AUTHOR ALERT! HIGHER BOOK PRICES ON AMAZON and NO PRIME SHIPPING! Has Amazon Given Your Book’s “Buy Button” to a Third-party Seller?

AUTHOR ALERT! HIGHER BOOK PRICES ON AMAZON and NO PRIME SHIPPING! Has Amazon Given Your Book’s “Buy Button” to a Third-party Seller?

Has your book’s listing on Amazon recently changed? Have you noticed the following?

1. Your list price has gone through the roof

2. Your book is listed as “in stock” but there’s no fast and free shipping for Amazon’s Prime customers

3. There’s are tiny words in a miniscule font under the “in stock” status that say “Ships from and sold by (name of some other company)”

If so, your book has fallen victim to Amazon’s dreaded “buy button” give-away scheme. The publishing industry first starting buzzing about this back in 2017 and Amazon has definitely followed through on their plans. In essence, Amazon allows third party sellers to compete to “win” the buy buttons on certain product pages on Amazon.

We were contacted by yet another author last week who was upset about this. He was advertising his book at the correct list price of $14.95. A Fox News correspondent tweeted about the book and Amazon quickly ran out of the copies they had in stock.

A couple of days later, the book was once again listed as “in stock” on Amazon, but with a $20.39 price tag. Under the “in stock” words on the website, it said – Sold by: PBShop US

Delivery was free, but would take eight days. With Prime, it would have only taken one to two days.

I immediately checked BarnesandNoble.com where the book was correctly priced at $14.95 with free delivery, which is obviously a MUCH better deal for book buyers!

If you are seeing this happen on Amazon with your books, you’re not alone. They are giving buy buttons to third party sellers in increasing numbers, who can then price your book at whatever they want, and who may or may not offer free shipping.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Amazon’s actions don’t appear to be violating any laws so there’s really only one thing you can do. You can write to the reseller, and ask them to correct the list price on your book. They may or may not comply. If they are offering free shipping, the higher list price is paying for that (meaning it’s not REALLY free shipping at all!). If they aren’t offering free shipping, they might be willing to lower the price of your book.

2. Direct all of your readers to BarnesandNoble.com, or to your publisher’s web page where they’re selling the book (if your publisher offers that option). Give your readers the specific links to your book’s pages on those sites. Announce in your marketing materials that your book is available for FAR less at BarnesandNoble.com. While most people automatically order from Amazon, if a deal elsewhere is good enough, they’ll use that other firm instead.

At BookLocker.com, we give authors unique discount codes to offer their readers. That gives book buyers an added incentive to shop at the publisher’s site, and save money by getting an immediate discount. The author earns higher royalties when their readers order from BookLocker as opposed to other sites, the author gets paid for those royalties MUCH faster, and the customers will get the book faster than people ordering from a third party seller.

NEXT WEEK, we’ll talk about Amazon killing CreateSpace, and replacing it with KDP Print. We all knew that was coming. And, between you and me, with all the complaints about CreateSpace online, it’s no surprise they wanted to get rid of that name. But, rest assured that Amazon, according to their email to authors, is still using CreateSpace’s employees and equipment so I don’t expect an uptick in quality and customer service. And, according to author comments I’ve read online over the past 24 hours, many of them are NOT happy with this move. Higher prices on some books, slower royalty payments, and more. Stay tuned for my missive on that next week. 

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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)


See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

 

 

5 Responses to "AUTHOR ALERT! HIGHER BOOK PRICES ON AMAZON and NO PRIME SHIPPING! Has Amazon Given Your Book’s “Buy Button” to a Third-party Seller?"

  1. editor@inklingbooks.com  September 4, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    There is a fix if you get stuck with a creepy third-party sellers. The key is to know someone who sells books, new and used, via Amazon. Supply them copies with your books at wholesale, pricing them new and low enough to either take sales away from that over-pricing retailer or force him to lower his price. Either way, you win.

    And if you have more than a couple of titles, checking them every few days for this trickery is a pain, so you might look into CamelCamelCamel.com. It’s intended to let users set trigger prices and will notify them when it hits that price or lower. But if you set a price watch on all your books, you can use its “Your Price Watches” page to display them about twenty a page. That’ll make checking easy. And it also creates a chart of price fluctuations for new and used editions.

    –Michael W. Perry, author of My Nights with Leukemia

  2. allegrettoart2@cs.com  September 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for keeping us informed.

  3. WLJ_1998@yahoo.com  August 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    All of this is nothing new for Amazon.

    ‘Highlander Imagine – Code Name: Immortal’ has been and currently is being sold that way. I have seen outrageous prices for this book.

    ‘Highlander Imagine: Beyond Infinity’ — published through Abuzz Press — is once again being listed as ‘Temporarily out of Stock’.

    ‘Highlander Imagine: For Love’s Sake’ is the only book in the series which Amazon has consistently kept in their stable, though the price has been all over the place (and at the wrong times!).

    Naturally, there has NEVER been an issue with Barnes & Noble. They have sold books faithfully (and at the correct price) from day one. However, compared to Amazon, almost nobody is going to B&N, no matter what you tell them.

    Amazon has gone from the size of an ‘ink dot’ to a massive 2000 pound gorilla and it is still growing. The article, ‘How Amazon Can Instantly (Poof!) Make Your Book Sales Disappear!’ was not only a great and informative article, it also illustrated the above point very aptly.

    Amazon is now massive across all industries (except heavy machinery) and is pushing the envelope everywhere it can.

  4. deddmann@yahoo.com  August 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    as i recall createspace used to be another very bad POD publisher that amazon used before buying them. BookSurge Inc. joined with customflix labs and became createspace. amazon later bought this but they still had a bad reputation for pod books.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  August 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      That is correct. CreateSpace used to be BookSurge. After our company, BookLocker.com, sued Amazon/BookSurge (we won), and after years of negative reviews posted online, they changed the name to CreateSpace. However, a name change does not fix a reputation if you continue to upset your customers! We figured Amazon would eventually rename CreateSpace (there are tons of complaints about them posted online as well). And, this week it was announced that CreateSpace will now be called KDP Print. We don’t expect them to clean up their act any time soon. Heck, authors are already complaining about the problems they’re experiencing with KDP Print. Don’t even get me started on higher prices for some books, slower royalty payments, incompatible files that were fine at CreateSpace, and more. I’ll be writing an article about this next week after I witness some more of the fall out.

      -Angela