News

Amazon readying October Kindle offer

Amazon.co.uk has asked publishers for discounts of 90% on titles in order to participate in an October Kindle promotion.

The campaign, due to run from 17th to 31st October inclusively, will also be featured on Amazon.de, the retailer's German website. Amazon has told publishers this will be the "main focus for our merchandising efforts during this period", and would be supported with emails, on Facebook, and via Twitter. It has asked for new frontlist as well as key backlist titles.

The 90% discount (off the ex VAT digital list price) has caused concern among some publishers, though it is understood the level is similar to its previous Kindle promotions, including the "Spring Spectacular" and "12 Days of Kindle", which Amazon has told publishers led to an uplift in sales of some titles of more than 300%.

One publisher, who did not wish to be named, told The Bookseller the discount meant they could not participate in the promotion. The publisher said: "I just don't see how publishers can represent authors and make any return on their investments working on these margins."

However, Evan Schnittman, managing director of group sales and marketing at Bloomsbury, said using price was the best way of replicating the traditional store campaigns online. "This is how promotions work in the e-world. It is all about getting to a price level, perhaps between £1.99 and £3.99 for a short term, where the e-book becomes too hard to refuse."

Schnittman said such short-term promotions only made sense if there was a corresponding uplift in sales. He said Bloomsbury had seen spectacular success using price in the US on e-books. He said: "What's important here is the revenue generated [from the promotion], not how we got there."

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Ain't life grand, next Amazon will be asking for publishers to pay to feature in their latest Kindle promo and offer free "stock"...and to think that some publishers are worried about hardback sales tanking when it is the paperback market which is in the crapper thanks to Kindle.

Well done, publishers all. You were wooed by Amazon initially for a, then, unique consignment basis for trading, then extremely high discounts (ostensibly "to fund promotions") and now leaving just 10% in the pot Amazon has squeezed the rest. You publishers started the rot and now you're paying for it.And as for £1.99-£3.99 being a level that's too hard to refuse, why not give the books to Amazon and let Amazon be the only beneficiary in this whole sorry mess. Oh - we seem to be there already!

Somebody needs to talk to Mr Schnittman. He is saying that 90% discount replicates the store promotions!!! I have never known us to get 90%, nor 80%, 0r even 70% - but it looks like Bloomsbury consider it OK. They must be crackers what other industry would say the cost price of an item is just 10% of its worth.

Publishers want authors to get 25% net recripts as an 'industry standard,' and the retailer wants a 90% discount.

So on a £2 e-book the publisher gets 16.66 pence after VAT of which the author gets 4.17 pence.

On those sort of figures, you'd need to sell a quarter million books a year for an author to earn the same as a shelf stacker.

Not sure he is saying that leko. He is saying that price is the only promotional game in town when it comes to e-books, and in that way is similar to buying shelf-space or window time in bookshops. The 90% discount is a big number, but simply allows Amazon to aggressively price promote for those books publishers wish to put into the campaign. It seems to work too.

"price is the only promotional game in town when it comes to e-books" - how utterly wrong can one person be? If that is what our agents believe then just give the damn content away. Let us set up a central blog repository and all writes drop their stuff in for free. If price is the only promotional tool then we may as well get to the end game now.
Publishers, grow a pair and stop dropping your pants to this bully. You need to make a stand somewhere and at 90% you're already too late. Spineless wimps.

Will this Amazon promo have Kindle e-readers on sale for £11? If they're asking other people to discount by 90%, shouldn't Amazon be leading by example? Who knows, if they offer them at £11 I might even cosnider buying a Kindle.

Article about the , followed underneath by usual complaint from self-interested parties, who complain about the advent of new technologies , just like type-writer manufacturers complained about the advent of Microsoft Word, Open Office and Google Docs.

Fred, show me an ebook success story not driven, in some way, by price? If you really believe Amazon is utterly wrong about this, show me your e-book business. Yes, Robert, it only works if you sell lots of editions. But many do sell lots of editions: ask James Craig.

Publishers: please, please boycott this nonsense. You are devaluing the price of the book. And, yes, it is that simple.

I can't help but notice that Amazon like toying with other people's margins while keeping their own safe and secure. You can bet your bottom dollar the Kindle itself will not be participating in the campaign at 90% off!

Lit agent - This is the self published James Craig who presumably sells for £1 and keeps the 70% Amazon pays. After VAT that's around 58 pence per copy?

This is equivalent to a respectable 10% royalty on a £6.99 paperback. The lesson from that story is presumably that authors should all dump our publishers (maybe our agents too...).

Actually, I wonder how long the Pattinsons and Rowlings of this world will bother selling e-books through publishers once their agents get their calculators out and see how much they can make by selling £5 e-books direct...

It is the James Craig published by Constable & Robinson, which pre-published his new crime series on the Kindle before print and featured it in an amazon promo - selling heaps and establishing a brand, where before there was none. It's called a promotion for a reason. And at £1 no-one is getting 70% from Amazon, not even self-published writers. The rate drops to about 30% below a certain threshold.
Facts, Robert . . .

erm,

No publisher I know has, or will agree to this..

Stop taking gossip as news, might lower your blood pressure a bit!

It has to be said that the High St is increasingly unimportant as far as book sales go.

Amazon need stiff competition to stop this ludicrous kind of request, but it aint going to come from a one man band that might take one or two of a bestseller (and probably get it from Gardners).

I think, with a few exceptions, the High St is over.

RESENDING CORRECTED COPY

By Trident Media Group, LLC

Amazon is an agnostic company. As a Fortune 500 firm their interests are only their own. Books and shoes are the same. They have and are playing an important role in the sale of books on line and we all appreciate that fact.

My suggestion is that they sell the new Kindle at a very deep discount and offer their own authors they are publishing also at a deep discount in order to sell more Kindles.

In the past publishers unfortunately either unwittingly or out of poor business judgment went along with deep discounting because Amazon told them they would make the same on the ebook and Amazon would make up the difference. Given the state of the economy Amazon now wants authors and publishers to take the hit.

My advice is that publishers and authors not take this approach Amazon is selling as it will be hurtful to them both in the short and long term.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Lit Agent - Fair point about the lower royalties on e-books sold below a certain price threshold.

It's not fundamental to my point about very low royalties though. I guess time will tell us whether this kind of promotion helps to build brands, or just drops you into a mire of cheap self-published books...

Simple solution - publishers should have the guts to say to Amazon go and 'French Connection' yourself. Otherwise the whole trade - supermarkets included is doomed to fail.

La la la. I think that's a suitably nonsensical response to this sort of nonsense...

The strategy is to sell more of kindle at the cost of books.

Ain't life grand, next Amazon will be asking for publishers to pay to feature in their latest Kindle promo and offer free "stock"...and to think that some publishers are worried about hardback sales tanking when it is the paperback market which is in the crapper thanks to Kindle.

Well done, publishers all. You were wooed by Amazon initially for a, then, unique consignment basis for trading, then extremely high discounts (ostensibly "to fund promotions") and now leaving just 10% in the pot Amazon has squeezed the rest. You publishers started the rot and now you're paying for it.And as for £1.99-£3.99 being a level that's too hard to refuse, why not give the books to Amazon and let Amazon be the only beneficiary in this whole sorry mess. Oh - we seem to be there already!

Somebody needs to talk to Mr Schnittman. He is saying that 90% discount replicates the store promotions!!! I have never known us to get 90%, nor 80%, 0r even 70% - but it looks like Bloomsbury consider it OK. They must be crackers what other industry would say the cost price of an item is just 10% of its worth.

Publishers want authors to get 25% net recripts as an 'industry standard,' and the retailer wants a 90% discount.

So on a £2 e-book the publisher gets 16.66 pence after VAT of which the author gets 4.17 pence.

On those sort of figures, you'd need to sell a quarter million books a year for an author to earn the same as a shelf stacker.

Not sure he is saying that leko. He is saying that price is the only promotional game in town when it comes to e-books, and in that way is similar to buying shelf-space or window time in bookshops. The 90% discount is a big number, but simply allows Amazon to aggressively price promote for those books publishers wish to put into the campaign. It seems to work too.

"price is the only promotional game in town when it comes to e-books" - how utterly wrong can one person be? If that is what our agents believe then just give the damn content away. Let us set up a central blog repository and all writes drop their stuff in for free. If price is the only promotional tool then we may as well get to the end game now.
Publishers, grow a pair and stop dropping your pants to this bully. You need to make a stand somewhere and at 90% you're already too late. Spineless wimps.

erm,

No publisher I know has, or will agree to this..

Stop taking gossip as news, might lower your blood pressure a bit!

Will this Amazon promo have Kindle e-readers on sale for £11? If they're asking other people to discount by 90%, shouldn't Amazon be leading by example? Who knows, if they offer them at £11 I might even cosnider buying a Kindle.

Article about the , followed underneath by usual complaint from self-interested parties, who complain about the advent of new technologies , just like type-writer manufacturers complained about the advent of Microsoft Word, Open Office and Google Docs.

Fred, show me an ebook success story not driven, in some way, by price? If you really believe Amazon is utterly wrong about this, show me your e-book business. Yes, Robert, it only works if you sell lots of editions. But many do sell lots of editions: ask James Craig.

Publishers: please, please boycott this nonsense. You are devaluing the price of the book. And, yes, it is that simple.

I can't help but notice that Amazon like toying with other people's margins while keeping their own safe and secure. You can bet your bottom dollar the Kindle itself will not be participating in the campaign at 90% off!

Lit agent - This is the self published James Craig who presumably sells for £1 and keeps the 70% Amazon pays. After VAT that's around 58 pence per copy?

This is equivalent to a respectable 10% royalty on a £6.99 paperback. The lesson from that story is presumably that authors should all dump our publishers (maybe our agents too...).

Actually, I wonder how long the Pattinsons and Rowlings of this world will bother selling e-books through publishers once their agents get their calculators out and see how much they can make by selling £5 e-books direct...

Anything under £1.49 and the publisher gets 30%, so at £1 per ebook, after vat, thats around 24p...not nearly the 10% royalty of a paperback equivalent.

And, if the purchaser of the ebook is outside the country of purchase its 30% whatever the price.

James Craig is now published by Constable & Robinson, but did a sterling job at promoting the book digitally, prior to it being launched in paperback a couple of months later.

I really must read the other posts before firing off a reply!!

It is the James Craig published by Constable & Robinson, which pre-published his new crime series on the Kindle before print and featured it in an amazon promo - selling heaps and establishing a brand, where before there was none. It's called a promotion for a reason. And at £1 no-one is getting 70% from Amazon, not even self-published writers. The rate drops to about 30% below a certain threshold.
Facts, Robert . . .

It has to be said that the High St is increasingly unimportant as far as book sales go.

Amazon need stiff competition to stop this ludicrous kind of request, but it aint going to come from a one man band that might take one or two of a bestseller (and probably get it from Gardners).

I think, with a few exceptions, the High St is over.

RESENDING CORRECTED COPY

By Trident Media Group, LLC

Amazon is an agnostic company. As a Fortune 500 firm their interests are only their own. Books and shoes are the same. They have and are playing an important role in the sale of books on line and we all appreciate that fact.

My suggestion is that they sell the new Kindle at a very deep discount and offer their own authors they are publishing also at a deep discount in order to sell more Kindles.

In the past publishers unfortunately either unwittingly or out of poor business judgment went along with deep discounting because Amazon told them they would make the same on the ebook and Amazon would make up the difference. Given the state of the economy Amazon now wants authors and publishers to take the hit.

My advice is that publishers and authors not take this approach Amazon is selling as it will be hurtful to them both in the short and long term.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Lit Agent - Fair point about the lower royalties on e-books sold below a certain price threshold.

It's not fundamental to my point about very low royalties though. I guess time will tell us whether this kind of promotion helps to build brands, or just drops you into a mire of cheap self-published books...

Simple solution - publishers should have the guts to say to Amazon go and 'French Connection' yourself. Otherwise the whole trade - supermarkets included is doomed to fail.

La la la. I think that's a suitably nonsensical response to this sort of nonsense...

The strategy is to sell more of kindle at the cost of books.

Well there's no sign of any e-books at 90% off yet