About Amazon Sales

If you spend time on social media you will doubtless have seen that Juliet McKenna’s Green Man books are regularly on sale at Amazon UK. The Green Man’s Gift was £0.99 throughout March, and The Green Man’s Challenge will be £0.99 throughout April.

Juliet and I are very happy about this. The books sell in huge numbers when they are on sale, and other books in the series get a boost in sales as a result. The less good thing is that Amazon only does this in the UK store, which doesn’t seem fair to folks in the rest of the world, or people who don’t like to buy on Amazon. So we try to match prices in other stores. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

The first problem is that, while Amazon UK does tell us in advance about the sale, they don’t guarantee it. The only way we can be sure that a sale will happen is waiting for it to start. Once it does, I can adjust prices elsewhere.

Amazon does not provide a means of scheduling a sale. I have to manually adjust prices in other regions, and remember to put them back up again at the end of the sale.

B&N and Kobo do allow you to schedule a sale, but it takes them time to process the request so their sales are generally a day late starting.

Although Amazon UK drops the price to 99p, I am not allowed to set prices elsewhere lower then $2.99 or €2.69. There are no such restrictions on B&N or Kobo, so everyone outside of the UK should shop at one of those if they can. But, because people are so conditioned to buying from Amazon, they usually pay the higher price.

3 thoughts on “About Amazon Sales

  1. Do you supply to ebooks.com by any chance? (My preferred eBook independent retailer).
    I use apps to read on my android phone not a dedicated ebook reader tied to places like Kobo or B&N and the big river. Also will you go back to supplying ebooks yourselves? I bought my first couple of Green Man books I believe direct from yourselves.
    Thanks for the insights and for any answers you might be able to provide.

  2. Hi Paul, thanks for getting in touch.

    ebooks.com looks like a decent site, but they don’t publicise their terms, which is a big red flag. I’d want to talk to someone who is selling through them before applying.

    More generally, while there are many online retailers for ebooks these days, the overwhelming majority of sales come through Amazon. But the effort required to supply stock is roughly the same for each store. It isn’t worth my time to sign up to a new store unless the level of sales will be good. There are ebook distribution services these days, but they take a cut and my guess is that if I signed up for one all it would do is reduce the income my authors get from Amazon without singificantly increasing sales.

    I would love to get back to selling ebooks direct. However, thanks to Brexit I have to be able to avoid selling into the EU. That requires extra software and I’m not convinced the cost would be worthwhile.

    If you are not in the UK or EU, you can get our ebooks from Weightless Books.

  3. Thanks so much for these responses. It clarifies so much for this punter. I think at some point I might have to add Kobo to my list of sources for non big river purchases.
    I know I can usually get larger publisher books the likes of Titan, Rebellion (Solaris), Tor and Angry Robot via ebooks.com but with AR and Rebellion I usually purchase direct.
    In recent years I have become almost exclusively an ebook user for a variety of reasons and despair at the seeming unyielding grip Big River has over that market especially. My area is also poorly served by bookshops of any description even if I were so inclined to be buying physical. I use Hive.co.uk if I am buying for others.
    Anyway sorry for waffling. Thanks again for the article and it’s insights and your on point answers.
    All the best
    Paul Moss

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