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 minuscule 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.
- Are Money Launderers Using CreateSpace to Victimize Authors? And, is CreateSpace to Blame for Not Vetting Books?
- Complaints About CreateSpace (now called KDP Print) – Part V
- Employees (Allegedly) Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Info. about CreateSpace, Xlibris, Author Solutions, Infinity Publishing, Lulu, and Outskirts Press
- UH OH – PART II! What are Employees of CreateSpace and Lulu Saying About Those Companies?
- BookLocker Sued Amazon/BookSurge/CreateSpace…AND WON!
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
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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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE