or reader-sets-the-price. In instances where your book is distributed to other online retailers, the retailers do not discount your work.

And again in the Channel Manager. https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/channelManager


Here are some retailer by retailer specifics:
Apple, Baker & Taylor (Blio) and Diesel: Have never discounted.
Kobo: Stopped discounting the third week of November, 2010
Sony and Barnes & Noble: Stopped discounting December 1, 2010. B&N will no longer accept "Reader Sets the Price" books, so if you want distribution to B&N, and you're among the small handful of authors/publishers who use this pricing model, go to Dashboard: Settings and set a price of $.99 or higher

It's usually easiest to go right to the source first when researching.

So none of them discount. No worries. The only place (that I'm aware of) you should avoid to skip discounting problems is Google Books, so don't go exclusive on Amazon unless you have other reasons for wanting to.

J. Tanner
06-27-2013, 12:34 PM
EDIT: Well played Shellyo--you have outtyped me by mere minutes again. :)



Well then say another retailer has some special going on and your ebook is discounted, and then Amazon KDP price matches that then your 2.99 ebook on Amazon goes down to .99 cents. So then how does that work like do you have to just keep trying to change it back to 2.99? Or do you have to wait for a bit before doing it? Do you have to send a letter to Amazon?

Assuming it happened, you will still see your list price in the dashboard. There won't be anything to change. If the price match is matching something real, then you do nothing. If it's matching something incorrect (perhaps a wrong book/version, perhaps cached data from a sale that ended) then you contact customer service and let them know.


Does this happen often?

Almost never. Other retailers tend to stick to your list price.


I'm sure most people have to deal with this every once in awhile if they have their ebook in other retailers.

Nope. Most people will never deal with it. Rare exceptions do seem to occur, but most problems tend to be self-inflicted. You say you don't want to experiment with pricing, so you'll likely never deal with Amazon price matching.


I can't do something unless I have everything planned out and ready to go.

A plan is a series of items that eventually go wrong. You can never plan for everything. Use due diligence of course, but embrace your imperfect humanity. You'll survive occasional mistakes and miscalculations.


Does this ever happen to people a lot who just want their ebook to stay at 2.99 at all retailers?

No. And if you're one of the unfortunate few it doesn't even tend to be particularly detrimental. There are plenty of better things to worry about--is your book's content the best it can be? Do you have enough outside feedback? Is your cover professional looking and communicating genre at a glance? Have you written an enticing blurb for the store page? Is your book formatted well? Do I have a good marketing/promotion plan? Each 1000 to 1 more worth worrying about than price matching another retailer.

JoshuaOver9000
06-27-2013, 07:53 PM
All I can say is just wow!

Thank you so so so much for your replies shelleyo and J. Tanner. Thank you for taking the time to clear some things up for me.

I am very relieved to find that out, I was looking everywhere for those kind of answers and boom I get them here pretty much overnight. That's simply amazing and I deeply appreciate it, thank you.

Thank you shelleyo for pointing out the Google books thing, yes I do not want that kind of hassle either. Yeah the account closing thing was like some horror store I ran across in some blog, but I'm sure there was something more to it because it did kind of sound fishy. To be honest I've have more than a few researching phases with self publishing etc and have experimented with some short stories in the past, but now I am getting serious about it all and so I think I went overboard with the researching.

Thank you for the links and the information about Smashwords, it's good to know about that because I seriously doubt I would of found it anywhere else on the internet. I was going nuts thinking like, wouldn't this be a big issue how come no one is talking about it? Haha I don't know. Ty again.

Thank you J. Tanner for your response as well I deeply appreciate it. Thank you for assuring me about those things, yeah pricing and everything isn't something I want to experiment and it's good to know I don't have to worry about that stuff. Haha I don't know why I get so bent out of shape about the small things.

Yes you're totally right about the planning thing and I agree with you, it's really good advice. Sometimes I feel like I paint this perfect picture in my head, and if the smallest thing is out of place I totally freak out! Your advice is definitely needed to help remind me that things will go wrong at times no matter how much we plan for it.

Yes you're right haha, there are many other things to worry about more. Sometimes I don't feel I think logically haha, I obsess and worry over the smallest thing when there are a lot more things I should really be focusing my energy on.

Thank you both again for helping me out it's greatly appreciated. :)

shelleyo
06-27-2013, 11:11 PM
EDIT: Well played Shellyo--you have outtyped me by mere minutes again. :)


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/shelleyo1/crazytyping_zpse2144fc8.gif (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/shelleyo1/media/crazytyping_zpse2144fc8.gif.html)

;)

Actually, insomnia.

ebbrown
06-27-2013, 11:21 PM
Amazon has price matched my books, without alerting or informing me. I tend to believe it is more of an automatic search-type thing they have going on.

Amazon matched my lowest price on Barnes & Noble, and it was not until I changed my B&N price that Amazon allowed my price to come back down. Within a day or two or B&N price reflecting the change, Amazon made the change without any intervention by me.

shelleyo
06-27-2013, 11:52 PM
Amazon has price matched my books, without alerting or informing me. I tend to believe it is more of an automatic search-type thing they have going on.

Amazon matched my lowest price on Barnes & Noble, and it was not until I changed my B&N price that Amazon allowed my price to come back down. Within a day or two or B&N price reflecting the change, Amazon made the change without any intervention by me.

They will often price-match, but the OP's concern was retailers lowering the price at random and Amazon price-matching that.

I'm assuming you set the price at B&N lower yourself, since you easily set it back up, yes?

J. Tanner
06-28-2013, 12:00 AM
I'm assuming the same thing as shelleyo, and just for clarification setting a lower list price on other retailers is a violation of KDP's terms of service.

(The consequences of this vary wildly--often nothing, sometimes a price-match, occasionally a stern sounding warning, and rarely reverting your book to draft (unpublished) status in your dashboard.)

@shelleyo -- I will now have this maddening urge to edit in that animation whenever I get beaten to the punch on a detailed response. :)

ebbrown
06-28-2013, 12:39 AM
They will often price-match, but the OP's concern was retailers lowering the price at random and Amazon price-matching that.

I'm assuming you set the price at B&N lower yourself, since you easily set it back up, yes?

Oh, my bad ;) I use Smashwords and Amazon, and Smashwords will not discount without my telling them to, so I have never seen that happen.
At one point I set all my prices higher through Smashwords. When I updated the higher price on Amazon, they crossed it out as "manufacturer's suggested price" and still sold it for the lower price. When I looked into it, it was because B&N had not updated to the higher price yet, so until B&N updated higher, Amazon would not. Shortly after B&N updated to the higher price, Amazon changed it, without any intervention from me. It seemed like it was all out of my hands with Amazon?

Andrhia
06-28-2013, 12:55 AM
This is all particularly interesting to me for the opposite reason -- I'm hoping they price-match the first in my serial to be free without actually enrolling in KDP. I've reported it as free on iBooks and Kobo, but nothing so far...

J. Tanner
06-28-2013, 02:54 AM
I'm hoping they price-match the first in my serial to be free without actually enrolling in KDP.

I believe you mean "KDP Select" there. Price matching to free seems consistently inconsistent. :) Best of luck with it.

Andrhia
06-28-2013, 03:18 AM
I believe you mean "KDP Select" there. Price matching to free seems consistently inconsistent. :) Best of luck with it.

Er, yes, apologies. :D I have at least taken the step of uploading to Amazon.

Imagine if I hadn't and was trying to work THAT one out, though, hah!

Calle Jay
06-28-2013, 07:30 AM
I had the first in my series changed to free on SW, iTunes, etc. two days, ago, BN yesterday (I use SW to distribute), and then reported to AMZ yesterday that it was a lower price.

At ten this morning, the book went free.

Now, last time I wanted them to price match it took three months. I don't think there's any real rhyme or reason that I can see...just whenever/if-ever AMZ wants to do it.

Andrhia
06-28-2013, 04:37 PM
I had the first in my series changed to free on SW, iTunes, etc. two days, ago, BN yesterday (I use SW to distribute), and then reported to AMZ yesterday that it was a lower price.

At ten this morning, the book went free.

Now, last time I wanted them to price match it took three months. I don't think there's any real rhyme or reason that I can see...just whenever/if-ever AMZ wants to do it.

Weird. But useful information, thank you. :)

Diane
07-02-2013, 04:43 AM
Lots of people have reported Google Books has randomly discounted their books, causing all sorts of havoc with their pricing elsewhere -- and there's no one to contact at Google Books when this happens. Until they stop doing this, you can either find the algorithms online to figure out what you should price your book for at Google Books (somewhat higher than other stores, so you're prepared for the discount) or avoid them altogether.

One thing that DOES happen with one retailer discounting a book without your say so is sometimes B&N will discount the PAPER version of a book 10% or something, and Amazon immediately price-matches. This is not a problem for you the author, however, because you still get the same royalty from Amazon that you would get normally from your paper book (I'm assuming here you've set up your book at Createspace or something). You don't get an email from Amazon when this happens. Enjoy the minor sale while it happens. :)

shelleyo
07-02-2013, 05:24 AM
Lots of people have reported Google Books has randomly discounted their books, causing all sorts of havoc with their pricing elsewhere -- and there's no one to contact at Google Books when this happens. Until they stop doing this, you can either find the algorithms online to figure out what you should price your book for at Google Books (somewhat higher than other stores, so you're prepared for the discount) or avoid them altogether.

One thing that DOES happen with one retailer discounting a book without your say so is sometimes B&N will discount the PAPER version of a book 10% or something, and Amazon immediately price-matches. This is not a problem for you the author, however, because you still get the same royalty from Amazon that you would get normally from your paper book (I'm assuming here you've set up your book at Createspace or something). You don't get an email from Amazon when this happens. Enjoy the minor sale while it happens. :)

Amazon randomly discounts paper books without price-matching, too. But as you've said, they don't reduce the royalty.

I avoid Google Books both because of their reckless discounting, and because it's an unbelievably difficult process to publish through them compared to other places.