Author Topic: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?  (Read 775 times)  

Offline Redgum

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Recently I saw books from a reasonably selling series priced $2.85 and $2.90 USD. My understanding is that as these are under $2.99 they're going to get 30% royalties. My question is why would anyone price their novel *just* under the 70% royalty threshold like this? I can understand if you go well under - this attracts more sales and perhaps makes up for the lower royalty, but what's the deal with going just under like this? It's not going to make any difference to a reader if a novel is $2.85 or $2.99, so I can't see it triggering more sales, and all you've done is reduce your royalty from 70% ($2.09) to 30% (89c).

Am I missing something here?

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    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 05:12:24 pm »
    In my case, it's not voluntary. I have a book priced at $2.99 that should be earning 70% but Amazon decided to discount it to $2.79 and are only paying me 35%. I have emailed them multiple times and all I get are the canned "pricing is at our discretion..." emails.

    Offline Kenneth Rosenberg

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 05:57:13 pm »
    I don't know how it is now, but it used to be that if you priced your book over the 70 percent threshold ($2.99+), and then Amazon discounted it, they would still pay you the 70 percent at the lower price.  There was a time several years ago when I priced one of my books at $2.99 and then put it on itunes and others at 99 cents.  Amazon price matched it, and I was earning 70 percent at 99 cents.  It was pretty sweet.  I haven't done that in years, though.  I don't know if it would even be possible to get away with it anymore.  Personally, I'm not going to chance it.  What might have happened with those books you were referring to, though, is that maybe Google Play discounted them (as they do), and then Amazon price matched. 

    ETA: Or maybe they signed up for KDP via the UK, putting their main price in pounds, and this price you are seeing is the conversion?  I don't know how that would work, but just speculating on possibilities.
    « Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 06:00:40 pm by Kenneth Rosenberg »

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    Offline DrLiz52

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 07:12:24 pm »
    Recently I saw books from a reasonably selling series priced $2.85 and $2.90 USD. My understanding is that as these are under $2.99 they're going to get 30% royalties. My question is why would anyone price their novel *just* under the 70% royalty threshold like this? I can understand if you go well under - this attracts more sales and perhaps makes up for the lower royalty, but what's the deal with going just under like this? It's not going to make any difference to a reader if a novel is $2.85 or $2.99, so I can't see it triggering more sales, and all you've done is reduce your royalty from 70% ($2.09) to 30% (89c).

    Am I missing something here?

    It used to be that 70% was offered for KDP Select members only.
    https://www.authorimprints.com/kindle-ebook-royalties-70-vs-35-and-6-essential-things-you-need-to-know/


    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 07:58:20 pm »
    I don't know how it is now, but it used to be that if you priced your book over the 70 percent threshold ($2.99+), and then Amazon discounted it, they would still pay you the 70 percent at the lower price.

    They don't - they have discounted my ebook price enough to pay the lower royalty rate and refuse to pay the royalty on list price.

    Offline David VanDyke

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 08:14:55 pm »
    In my case, it's not voluntary. I have a book priced at $2.99 that should be earning 70% but Amazon decided to discount it to $2.79 and are only paying me 35%. I have emailed them multiple times and all I get are the canned "pricing is at our discretion..." emails.


    Why not raise your price, say to 3.99 or 3.25 or something, and get their discount to adjust? Or did that not work?

    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 08:46:14 pm »
    Why not raise your price, say to 3.99 or 3.25 or something, and get their discount to adjust? Or did that not work?

    I've gone the other way and set it free for now. It's the series starter and I wanted $2.99 while I drive traffic to it. My (as yet untested theory) is that $2.99 is more of an impulse buy than $3.99.

    Offline lea_owens

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 09:26:35 pm »
    I just had a really close look at the monthly report - my $3.99 @ 70% book 'Muted' is getting the full 70%, then three times this month, scattered among the other 70% sales, they've sold it at the 30% commission rate - so Amazon get the extra $1.32 on those sales (I get $1.40 instead of $2.72, but the book is still sold at the full $3.99).
    Eh?
    I don't get that. I don't sell the book anywhere else. It's clearly on the 70% rate and priced at $3.99.  Perhaps there is some other sales scheme that we've agreed to in the TOS without realising. The money isn't much - not much more than $5 for me so far this month, but multiply that by a million authors a month, and it's a nice bit of skimming off the top. I'm just assuming there's something in the TOS that I have no idea about.

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    Offline AlecHutson

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 10:26:14 pm »
    I just had a really close look at the monthly report - my $3.99 @ 70% book 'Muted' is getting the full 70%, then three times this month, scattered among the other 70% sales, they've sold it at the 30% commission rate - so Amazon get the extra $1.32 on those sales (I get $1.40 instead of $2.72, but the book is still sold at the full $3.99).
    Eh?
    I don't get that. I don't sell the book anywhere else. It's clearly on the 70% rate and priced at $3.99.  Perhaps there is some other sales scheme that we've agreed to in the TOS without realising. The money isn't much - not much more than $5 for me so far this month, but multiply that by a million authors a month, and it's a nice bit of skimming off the top. I'm just assuming there's something in the TOS that I have no idea about.

    It's explained on the Digital Pricing Page of your KDP dashboard. The 70% rate is only applicable in certain countries.

    Also, I believe - though my memory is failing me and I'm too lazy to look it up - that if your book is bought by a customer in, say, Canada, but through the US store, that the 35% rate is applied. If they'd gone through their local store it would have been 70%. Someone will be able to confirm this.

    If you want an example of skimming off the top, be more upset about the ridiculous 'digital delivery fee' applied to books at the 70% price point
    « Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 10:28:10 pm by AlecHutson »

    Alec Hutson

    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 10:39:23 pm »
    It's clearly on the 70% rate and priced at $3.99.  Perhaps there is some other sales scheme that we've agreed to in the TOS without realising. The money isn't much - not much more than $5 for me so far this month, but multiply that by a million authors a month, and it's a nice bit of skimming off the top.

    Amazon is not skimming. The 35% rate (not 30% that everyone is misquoting) is due to sales through the US store to customers outside the US. As AlecHutson states, it's all there and clearly detailed on the pricing page. There are dozens of countries around the world who don't have an Amazon store (I live in one of them) and we buy our books from the .com site but they only pay the lower royalty rate on those sales.

    Offline lea_owens

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 10:49:17 pm »
    I didn't know about the lower rate for books sold through the .com site in non-U.S. countries. I thought there must have been a reason. I'd noticed it before, but had just assumed there was something in the TOS that I hadn't found - and there it is.

    Leanne Owens

    Offline RinG

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 01:21:39 am »
    Also, I believe - though my memory is failing me and I'm too lazy to look it up - that if your book is bought by a customer in, say, Canada, but through the US store, that the 35% rate is applied. If they'd gone through their local store it would have been 70%. Someone will be able to confirm this.

    I live in Australia and buy from the .com store, and I've tested this and it's not the case. Books still earn the 70%, even if bought through a different store.

    For the OP, are you in a country outside the US viewing the .com store? If so, prices never show quite right, they're applying some sort of currency conversion to what you're seeing.

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Pricing Levels and Amazon 70/30% Royalty - What is the Perfect Zone?
    « Reply #12 on: April 24, 2019, 05:14:23 am »
    Amazon is not skimming. The 35% rate (not 30% that everyone is misquoting) is due to sales through the US store to customers outside the US. As AlecHutson states, it's all there and clearly detailed on the pricing page. There are dozens of countries around the world who don't have an Amazon store (I live in one of them) and we buy our books from the .com site but they only pay the lower royalty rate on those sales.

    This is how it works. There's only a few countries that Amazon does this, and they're listed somewhere in the terms. If one is in Select, if I'm remembering it rightly, you'd get the 70%, which is one "benefit" to getting into Select, at least from Amazon's viewpoint.

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