**UPDATE APRIL 10, 2023: Book prices on Amazon Canada have since settled to their normal levels. However, future fluctuations may arise beyond the author's control. Always check my store for the best price!**
As an author, I know I can’t control what people think when they read my book. But one thing I didn’t expect? Not being able to control how much they’re asked to pay for it.
Lately, I’ve been contending with wild prices for THE SEMICOLON on Amazon Canada. Not Amazon.com or Amazon UK – just Amazon.ca.
Why? Part of the answer is “it’s complicated.” But another part is “I have no idea!”
Selling wholesale requires setting my list prices in US dollars, which retailers convert into their local currency. I don’t love this, because a fair price in one country may not be the equivalent amount in another – think different production costs, different minimum wage, etc. But that’s the way it is, and right now, the Canadian dollar is not great against the USD.
However… what’s been happening on Amazon Canada goes beyond a lousy exchange rate.
Now, it’s normal for third-party sellers on Amazon to have complete discretion in pricing a product, regardless of my list price. It’s also normal for prices to go up and down. But where things get murky is which prices are shown first to customers. For several weeks, anyone shopping for my book on Amazon Canada is greeted not by the cheapest price, nor even Amazon’s own prices… Instead, it’s the listings from seemingly random third-party sellers, whose mark-ups are off the chart. The first choice this week for my paperback? Nearly $40, when it should be ~$25 with the exchange rate. The hardcover? $47, with one listing more than $50!
This devastates me, because it makes an awful first impression for the book I poured my heart and soul into. Worse, I have no immediate control over this. And if you don’t know the importance of shopping around on Amazon, you might just assume my book is ridiculously overpriced and move on.
As a Canadian author, sharing THE SEMICOLON with readers at home matters to me. But I wouldn’t buy a children’s book for $50 nor expect anyone else to, either. That’s why I always encourage readers in Canada to order THE SEMICOLON through my store – so you can get the *actual* Canadian price of the book, without crummy exchange rates or third-party predators.
You pay less, read more and buy local. And I actually get enough royalties to buy a cup of coffee.
2/20/2023 0 Comments
Blue Indie Januaries
Did you know that January can be tough for independent authors?
Despite our lives in imaginary worlds, we still contend with winter blues, cold/flu season and the gravity of new year reflections in the real one. Reader engagement plummets with mass migration back to work or school. What’s more, part of being an independent author is being an entrepreneur. An internet search for “worst month to do business” will flag January as one to watch for, as folks are strained from the holidays and resolved to spend less.
I experienced this firsthand. After taking time off in December, I’d planned to start 2023 strong with book marketing, writing, and author networking. Little did I know I’d revved myself up for an icy road! To make matters worse, I’m still developing my metaphorical snowtires. Disappointments can easily send me careening offroad, straight down the rabbit hole.
All to say, it wasn’t the January I’d hoped for, even with the highlights of launching The Semicolon Reader Guide for mental health professionals and taking part in my first-ever author interview for Bell Let’s Talk Day.
It was, however, a good reminder that long-term staying power sometimes requires shifting gears, especially when outside conditions are beyond our control. And that, as an independent creator, putting work into our inner snowtires – our ability to cope, regroup and adjust – matters just as much as the writing.