If your self-published eBook is featured on Amazon, you are keenly aware that the only thing constant is change. For those grappling with last month’s ranking adjustments, one of the best explainers is offered at Indie Jane, where Jennifer Becton walks us through the confusion:
One of the advantages indie authors have over our traditionally published counterparts is that we can choose to sell our ebooks very cheaply. Setting a price of $.99 has proven not only a great deal for readers, but writers still earn 35 percent of the list price, which is much more than what authors of traditionally published ebooks receive.
The $.99 price point has also been a wonderful tool for breaking into a large market and competing successfully against established names. …
Amazon’s algorithm. [Insert scary music]
Heretofore, the list price of a book had no bearing on popularity and rank. Now it does. …
When it comes down to it, visibility is the key to book sales. People can’t read what they don’t know is out there, so indies have to find ways of presenting their books as options for readers. Frankly, I’d rather offer books cheaper in order to gain more visibility, but I also have to work with what I’ve got, and apparently, this is what we’ve got at Amazon right now.
Read “About that Algorithm” in its entirety, and be sure to check out the comments that follow. Jennifer links to additional discussion resources within the post.
For my money the most riveting discussion of the questions raised in “About that Algorithm” is in this post at The Passive Voice.
The upshot is, at the moment anyway, at Amazon your eBook can be cheap or it can be popular but chances are it can’t be both.