Author Topic: Why would Amazon do this?  (Read 2509 times)  

Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2018, 01:43:46 PM »
Also, most indies will find that paperbacks generate a tiny fraction of their revenue, as compared to ebook sales. I definitely see this as a feature, not a bug.

I would argue this is a self-fullfilling prophesy because...

1. Most indies don't even bother trying to seriously market their paperback books
2. Most indies don't price their paperback books correctly to make money on them

There are a lot of folks, myself included, who make more money selling physical books than ebooks for a great many titles. Some of this is genre-specific, of course. But a lot of it is by design because I actively market paperbacks and I price them correctly. If you treat paper as a throwaway market, you won't make any money. But that is by seller choice, not because paper is by any means dead.

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Offline notjohn

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2018, 01:46:44 PM »
A lower priced version of this book is available.
Save ____ by choosing the Kindle edition.

I find that irritating, too. Anything like that, it seems to me, must serve to discourage an immediate purchase. Here's somebody clicking through an ad or a website or a friend's recommendation, and boom! he has to THINK! Nobody likes to think; they just want to get on with it!
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Offline notjohn

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2018, 01:54:33 PM »
And just to follow up on some of the comments:

My paperback sales amount to one-third to one-half my Kindle sales, since my last mainstream publisher cut me loose. (It used to be far more print than digital.) And I have many more ebooks out there than print editions.

And definitely I agree that ebooks are not ACTUAL books. I can remember lines in books that I read thirty years ago. (John Irving: "Adventure is a time, not a place." Ralph D Paine: "Zest is in the journey, not in the destination." William Shakespeare: "We heard the chimes at midnight, Master Swallow." Robert Louis Stevenson -- well, you get the idea.) When I'm reading an ebook, half the time I don't know the title of the book or the name of the author.
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Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2018, 03:05:42 PM »
Seconded. It was pretty obvious the OP was using the word 'actual' to differentiate paper books from their digital counterparts.
Thank you, Sam, RedAlert and everyone else who understood that my use of the word 'actual' was meant to differentiate paper books from ebooks. I didn't think it would be that difficult for some to understand.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 03:44:06 PM by Marian »

Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2018, 03:28:52 PM »
I'm confused. Are you complaining about the blurb not changing or about the notice about ebook being cheaper? If you don't want to sell the ebook, why did you publish it? Why not just stick to a paperback version?
I'm not happy about the blurb not changing after trying for nearly two weeks to get it changed, but I wasn't complaining about it. Nor was I complaining about the ebook being cheaper that the paperback. An ebook should be cheaper than a paperback. And I certainly do want to sell ebooks.

There are people who don't read electronically, ever, a whole generation of them who will read only paper books. When a screen pops up telling them that they can get a book $10 cheaper if they buy the ebook, they could get so irritated that they wouldn't buy the book. Most books are purchased on speculation, on the hopes that they will be enjoyable reads.

There is also another subtler psychology. Some people equate price with quality. There have been many discussions on this board on that topic. Putting a screen in front of a potential reader that they could get the book for a substantially cheaper price may be sending the message that the book isn't worth the price of the paperback. From there, it isn't too far to go to think that the book isn't worth buying.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 03:48:24 PM by Marian »

Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2018, 03:36:54 PM »
I find that irritating, too. Anything like that, it seems to me, must serve to discourage an immediate purchase. Here's somebody clicking through an ad or a website or a friend's recommendation, and boom! he has to THINK! Nobody likes to think; they just want to get on with it!
Exactly.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2018, 05:32:01 PM »
Thank you, Sam, RedAlert and everyone else who understood that my use of the word 'actual' was meant to differentiate paper books from ebooks. I didn't think it would be that difficult for some to understand.
It isn't that it is 'difficult to understand'. There is a word for 'paper books'; they are called 'print'. When you are a writer, words matter.

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Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2018, 05:37:58 PM »
As a reader, I strongly prefer paper books to ebooks. As an author, the royalty difference is tiny. If they'd rather get the book immediately and start reading, rather than wait for shipping, I'm completely okay with that. As long as they buy it and read it.

The royalty difference is bigly for me. I assume readers can afford to pay for the paperbacks they want, since the paperback has an additional function as an art object on their shelves. I bet if you hiked up the price on your paperbacks, you'd still sell roughly the same number, because the readers aren't shopping on price. There's a theory you might sell more, because more expensive paperbacks are more likely to be picked up for extended distribution.
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Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2018, 05:41:57 PM »
It isn't that it is 'difficult to understand'. There is a word for 'paper books'; they are called 'print'. When you are a writer, words matter.
Tone matters as well.

Offline MJAshwood

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2018, 05:45:34 PM »
I prefer dead tree books personally, but authors make good money off ebooks and it's good for the environment. So no, I don't think it's a bad thing at all.

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2018, 06:05:47 PM »
I would argue this is a self-fullfilling prophesy because...

1. Most indies don't even bother trying to seriously market their paperback books
2. Most indies don't price their paperback books correctly to make money on them

There are a lot of folks, myself included, who make more money selling physical books than ebooks for a great many titles. Some of this is genre-specific, of course. But a lot of it is by design because I actively market paperbacks and I price them correctly. If you treat paper as a throwaway market, you won't make any money. But that is by seller choice, not because paper is by any means dead.

That's fair enough, but is your model efficient? Is it practicable for most other authors' catalogs? On the whole, is it something that we actually prefer over a digital-focused model, moving forward?

To me, I think the answers would be "no" in all cases--partly because I've got different values and goals than you. If prioritizing digital formats necessarily means there's a cost to sales in physical formats, that's fine to me. It's ideal. After all, I can do virtually anything as a self-publisher, but I can't do everything.

Offline Mike Coville

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2018, 06:09:18 PM »
The royalty difference is bigly for me. I assume readers can afford to pay for the paperbacks they want, since the paperback has an additional function as an art object on their shelves. I bet if you hiked up the price on your paperbacks, you'd still sell roughly the same number, because the readers aren't shopping on price. There's a theory you might sell more, because more expensive paperbacks are more likely to be picked up for extended distribution.

Thumbs up  :D
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Offline Doglover

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2018, 11:53:48 PM »

And definitely I agree that ebooks are not ACTUAL books. I can remember lines in books that I read thirty years ago. (John Irving: "Adventure is a time, not a place." Ralph D Paine: "Zest is in the journey, not in the destination." William Shakespeare: "We heard the chimes at midnight, Master Swallow." Robert Louis Stevenson -- well, you get the idea.) When I'm reading an ebook, half the time I don't know the title of the book or the name of the author.
If you don't know the title or author of the book you are reading, that is down to you skipping past the title page. I see no reason why it should have anything to do with whether the book is electronic or paper.

When I moved house after 25 years, I had to give away hundreds of books because I didn't have room for them. I don't have that problem with my kindle. I find that reading in bed (which is where I have always read) is difficult now with a print book, but not with a kindle. I will always buy e book versions if they are available because I find them easier to read.

But I have a friend who buys all my books in paperback, even though I could have sent her a free e-book version, because that's what she prefers. Either are books, the exact same text.

Memorable words read in a print book are the same memorable words in an e-book version.


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Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2018, 05:57:56 AM »
When I'm reading an ebook, half the time I don't know the title of the book or the name of the author.

This was definitely a complaint I had with my older Kindle. I don't know how the newer Kindles are, but since I bought a fancy new Kobo, this isn't a problem because A) you can display the title/author on each page just like a print book, and B) unlike Kindle, it shows the book cover while in sleep mode.

I do still prefer print, at least for books I really like, and I know I'm with most people (in the general population) in not really considering a book properly published until you can hold a paper copy in your hand. So I for one don't consider digital to be preferable to print, at least in a general sense. It's a good option and has its positives (and I'm reading more and more digital), but for me, a print copy is still the most real copy.

Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2018, 07:10:17 AM »
When I'm reading an ebook, half the time I don't know the title of the book or the name of the author.

And this should terrify every...single...author who is dependent on Amazon algorithms for their livelihoods. Because this means the books you are reading are interchangeable commodities and the author brand means nothing. You are essentially reading whatever Amazon puts in front of you based on a few set parameters. And that isn't meant to be a fault on you. If that is how you want to read that is how you want to read. But for AUTHORS, if a critical mass of Amazon readers are like you, then they are screwed in the long run. Because their success is directly and intractably tied to Amazon's algorithms. They are not "independent authors" they are "Amazon content providers".


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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2018, 07:10:51 AM »
It could be worse. Amazon could interrupt the customer with this...

Are you sure you want to buy this book?
The Funeral Home Killer has received way better reviews.

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2018, 07:29:49 AM »
It could be worse. Amazon could interrupt the customer with this...

Are you sure you want to buy this book?
The Funeral Home Killer has received way better reviews.


EEK!  :o  ;D

Offline Doglover

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2018, 07:38:45 AM »
It could be worse. Amazon could interrupt the customer with this...

Are you sure you want to buy this book?
The Funeral Home Killer has received way better reviews.


Please tell me you haven't actually seen that.


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Online Sam Kates

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2018, 10:50:35 AM »
It could be worse. Amazon could interrupt the customer with this...

Are you sure you want to buy this book?
The Funeral Home Killer has received way better reviews.

Oh my. Don't give them ideas...
 
sam kates

Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2018, 03:49:02 PM »
This is an update:

The screen I originally posted about is gone. Also, the blurb I've been trying to change since the beginning of April is now on the paperback. I don't think this is a coincidence. It's my guess that changing the blurb in Create Space somehow triggered the screen because it happened with the other books, although the screen didn't last as long for the others as it did for this one.

The oddest thing about this whole business is an email I received from KDP today, which I'm posting below. I had received two previous emails from them that weren't relevant.

I've gone through the screenshot information you've sent and first of all, I'd like to apologize for any miscommunication so far and I sincerely request you to give me a chance to explain this issue.

Please note, when your eBooks and Paperback versions are linked together, it is usual for the Amazon web-page to enhance the edition which is available for a lesser price. And since eBooks are lesser price compared to the paperback versions, the Kindle eBook edition is being highlighted as given in your screenshot.

However, please note, this price comparison is not made to demotivate customers from buying your paperback books. This is just to inform the customers that they're having more than one option to buy your book (either in eBook or Paperback) according to their convenience.

This phenomenon is working as per system's design and cannot be altered from our end.

We greatly appreciate your understanding in this regard.

The comment that customers are being informed that they have more than one option to buy the book doesn't make sense in light of the fact that these customers specifically clicked on the paperback button. Of course they know they can buy an ebook. Becca Mills' post got it right: "Kindle is Amazon's own device/format. I'm sure they'd be delighted if it took over all reading."

The last sentence in the email is a real puzzler: This phenomenon is working as per system's design and cannot be altered from our end. Anyone who can explain this gets a genius award.

The bottom line here:

If you change your blurbs on your KDP Dashboard and in Create Space, check on the Create Space blurb after 3 to 5 days to make sure the change has gone through. If you find that it hasn't gone through, call Create Space. I had to call them three times before the change went through.



« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 03:53:22 PM by Marian »

Offline Dave Dykema

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2018, 06:11:05 PM »
Every time I publish an eBook most of the people I know ask if it's available in print. So far they haven't been, but I've had so many people ask about this that I'm thinking maybe I should try it.

Is formatting for Create Space easy? I've heard it's both simple and hard.

I tried Kindle Create for my new book and it went quite well. Maybe a ten minute process. Granted, it took longer because I previewed my book on every format available (page turn...page turn...).

For what little you guys seem to be saying you're making on the print versions, is it worth the headache?
 

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2018, 06:25:55 PM »
The last sentence in the email is a real puzzler: This phenomenon is working as per system's design and cannot be altered from our end. Anyone who can explain this gets a genius award.

Possible translation: "You know that thing you don't like? We *do* like it. Not gonna change it. Sorry not sorry!"

Offline Marian

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2018, 07:10:41 PM »
Possible translation: "You know that thing you don't like? We *do* like it. Not gonna change it. Sorry not sorry!"
You're probably right. I thought he was saying the screen couldn't be removed, that it was working just fine.

Offline Jena H

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2018, 07:18:00 PM »
..snip..

The bottom line here:

If you change your blurbs on your KDP Dashboard and in Create Space, check on the Create Space blurb after 3 to 5 days to make sure the change has gone through. If you find that it hasn't gone through, call Create Space. I had to call them three times before the change went through.

This is exactly my issue as well.  I updated blurb on KDP...  it went through just fine.  I did it on CreateSpace... it never updated for paperback version.  I contacted CreateSpace (via email) and they responded (finally) that I should update my blurb in Author Central, which would pull into CS.  But-- my description was already updated there in Author Central, thanks to KDP.  So now I'm back where I started.   :-\   >:(


ETA:  on the CreateSpace site for my book's details, the blurb shows my correct, updated description.  So it's both in KDP and CS, but not on my paperback's product page.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 07:23:52 PM by Jena H »
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Offline RedAlert

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Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2018, 07:46:46 PM »
It could be worse. Amazon could interrupt the customer with this...

Are you sure you want to buy this book?
The Funeral Home Killer has received way better reviews.

LOL!  The day is probably coming.