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Author Topic: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books  (Read 13788 times)  

Offline StacyC

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2014, 02:26:53 PM »
First they make the process of getting our books on their a total pain (I always wait a couple days after release because I don't want to deal with it) and then they make it challenging to get your book at the right price (thank goodness for the thread here spelling it out) and now this? I'm going to keep a close eye on my books from here on out.

I can't imagine them keeping indies for long if they keep these business practices.
  

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2014, 02:29:22 PM »
It must be in their ToS that they can do this...or they couldn't do this, right?

Of course it is in the TOS just as it is in the KDP TOS so that price-matching can take place. Place the blame correctly here - Google is doing on discounting while paying list what any retailer will do, the fly in the ointment is Amazon price-matching, not Google discounting. Roll on the day when the rest of the world catches up with the EU and makes price-matching illegal.


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2014, 02:38:17 PM »
Of course it is in the TOS just as it is in the KDP TOS so that price-matching can take place. Place the blame correctly here - Google is doing on discounting while paying list what any retailer will do, the fly in the ointment is Amazon price-matching, not Google discounting. Roll on the day when the rest of the world catches up with the EU and makes price-matching illegal.

Seems to me that 'price matching' happens all the time -- and I'm not talking about books.  I am always seeing adverts that say that if you find a lower price advertised elsewhere a store will match it. A while back I bought a printer from Best Buy at a discounted price because I could show them I could get it cheaper at Amazon.  They matched the price.

If a company feels it can absorb the loss, why shouldn't they adjust their prices so that they're competitive in order to try to keep their customers.  Sounds like standard operating procedure to me.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2014, 02:48:01 PM »
I think we mustn't confuse price-matching with price-fixing.

But it is a good point there in that it's Amazon's policies that are restrictive, not Google's.
Google is running promotions at no cost to the author. Should they care what Amazon thinks of that? Probably not. I suppose it's up to us to decide who we want to deal with, if we can't have it both ways.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2014, 02:53:13 PM »
And by the time Amazon matched it, it would have been downloaded at least a 1000 times for free before the price went back to normal. Amazon isn't quick about changing prices. Especially when it comes to taking books off free.
This. I pulled a book from Google Play for something similar (they'd discounted a book to 2.51. I didn't realized Amazon had price matched it, I had thought Amazon was just running a sale on that book. It cost me over $400 by the time I got it all untangled because of the drop from 70% to 35% rate so I was feeling pretty crummy about the whole thing. Live and learn. Sorry this happened to you, though. I think you did the right thing, FWIW.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2014, 02:57:58 PM »
This. I pulled a book from Google Play for something similar (they'd discounted a book to 2.51. I didn't realized Amazon had price matched it, I had thought Amazon was just running a sale on that book. It cost me over $400 by the time I got it all untangled because of the drop from 70% to 35% rate so I was feeling pretty crummy about the whole thing. Live and learn. Sorry this happened to you, though. I think you did the right thing, FWIW.

If it wasn't for Indie's abilities to screw over Amazon so easily in the following scenario, then I think it'd be a great system. Not accounting for retailers pricing work for free;

It would be an awesome little world if Amazon price matched but let you keep the same royalty rate. Again, that would be so easily abused it's not even a possibility.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2014, 02:58:19 PM »
Seems to me that 'price matching' happens all the time -- and I'm not talking about books.  I am always seeing adverts that say that if you find a lower price advertised elsewhere a store will match it. A while back I bought a printer from Best Buy at a discounted price because I could show them I could get it cheaper at Amazon.  They matched the price.

If a company feels it can absorb the loss, why shouldn't they adjust their prices so that they're competitive in order to try to keep their customers.  Sounds like standard operating procedure to me.

The difference I see here is that Amazon doesn't pay you full price if they decide to price-match. In the case of a TV or whatever, they still pay the wholesale price for the thing and then sell at a discount if they want. That's what Google is doing, and that's a normal way of retailing items. But Amazon, for ebooks at least, not only discounts their selling price, they discount what gets paid to you too.

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2014, 03:00:26 PM »
Seems to me that 'price matching' happens all the time -- and I'm not talking about books.  I am always seeing adverts that say that if you find a lower price advertised elsewhere a store will match it. A while back I bought a printer from Best Buy at a discounted price because I could show them I could get it cheaper at Amazon.  They matched the price.

If a company feels it can absorb the loss, why shouldn't they adjust their prices so that they're competitive in order to try to keep their customers.  Sounds like standard operating procedure to me.

Ann you are confusing price-matching (illegal) with competitive pricing e.g., I bought Kate Atkinson's Life After Life on special offer at 4.99 on Kobo to support them, knowing without looking that whatever Kobo discount among the big names Amazon will give a bigger discount. I had to check the book today on Amazon and yes its 2.50. That is perfectly legal. Amazon's price-matching is anti-competitive behaviour because it insists that Amazon always have the lowest price available from that supplier with a binding contract saying so. This constitutes near-monopoly distortion of the market. The main markets that Amazon have bowed to the inevitable on are the UK and Germany so no, L.R. Panda, this is not about the structurally weak southern European economies. It is about Amazon facing a crippling fine of the level once faced by their neighbours Microsoft over web browsers. In Europe we stand up to corporate bullies and I suspect that the European Competition Commission's interest in Amazon vs Hachette is more worrying for the French than the Seattleites.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 03:10:33 PM by Mercia McMahon »


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Offline FictionalWriter

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2014, 03:03:39 PM »
It's frustrating because WE (the authors) have NO control of our pricing. Yes, it's great that Google will give your book for free and STILL PAY you. Amazon won't and they have 60-65% of the ebook market so if you go free with them when you don't want to, you're ROYALLY screwed. When I give my book away for free it's strategic marketing. When Google does, I'm hosed.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2014, 03:05:07 PM »
I think we mustn't confuse price-matching with price-fixing.

But it is a good point there in that it's Amazon's policies that are restrictive, not Google's.
Google is running promotions at no cost to the author. Should they care what Amazon thinks of that? Probably not. I suppose it's up to us to decide who we want to deal with, if we can't have it both ways.


I mean, that's the problem, isn't it? Without Amazon's price-matching this would be a great deal, for author and reader. To pull something like this off, however, Google would need to be a much more formidable force in the market, so that authors could temporarily remove their books from Amazon while the sale is on.

Amazon doesn't price-match immediately though, so that's something at least. I already check my Play books daily, so I'll catch something like this before it does any damage. I suggest you all do the same.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2014, 03:10:51 PM »
Reminder not to make this a political discussion, thanks.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2014, 03:19:57 PM »
Indeed I think the main problem here is Amazon's method of price-matching in which your payment is tied to their price--but that's not likely to ever change, because there are too many ways for Amazon to lose in that scenario. Since this is more or less set in stone, and Amazon is ginormous, another distributor failing to plan around this fact is nothing short of stupid.

Obviously a company can do anything they like short of violating their own agreements, but I'm talking about simple courtesy and being a good business partner. There's no good reason to do business with someone who could choose to discount your book, without warning, in a way that suddenly hurts your pricing in your biggest market. Amazon is likely to always be our biggest market, at least for the foreseeable future. Ergo anything another distributor does without warning that knowingly triggers an Amazon price-match is a financial liability. Every ebook distributor has to be aware of Amazon's policy, inasmuch as they're the biggest game in town; if they want to grow their own piece of the pie it is unconscionable to do anything that jeopardizes an author's earnings on Amazon. Google's behavior is the sort that will drive authors away from them, harming their own ability to compete with Amazon. Way to shoot yourself in the foot, Google!
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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2014, 03:21:38 PM »
Not wanting to do your husband or assistants out of a job, but you could just use http://luzme.com which does that for you (free) :)

You can't rely upon luzme. It displays inaccurate prices and incidentally it can give you a heart attack or stroke! I just tried it, and I know my prices are correct. I check every few days. Luzme says all my books are priced wrong when I know none are.

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2014, 03:33:21 PM »
You can't rely upon luzme. It displays inaccurate prices and incidentally it can give you a heart attack or stroke! I just tried it, and I know my prices are correct. I check every few days. Luzme says all my books are priced wrong when I know none are.
It has several of my prices wrong right now and doesn't list all the sales channels. That's what I meant by not trusting technology. If I relied on luzme and it didn't update for a couple of days, I could lose thousands getting it all fixed.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2014, 03:46:15 PM »
...It's a bit of a cheek, considering their market share is so small and, for most, insignificant.

You can't be serious.

Right now, Google Play Books is my second-best-selling market behind Amazon. Kobo is third. Apple is fourth, though I get there via Smashwords. Nook is almost nonexistent.

Sure, Google isn't to Amazon's size yet... but they are a decently-sized second place, and seem to have taken over that spot where Nook was maybe... two years ago?
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2014, 03:47:07 PM »
Question.  When YOU publish YOUR books at wherever dot com,  do YOU say that YOU agree to THEIR terms of service?

If the answer to this question is yes,  then you cannot blame anyone because you agreed to their policies.

And as far as price matching: in the US, it is legal for stores to match or not match their competitors prices.    It is an excellent business practice. 
Are some of you saying that in Europe,  two different stores cannot have the same price.

Now price gouging is illegal.  That is artificially inflating the price.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2014, 03:54:29 PM »
It must be in their ToS that they can do this...or they couldn't do this, right?

Betsy

It IS in their TOS. It's also in every TOS I've ever seen, including Kobo, Nook, Amazon, and even Smashwords (though they have led the fight to give indies 'agency pricing.').

But here's the weird bit:

We all know Amazon reserves the right to discount, and they use it. No one seems to have a problem with that.

But if Google or Nook or Kobo exercise that discounting right, which is in their TOS, we all freak out and pull our books and say, "I can't believe they have the nerve to do that!"

And I understand the main reason why: Amazon sells SO much more and is a primary income source for many of us.

I get it. I do.

However... so many people who object to this sort of discounting also voice support for "competition" and wish for a world where it's not an "Amazon-only" game, in terms of ePublishing.

But how can it ever be anything BUT an "Amazon-only game," if all other retailers have to restrict themselves from discounting books based on how their decision affects Amazon?

I mean... at least Google's paying you for free book sales, when they discount your book to free.

Support for competition only so long as they don't ACT as a competitor is... a bit double-minded, I'd suggest.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2014, 04:03:34 PM »
It's frustrating because WE (the authors) have NO control of our pricing. Yes, it's great that Google will give your book for free and STILL PAY you. Amazon won't and they have 60-65% of the ebook market so if you go free with them when you don't want to, you're ROYALLY screwed. When I give my book away for free it's strategic marketing. When Google does, I'm hosed.

So... you're arguing in favor of what Hachette and the rest of the Big 5 are fighting over. No discounting, total control over prices, paid the same regardless of price.

You've just formed the argument for Agency Pricing, aka illegal price fixing, which Apple and the Big 5 were convicted of and fined millions for, just a couple years ago.

Just so you know. :)
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Offline FictionalWriter

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2014, 04:07:53 PM »
I will ALWAYS complain when there's a chance I can make absolutely NOTHING on a book I don't INTEND to give away for free. If that's what you mean, then yes. I work hard. I want to be paid for my work.

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2014, 04:29:15 PM »
But how can it ever be anything BUT an "Amazon-only game," if all other retailers have to restrict themselves from discounting books based on how their decision affects Amazon?

It's not at all about how their decision affects Amazon. It's about how their decision affects their suppliers (ie. authors).

I mean... at least Google's paying you for free book sales, when they discount your book to free.

Support for competition only so long as they don't ACT as a competitor is... a bit double-minded, I'd suggest.

And therein lies the rub for authors. Amazon does NOT pay you royalty based on your set price when they price-match. If they did, then we'd have no issue. But no, I do not wish for any vendor to arbitrarily change the price on my books. I know better than them the timing and selection to better my career. And bettering my career means they sell more books, so it's a win-win, and they don't have to lift a finger.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2014, 04:32:22 PM »
It's interesting that indies are now complaining about Google's doing what Amazon was doing to trad publishers: Discounting a book against the wishes of the publisher and paying a royalty on the full listed price.

Which I would have no problem with, except that it kicks in Amazon's price-matching and Amazon does NOT pay the full royalty on the book.

I have a sale scheduled later this month that includes Google, but then I think I have to pull my books. I can't risk having my books suddenly go free against my wishes.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2014, 04:42:29 PM »
It's interesting that indies are now complaining about Google's doing what Amazon was doing to trad publishers: Discounting a book against the wishes of the publisher and paying a royalty on the full listed price.

The difference being that publishers didn't lose revenue. Indies do.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2014, 05:00:51 PM »
You'd think the same with their auto-discount, too.  I've mentally crossed several publishers off of my "would I ever consider" list when I see that the publisher put the books up at $3.99 on Google Play and Amazon priced matched down to $3.03.
Um. You know it's OK if it's a publisher, right? Their distribution agreement is nothing like KDP.

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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2014, 05:04:38 PM »
I suppose it doesn't really matter what Google should do or shouldn't or whose policy impacts what.
This isn't a question like whether or not to stay in Select or go wide. If Google's discounting decisions don't mesh with Amazon's we have a choice to make. I only have to look at my spreadsheet to see what choice is best for me. Neither vendor owes us a living.
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Re: Why I had to delete my book from Google Play Books
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2014, 05:07:42 PM »
So... you're arguing in favor of what Hachette and the rest of the Big 5 are fighting over. No discounting, total control over prices, paid the same regardless of price.

You've just formed the argument for Agency Pricing, aka illegal price fixing, which Apple and the Big 5 were convicted of and fined millions for, just a couple years ago.

Just so you know. :)

Just so you know...agency pricing is NOT ILLEGAL.

What's illegal is the COLLUSION.

Get your fact straight before accuse another member of doing ILLEGAL PRICE FIXING.