Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Why My Books Now Cost More On Amazon

Update: 12 June 2013: As Amazon make it too difficult for authors in Malaysia to be paid their royalties, my books are no longer available from there.  Please go here to buy Storm Chase.

Some writers price their work according to what the market will bear; I want to sell mine at a price so that I get mass-market appeal.  I sell my books on Smashwords from US$0.99 upwards but from now on the same titles on Amazon will be sold at US$2.99.  The reason lies in Amazon's payment system.

They pay 30% unless I charge over US$2.99.  Also, as I live in Malaysia, so they won't direct deposit into my bank account.  And for writing a cheque, something they will only do if I make more than US$100, they will charge me a fee.

In contrast, Smashwords pay 70% of the 99 cents into a Paypal account as long as you make over US$10. No fees and no messing about.

Amazon are also under fire for changing their royalty scheme: if you charge more than US$9.90, they drop royalty fees from 70% to 35%.
Buy this at Smashwords for 99 cents
- or at Amazon for US$2.99

Everyone has a right to run their business in any way they like but I must confess that I find that Amazon treat writers based in Malaysia very badly.  I didn't realise quite how bad it would be when I signed up. Apart from the payment issues, I have trouble getting my writer's profile working (if you buy one of my books in the US, it won't tell you I have written other books, it sends you to other writers instead), and I can't buy any Kindle books even though I've been a customer since 1996.

Amazon have a huge market in theory so I'm leaving my books there for a year to see if it's worth dealing with the hassle but so far I must say that I've sold more through Smashwords than Amazon.

I'll let you know what happens.

Hugs, Storm

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