Author Topic: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion  (Read 1293 times)

Marti Talbott

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2020, 12:43:30 PM »
Amazon is the one reducing the price, because they bought it by the case and want to get rid of the inventory, I guess. The paper book prices are more than 20% above the ebook price and I give them a 35% discount from Ingram.  :HB

Edit - thank you for trying to help Marti. I'm just so fed up, I had a great day writing and now I want to quit entirely, again. Time to go to bed. 10:30 here.

Good night!
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2020, 03:08:03 AM »
This is depressing!

While it is true that Amazon requires the ebook price to be 20% lower than the paperback price, that policy shouldn't apply on paperbacks Amazon discounted itself, only to the list prices, just as you argued.

The level of incompetence involved here is scary. (I'm assuming it's not deliberate cheating on Amazon's part, but that doesn't absolve them from paying people correctly.)



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TimothyEllis

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2020, 03:13:57 AM »
It could be a function of Amazon employing more people to cope with supporting a huge increase in orders unexpectedly, and the ones now handling book issues haven't been trained properly.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2020, 03:17:19 AM »
It could be a function of Amazon employing more people to cope with supporting a huge increase in orders unexpectedly, and the ones now handling book issues haven't been trained properly.
Has there been a huge increase in orders? If so, that might explain a little of this, but wouldn't that be more an issue with low-level responders. Notthatamanda seems to be dealing with people at a higher pay grade and still getting grief from them.


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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2020, 03:24:21 AM »
Yes I was called by someone in Seattle, and she understood it and agreed with me. Now to be fair, I have no idea where Jenni is and if the "Leadership Team" she is part of, is where Valerie was taking it to, she told me she was going to take it up to her supervisor.

I don't know. Just annoying and depressing. They could do this to the other book of mine that they bought cases of. Of course, I'm selling so little these days it hardly matters anyway.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2020, 04:26:20 AM »
Hello Amanda,

I can understand you being upset. I am sorry. I checked all previous correspondence and I see that the response that has been sent on May 1 was misunderstood from our end and I do apologize for all the miscommunication.

I completely understand that you never reduced the price of the paperback from your end but Amazon reduced it for the customers but the eBook price has been reduced based on the paperback.

However, as explained due to the reduction in the price of a paperback book price(which was Amazon promotion), the eBook list price was reduced automatically(since the digital price should be at least 20% lesser than the paperback price) and since you have chosen 70% royalty for your eBook we would pay you the royalties based on the list price.

Thanks for your kind understanding.

So basically to summarize - if you have paperbacks on Amazon, they can reduce the price to whatever they want and thereby reduce your ebooks as well. I wonder if they would have the balls to do this to the trades, but they probably have different agreements than us lowly indies do.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2020, 08:40:10 AM »
Hello Amanda,

I can understand you being upset. I am sorry. I checked all previous correspondence and I see that the response that has been sent on May 1 was misunderstood from our end and I do apologize for all the miscommunication.

I completely understand that you never reduced the price of the paperback from your end but Amazon reduced it for the customers but the eBook price has been reduced based on the paperback.

However, as explained due to the reduction in the price of a paperback book price(which was Amazon promotion), the eBook list price was reduced automatically(since the digital price should be at least 20% lesser than the paperback price) and since you have chosen 70% royalty for your eBook we would pay you the royalties based on the list price.

Thanks for your kind understanding.

So basically to summarize - if you have paperbacks on Amazon, they can reduce the price to whatever they want and thereby reduce your ebooks as well. I wonder if they would have the balls to do this to the trades, but they probably have different agreements than us lowly indies do.
It might be worth reviewing all of Amazon's (purposely vague) documents to see if they ever actually say they can do something like this.

The two pieces are both accurate individually. Amazon can elect to discount a paperback if it chooses to do so. And it can require that ebooks be at least 20% lower than the paperbacks. However, I think the 20% language is predicated on the notion that the author is the one setting the price. If Amazon chooses to lower the paperback price, it should absolutely not be able to lower the ebook based on the 20% language. That should only apply to paperback pricing decisions made by you.

(And no, they don't treat trads that way. I've seen plenty of examples where the ebook is priced higher than the paperback.


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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2020, 08:41:20 AM »
Thanks Bill. I will look into this when my emotional reserves restock a bit.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #58 on: May 16, 2020, 09:15:46 AM »
I checked for you. The two relevant URLS are https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634500 and https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834330

I'm reproducing the relevant sections in case anyone has a bright idea. The issue is actually addressed. I've bolded the relevant part.

Quote
The price at which we sell your Digital Book may not be the same as your List Price. For instance, we might sell your Digital Book at a lower price to match a third party's price for a Digital or Physical edition of the book. Or, we might match Amazon's price for a Physical edition of the book.

Quote
4. Setting Your List Price
If you choose the 70% Royalty Option, you must set and adjust your List Price so that it is at least 20% below the list price on Amazon for any physical edition of the Digital Book.

Quote
A customer might buy your book at a discounted price that's lower than your list price due to promotions, but it won't affect your royalties.


At first, I thought I couldn't see any immediately obvious way to argue the point, but there is one. According to the second quote, the ebook list price must be at least 20% below the print list price. Here and elsewhere, list price is whatever you've set your book price to (as in the second quote). And the language in the third quote makes clear that discounted price and list price are not the same. In other words, the language only entitles Amazon to drop the ebook price if your list price on the paperback (the one you set) is not at least 20% higher than the ebook list price. Amazon is welcome to go ahead and discount the paperback as much as it wants, but it can only reduce the ebook price based on your paperback list price, not the discounted price.

At least, all of that would be true if Amazon was following its own rules. Maybe the person you're dealing with is rational enough to listen to this argument and realized that someone made a mistake.

A lesser argument, but maybe still worth throwing in, is that the spirit of the rules (as reflected by the third quote) is that Amazon can't penalize author royalties based on discount prices that Amazon imposes. True, the language refers to paperback discounts and royalties, but one could certainly argue that the same spirit should apply in this case (or that Amazon shouldn't discount a price to make it violate Amazon's own rules). Nowhere does Amazon suggest it can discount your paperback and reduce your ebook price as a result.

IANAL--but I sometimes wonder if I was one in a previous life.


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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2020, 10:53:37 AM »
They are doing it again. Marked down the hardcover and then marked down the ebook. There is only one hardcover left in stock. If they order a case when that is gone I'm going to lose it big time. I should have done what Bill said and dug into the fine print of the agreement. I guess now I really should. Can't seem to sum up the energy for it though.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2020, 11:02:36 AM »
Is it possible to unpublish just the print version without unpublishing the ebook?  If it is, I'd be tempted to do that.
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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2020, 11:03:41 AM »
I publish through Ingram. I don't think I *can tell them not to sell Amazon any more. And the book that they are trying to get rid of is still sitting in their stock anyway.  Thanks for trying to help.

*Edit - missed a word
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 11:54:24 AM by notthatamanda »
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2020, 11:05:13 AM »
Yeah, I don't know much about the print side.  It never seemed worth the hassle to me.

I hope you get it sorted out.  Again.   :confused:
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2020, 11:21:57 AM »
Yeah, I don't know much about the print side.  It never seemed worth the hassle to me.

The more I hear of things like this happening, the more convinced I am not to do print.
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notthatamanda

Re: Amazon is discounting my ebook because they put me in a promotion
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2020, 12:00:07 PM »
I probably would have been better off putting my time in learning how to do a mailing list and then, um, doing a mailing list.