Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Brandee's Bookish Babble #25 ~ Pricing: Amazon vs B&N

Welcome to Brandee's Bookish Babble. There are many, many similar posts to this one - but basically I wanted a place to discuss bookish and/or blogging stuff and I needed a title. :) 

If you aren't an owner of both a Kindle and a nook, you may never have noticed the occasional differences between prices on ebooks. Having started out with a nook and only gotten a kindle because so many indie authors were choosing Amazon as the publishing platform, the price discrepancies are things I noticed and wondered at. I did a little research and thought I'd share my understanding of pricing with y'all.

Full disclosure - I was, until recently, a bookseller for B&N. 

For the most part, ebook pricing is set by the publisher. (I'll get to indies in a moment.) Therefore, in order to make a profit as the book seller, the set price must be charged. Amazon, because of the business model, tax situation, and the number of products they sell other than books, can offer books below the publisher's set price. Why? Because they can make up the loss elsewhere. For example, they can run an ebook normally priced at, say, $9.99 for $0.99 because they make enough money on selling a particular electronic product to make up the loss. Walmart and Target have similar business models and can offer books at discounted rates. B&N, however, because they primarily sell books, cannot do that. As a result, they lose business because consumers would rather spend less (which I can appreciate) so they're in a catch-22 situation.

As for indie authors, I think if they've published on multiple platforms, their pricing eventually matches across those platforms. Sometimes we, as consumers, have to notify the different platforms of the lower price elsewhere but it seems they all get it right. However, I have noticed a lower price on Amazon only quite often and I have a feeling (no evidence) that the author did this because Amazon tends to be their top selling platform and this helps sales numbers.

So, there's your lesson for the day - as far as I understand it. :D

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