What’s New at Amazon?

In recent weeks, ramping up for the all-important book buying frenzy of the upcoming holiday season, Amazon has announced two new programs. The first is “Matchbook,” which lets you give paperback buyers a discount on the e-book edition of author’s books. The other is a clever new feature called “Countdown Deals,” which might help indie authors attract bargain hunters.

Both of these programs could help self-publishers get noticed and possibly wring a bit more revenue from their work, BUT…

a) Both are available only for e-Books sold exclusively by Amazon… which means no sales at the iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.

Don’t forget that zillions of lucky consumers will soon get shiny new iPads, Kobo Readers, Nooks and e-Book capable smartphones as holidays gifts… and start downloading material to read on them in January.

b) Royalty for e-0books priced $2.99 to $9.99 is still 70% — but only 70% of the reduced price.

For e-books that are normally priced at less than $2.99 with a 35% royalty, Countdown might be a useful workaround to boost revenues: Authors can temporarily raise the price of their books to $2.99 to get 70%, then discount to 99 cents or $1.99, using the Countdown feature.

Big picture: Amazon continues to press for exclusivity with more and more programs like KDP Select, Matchbook and Countdown. If Amazon succeeds in cornering the market for e-books, or locking in enough authors to exclusive deals, we have to wonder about the impact on the book world as a whole…


Danny O. Snow, Editor/Publisher, Self-Publishers Monthly  

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