Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Warning to Indie Authors

Many Companies Want to Take Advantage of Indies

If you are lucky, talented, and/or hardworking you can make a living as an indie author. Right now, because of the eBook explosion, writers who struggled to find a publisher in the past can offer their work to readers. The "big business" of writing has been circumvented. Now readers decide what they like and don't like.

However, there is a money element to it. Companies see the money going to individuals and want a piece of the action. With my last book, Brie Bows to Her Master, I gave out the book for 99 cents for three days as a thank you to my fans before increasing the price. I went online and changed the list price on Amazon to 2.99 knowing that I would get 70% royalties instead of 35% (Amazon's incentive to price higher). That is a huge difference and the reason you see so many eBooks priced 2.99 or more.

What I didn't realize is that Amazon has a box you must check to receive 70%. Trust me, if you price under 2.99 the royalties default to 35%. However, if you increase the price the percentage of royalties suddenly becomes a "choice". Why would any author CHOOSE the lower percentage of royalties? It makes no sense. When I alerted Amazon, I was told they could not reimburse me for the income lost. I am positive I am not the only one who has made this mistake and did not get the incentive they were promised.

Okay, lesson learned.

For all indie authors out there - CHECK THE BOX!


  1. Replies
    1. Big business... what are you going to do? They are the big man in town, so you have to play by their rules.

      But that doesn't mean I can't warn others and prevent what happened to me.


  2. That's awful of them!!! Truly sneaky!!!
    They can't keep a good name doing these kind of things!!!
    Awful of them! Truly awful!! I had a bad picture for them and is getting worse!
    At the end for you is "another day, another lesson learned". You are still at the start and as you move on, you should always look for the small letters. Let today's lesson be tomorrows advantage!


    1. Yes, Marla, and I don't want any other indie to make the same mistake I did.

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


    2. I have faith in you ;) You are a fast learner and always try to help others too.


  3. RP,

    First, I love your books. The wife; not so much, but getting there. :O I've downloaded a few free ones and even bought a few. ;) And thank you for NOT writing in first person. Ugh.

    Second, regarding your post. There is a reason that Amazon is considered one of the evil four; Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. They totally disrespect their users' wishes in favor of their own agendas. It is no surprise, then, that they screw with their content providers as well.

    How do you feel about Barnes & Noble? I actually prefer the Nook to the Kindle. Walk into any store and you can use their Wifi!

    How about putting a cart on your own site?


  4. Glad you figured this out and very nice of you to warn other indie writers.