Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As all the authors must have noticed by now, the 20% discount on Kindle books established through DTP are now set to the Digital Price, so books selling at a discount of $ 3.19 are now $3.99. Of course, no announcement was made of this fact, especially to the readers. Just one of those little Amazon peccadilloes -  the subterfuge of the week. Most of my books are priced at $ .99, which is never discounted. The $1.00 will no longer work for an $ .80 price. My $ 3.99 books will remain at that price during July (where they are on sale at Smashwords). In August I'll test a $3.00 price.

Edward C. Patterson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
I may be in the minority, but I've been reading a lot of information online for a while that says that publishers were going to hike up the prices of Kindle Books over the next few months. When I noticed the problems that were going on with DTP, I had a nagging suspicion that this was the first step in reestablishing the pricing of Kindle Books. In Amazon's case, they have huge plans to expand their Kindle market and could use a few extra dollars and cents to boost their already incredible profits.

If what you say is true, then this would prove that there was some truth to the rumors after all. Amazon stands to make a considerable profit by not discounting Kindle Books. After all, Kindle sales have been excellent. Why offer a discount on products that are already selling like wildfire? From a marketing standpoint, I can see the sense in it.

However, I do see a backlash coming. From my own declining book sales, I imagine that most Kindle owners have stocked up on so many cheap and free books that they have far more books than they can read. Why keep buying books when you can't keep up with your current backlog of books to read?

I still argue that the whole object of traditional pubs flooding the market with free books was to get rid of us indie authors. Of course, their idea was also to convince readers to purchase the more expensively priced books in a series. But what publishers did not consider is that an indie author has no overhead. We can play the bargain book price game all day long. The big pubs on the other hand cannot. I imgaine that they have shot themselves in the foot by giving away so many books. Their only response is to charge higher prices for their Kindle books. My guess is the DTP situation was only the first stage in an ongoing process to charge more for Kindle books. It should be interesting to see how things play out and if I am correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
Amazon will play around with the Kindle and pricing for a while, especially with Google coming on the boat soon.  Trust me this isn't the last of the pricing games they will play.  It's all about supply and demand and since this is a brand spanking new market, they don't know what the buyers will bear.  They have to find that happy point of price vs. quantity, just like every other market.

Luckily, $1.00 is no different than 80 cents to me, so I will keep buying Kindleboard books!!  Only difference is I won't hold out for the books I was planning on buying to be discounted now that I know they won't.  That may be some of the slump in sales, people may be waiting for Amazon to catch up, so to speak and apply their discount, once they know they won't, I'm sure things will pick up!  I can't imagine people will stop buying $1.00 books for a 20 cents savings!!

Rachel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,992 Posts
Ed,
Thanks for posting this. I didn't know--the usual Amazon non-announcement has once again caught me by surprise. I see that my book Night Camp is already up to the 2.99 price, but so far they haven't raised the price on We Interrupt This Date. It's still 2.39 so if anyone wants to buy it, now's the time. It will probably go up to 2.99 at any moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Kevis:

As a former Marketing Director, I can tell that the publishing industry does not follow the normal supply and demand rules as the rest of the world. Books are basically either information sources or entertainment. Our books are in the entertainment market, which relies on tastes, however Books are not a mass experience. They are one on one, so an author should ignore marketing trends and especially what other authors or publishers do with their product. You either Have it or don't. Readers either want it or don't. They want you or not. Price can hasten a reading introduction (I hate the word sale in our business) or can become an obstacle, but once a reader has you in hand, it's between you and the reader. A slowing of new readership has little bearing on your marketing success, because today's purchase may be read next week or next year or never. Promoting your name and titles has less to do with "selling" another book (a new introduction) than with enticing your purchasers to become a reader. This is not marketing. This a consumer dynamic. Its similar to the old fashion bookshelf in the old fashioned bookstore, where your title goes from prominent to mid-range to backlist to sale table. The big difference, and more important, my readers own their bookshelf. My books are visible somewhere in the TBR. So I wouldn't get hung up on suspected Amazonian conspiracies. Amazon is not a publisher. It's not even a bookstore. It's a Wal-Mart. I bought my vacuum cleaner and replaced my US Army ring through Amazon. It's a big warehouse and gigantic software stimulus program that we benefit more from than not. However, I am an author, the readers invite me onto their bookshelf, pay me a nominal fee and Amazon a bigger one for the service. My biggest competition are my own books and, believe it or not, American Idol. But that's entertainment. All I ever wnted to do was to write one novel and have one reader other than a family member or a friend Now I have a 12 titles and a few thousand readers, andI'll tell you, the relationship is not fiduciary. It's spiritual.

Edward C. Patterson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
Edward C. Patterson said:
Kevis:

As a former Marketing Director, I can tell that the publishing industry does not follow the normal supply and demand rules as the rest of the world. Books are basically either information sources or entertainment. Our books are in the entertainment market, which relies on tastes, however Books are not a mass experience. They are one on one, so an author should ignore marketing trends and especially what other authors or publishers do with their product. You either Have it or don't. Readers either want it or don't. They want you or not. Price can hasten a reading introduction (I hate the word sale in our business) or can become an obstacle, but once a reader has you in hand, it's between you and the reader. A slowing of new readership has little bearing on your marketing success, because today's purchase may be read next week or next year or never. Promoting your name and titles has less to do with "selling" another book (a new introduction) than with enticing your purchasers to become a reader. This is not marketing. This a consumer dynamic. Its similar to the old fashion bookshelf in the old fashioned bookstore, where your title goes from prominent to mid-range to backlist to sale table. The big difference, and more important, my readers own their bookshelf. My books are visible somewhere in the TBR. So I wouldn't get hung up on suspected Amazonian conspiracies. Amazon is not a publisher. It's not even a bookstore. It's a Wal-Mart. I bought my vacuum cleaner and replaced my US Army ring through Amazon. It's a big warehouse and gigantic software stimulus program that we benefit more from than not. However, I am an author, the readers invite me onto their bookshelf, pay me a nominal fee and Amazon a bigger one for the service. My biggest competition are my own books and, believe it or not, American Idol. But that's entertainment. All I ever wnted to do was to write one novel and have one reader other than a family member or a friend Now I have a 12 titles and a few thousand readers, andI'll tell you, the relationship is not fiduciary. It's spiritual.

Edward C. Patterson
Ed,

Interestingly enough, I had a strong feeling that you would be inclined to rebuff my earlier statement about the big pubs. Unfortunately, in the current atmosphere with the majors suffering huge losses in profits and refusing to take on any new authors, or in some cases publish any new books, I have to disagree with you (if the point you're trying to make is that they are not feeling the pressure from us indies.) The big publishing houses, like any other company, are in the business of making money, and they will not go away without a fight (not that anyone wants them to go away). It is unfortunate that they are still using an archaic business models which is exclusionary and self-destructive.

If the big pubs were doing a better job publishing the books that ought to be published, the independent publishing industry would not be thriving like it is. Millions of authors have been forced to take it upon themselves to publish their own books in order to get their works read. This "brave new world", as I like to call it, is forcing publishers to become very aggressive towards getting their products sold.

I'm not sure your marketing experience is necessarily applicable in every situation or even this one. To be certain, you may be correct that the publishing world does not typically follow the normal laws of supply and demand. But when an entire industry goes into emergency mode, I think your way of perceiving their methods may be mistaken.

It is not by accident that only within the past few months the big pubs unleashed thousands of free/cheap books on the market (just go to the Kindle Store on Amazon and see how long it takes you to sift through the list of free books). There is no money to be made in giving your product away (we can do this because we want readers). For the big pubs to do this is insane. They want money (and if they don't, then they won't be in business very long). I just don't see how anyone can rationalize the publisher's strategy to give away a significant portion of its catalog to Kindle owners for free as common sense. No one gives away anything for free, especially in the corporate world. I would imagine that someone with your background can appreciate this.

Even if I am wrong in saying that the big pubs feel threatened by the indie publishing industry (which I'm probably not), it's going to be difficult for anyone to prove that publishers aren't suffering from giving away their books. And if they are not, they are certainly not helping their cause. Unlike you and I, the big pubs have a large network of people to pay for their services. I cannot see how it is in their best interests to keep giving away their books, unless they have a plan to recuperate their money at some point. Which leads me to believe that they truly do intend to raise their Kindle book prices to cover the loss of the free books. This isn't any different than the 'buy 1, get 1 free' specials at your neighborhood grocery store.

In the end, my only point was to stress the fact that Kindle owners are voracious readers and that I have talked to many of them who have stockpiled so many books that they are reluctant to purchase new books until they have caught up a bit. We all know that book sales are inconsistent. The economy is slow and since it's summertime, many people are engaging in many outdoor and non-book related activities right now. I am still positive that we will all see a spike in Kindle book prices over the past few months. I don't want to sound like a prophet, but I predicted months ago that once the Kindle book market was flooded with cheap books that sales would drop off. I haven't seen anything so far to prove me wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Why does this not surprise me? I'm getting a little irritated with Amazon.
First, my royalty payments were two months late (although they were early last month), then they wouldn't let me lower the price of my book, and now they're pulling this?

Well, I just went on DTP to lower Waiting For Spring to ninety-nine cents. Hopefully it'll work this time.  :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
RJ:

I haven't seen my royalties this year.  ;D "Royalties are like quarks - we know they exist, but we just can't see them." I forget who said that, but I liked it and use it often.

Edward C. Patterson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
:D :D Great quote!

I wouldn't have minded as much if the $ was for me, but I'm donating mine to Spruce Run. It was sort of awkward to send email after email saying, "Well, the money's there...but it's not there."
Much like a quark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I donate my Kindle royalties to Kindleboards, so right now I've got a paper deficit going on here. ;D

BTW, all. another Amazon change. They did away with the carousal scroll on Customers Who Bought this work also Bought . . . which would give a full view into buying patterns. They're just a surprise a minute, arn't they.

Edward C. Patterwhatever
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Friendly, yes, but I rarely get a sale there unless there is a big promotion going on. Still, I've more sales thee than in that great wastland, Mobipocket. Amazon is still the place to be and is the reason we can share on a large scale.

Ed Patterson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,139 Posts
There's one thing I know.

If Amazon Kindle books begin to be almost the same price as traditional books, then I will stop purchasing Kindle books and return to regular ones. 

I like the portability of Kindle, and the other benefits of it (compact, light, not taking up space, etc.), but I refuse to be paying the same amount for an e-book (which I cannot physically hold, only "own" 6 downloads to, etc.) when I can purchase a physical copy of the book that will last a long time. 

But that's just me.  ;D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,562 Posts
mwvickers said:
There's one thing I know.

If Amazon Kindle books begin to be almost the same price as traditional books, then I will stop purchasing Kindle books and return to regular ones.

I like the portability of Kindle, and the other benefits of it (compact, light, not taking up space, etc.), but I refuse to be paying the same amount for an e-book (which I cannot physically hold, only "own" 6 downloads to, etc.) when I can purchase a physical copy of the book that will last a long time.

But that's just me. ;D
Well, let us hope that Amazon does not start dictating prices to the authors. The pricing is still up to the authors right now, so we should still have some reasonable prices... at least for awhile. :-\
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Kevis Hendrickson said:
But what publishers did not consider is that an indie author has no overhead. We can play the bargain book price game all day long.
Do we not pay rent? Or is it your experience that most Indie authors are merely hobbyists?

Kevis Hendrickson said:
There is no money to be made in giving your product away (we can do this because we want readers).
Say what you want about "traditional publishing" but they do separate the wheat from the chaff. And there are still lots of ways to build up a readership -- even in this woebegone publishing age -- short of "giving your product away." A quick trip to Duotrope.Com or Ralan reveals hundreds and hundreds of markets looking for fiction (I know! Been rejected by many of them.)

Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and even Stephen King all wrote short stories to build up their readership before they began tackling novels. All were rejected many times as they worked on their craft and became better writers. Long before their first novels came out, lots of folks knew who they were.

No reason for someone serious about writing today not to take the same path unless . . . they're not serious, are merely looking for shortcuts, or believe it is somehow their right to be a "published author."

How hard do people try nowadays to get their novels published traditionally before opting for the self-publishing route? How hard do they work trying to make themselves better writers? How many rejections are they sitting on?

Bet I've got more.

Anyway, back on topic and as an FYI, it's not just Kindle books that are not being discounted. I priced the paperback version of "A Truck Story" with the 20% discount in mind, and the discount is not being applied. Seems to be happening across the board.

(PS: A Truck Story is #14 with a bullet in the Sports genre on Amazon! Dick Francis, P.G. Wodehouse, Frank Deford, Rick Reilly, and . . . Brendan Myers? Awesome stuff.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I wish I could write short fiction. I might try my hand at it when I clear out my current 10 novel projects, which will be around 2011. My award winning flash story I put out on Author's Den and one other short stor I published as an addendum in Surviving an American Gular. When I was younger (40 years ago) I did write a ream of short fiction, but most of it were try outs for the big ball game. Still, een I write some short fiction, I will probabaly write 30 of them and publish them in collections. I mean I try for 2,000 to 4,000 words a day, so that could be a lot of short fiction,  mean DeMaupassant weight that.

Edward C. Patterson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Edward C. Patterson said:
I wish I could write short fiction. I might try my hand at it when I clear out my current 10 novel projects, which will be around 2011.
Funny, I didn't try my hand at it until I had four unpublished novels under my belt that weren't going anywhere. I thought that maybe if I built up a few publishing credentials via shorts, just to sort of get my name out there, that the next time I queried my novels I'd be taken more seriously as someone who had indeed already been published in short form. That's supposed to be one path to being reputably published, anyway. So I've heard.

And writers write . . . right? Short or long, doesn't matter how many words the stories are, use only as many words as it takes to tell the tale.

I've just begun what I expect will be my final attempt to query my first novel (written in 2005) again before taking the self-publishing plunge. At least I'll be able to tell myself I gave "traditional publishing" every opportunity. And maybe the quirkiness or semi-autobiographical nature of it just means it isn't right for traditional publishers, or they don't see a huge market for it. Doesn't mean it's bad or unworthy of being published or read, even if only by a few.

But best of luck to you with your obviously daunting schedule!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
I envy you guys who can do novels but not short stories. I wish I had that problem. I'm the opposite. I can do short stories all day long but I struggle with doing anything longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,767 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
When you're ready to Indie-publish (self-publish is a dying term), let me know. I'll send you a free copy of
Are You Still Submitting Your Work to a Traditional Publisher?
[email protected] in .pdf format.

Edward C. Patterson

PS: That goes for everyone.
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
Top