Amazon You Confuse Me

So Susan’s been updating sales numbers this morning and asked me if I’d had many of my $2.99 + titles sell at the 35% rate.

Say what?

Honestly, I’d never looked.  I have my spreadsheet where I enter total copies sold and it calculates the royalty for me.  There’s a whole other page where I keep track of how much I’m actually paid and so long as that page matches up with my tax records, I haven’t given it another thought.

But I went to look, and yeah, I’ve had a fraction of my Amazon.com sales on titles above $2.99 go at 35%.  According to the KDP FAQs, the 70% royalty rate only applies to those sales made in a select list of countries.

• Andorra
• Austria
• Belgium
• Canada
• France
• Great Britain
• Guernsey
• Germany
• Italy
• Isle of Man
• Jersey
• Lichtenstein
• Luxembourg
• Monaco
• San Marino
• Switzerland
• Spain
• United States
• Vatican City

Fail on me that I actually don’t know where a few of these places are.  But that’s neither here nor there.  The point seems to be that one can purchase products from Amazon when you aren’t in America.  Well okay then.

So why, when I tried to gift an ebook to a friend in the UK from Amazon.com (a purchase made by me here in the good ol’ US of A) could she not access it?  Why did you go and tell me this B.S. about how the publisher hadn’t made the book available in Britain?  Because I bought it here and gifted it.

All the international copyright stuff on digital content confuses me.  And please, I’m really not asking for an explanation of the legalities.  I don’t care that much.

I’ve got way too much on my plate to try to go back after the fact and wrestle with the complicated formulas that would be required to make my copies sold spreadsheet match up with my actually paid spreadsheet.  Perhaps someday when I’m bored and have time, I’ll bother to go back and calculate the difference.  Frankly, that part doesn’t matter so much to me.  I know how many total copies I’ve sold via assorted distributors, and I know how much money has gone into my bank account.  Knowing the particulars of what percentage of my higher priced titles is selling at 35% isn’t all that useful a piece of information, as I don’t know where those buyers are in order to try to target market more effectively.

So…yeah.

Did you know some of your $2.99+ titles could sell at 35% even when price matching keeps them above the 70% mark?

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4 comments

  1. I certainly didn’t realize this, although I haven’t yet put out a title over $1.99. I plan on pricing the next book at $2.99, so I’m glad you gave us this info. My spreadsheet is already crazy because I have some titles at $ .99 and some at $1.99. Having to deal with different percentages will be even worse, especially when you don’t know which sales will be at what percentage. Grrrr.

  2. The UK thing is because most major publishers DO split rights based on region. So for instance, writer sells ebook rights to TOR. TOR sells the UK rights to…some publisher in the UK. TOR puts the book on Amazon.com, other publisher puts the book on Amazon.uk.

    That’s *standard* practice. So unfortunately, I think you hit Amazon trying to frame their setup in a manner that works well with the archaic structures in place under Ye Olde Publishing Regime. It’s silly, in today’s world, but it’s not directly Amazon’s fault.

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