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#1 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:25 AM

1. What is Kindle MatchBook?
The Kindle MatchBook program offers customers who purchase, or have previously purchased, a print book from Amazon.com the option to purchase the Kindle version of that title for $2.99 or less. If you have a print version of your title and enroll the Kindle version in Kindle MatchBook you can earn a royalty from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) based on the Promotional List Price (choose from $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free) for any Kindle MatchBook sale.

 

What do you think? Details at https://kdp.amazon.c...452610_32244650

 

Mark

 

 

 

 


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#2 Charlee Vale

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

I think it doesn't technically exist yet, because Amazon actually hasn't negotiated the rights to do that with any publishers yet. *headdesk* Interesting concept, though I doubt the publishers will go for it. 

 

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#3 Jean Oram

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

They are offering it to independents. I got an email from them this morning and have set up my account to offer this. As a reader, I would LOVE it if the big publishers did this and set the ebook copy to free! They say this program will be rolling out. Not live yet!

 

It may feel like a loss, but really, if you have a print book, the ecopy doesn't really cost anything more to make so it is a nice, easy way to make readers happy and possibly get you read more. Maybe. ;)


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#4 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:04 PM

I read the whole press release this morning. If I remember correctly they already have 10,000 books ready to go when they roll it out in October. I think it's a great idea! There are a lot of books/series where I prefer a hardcopy for my bookshelf but really want a digital copy for the convenience. Great opportunity to get both for just a buck or two extra at most. I'd be game for signing up when I self-publish. After all, paying twice for essentially the same product is seriously annoying, and book consumers have been asking for bundled formats for quite a while.

 

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#5 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

I'm not so sure it's a good idea for self pubbing authors. Let's run the numbers.

 

You self pubbed a book and you're selling the both the Kindle ebook and the Createspace paperback on Amazon.

 

The ebook sells for $2.99 and Amazon pays you a royalty of $2.04 for each book sold.

The production cost for your paperback is $3.03 and you priced your paperback at Createspace for $6.99. Amazon sells it for $6.29 but that's OK because Amazon still pays the royalty based on the $6.99 price. You earn $1.16 for each paperback sold. (Actually, one of my $6.99 books pays $1.16. The other one pays me only 90¢)

 

Enter the MatchBook - To join, I need to meet two conditions:

1) My MatchBook Promotional List Price must be at least 50% lower than the regular Digital List Price

2) I can only choose between the following prices: $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free

Since neither $2.99 nor $1.99 is a 50% reduction of my regular Digital List Price ($2.99/2=$1.495) I must choose either 99¢ or free.

 

If someone buys the paperback for $6.29 and gets the ebook free:

I earn $1.16 and lose an ebook sale that would have earned me $2.04. I'm down 88¢ and the buyer can pass the paperback around to friends. They could share the ebook too but that's not as easy or as common.

 

If someone buys the paperback for $6.29 and gets the ebook for 99¢:

I earn $1.16 on the ebook and either a 35% or a 70% royalty on 99¢ (I'm not sure which royalty rate Amazon will use. I'm waiting for a reply to my email.) So if Amazon pays 70%, I earn 69¢ (35% pays 35¢). This leaves me either $1.85 ($1.16 + .69) or $1.51($1.16 + .35) Either way, that's less than just selling the ebook and earning $2.04.

 

On the other hand, if I don't participate in the Matchbook, I'll earn $2.04 on each ebook sale and I still have the potential for a paperback sale.

 

I don't see any indication that failing to participate in the MatchBook program will hurt my paperback sales. I also don't see that it will increase my ebook sales.

 

I'm inclined to let this program pass without my participation. Anybody have any opposing points I should consider?

 

Mark


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#6 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:46 PM

Those are some mighty convincing numbers, Mark. I was thinking about it from a consumer's perspective, but from the other side of the fence, it doesn't make much sense unless I'm making significantly more profit on the paperback. Definite food for thought.

 

M.W



#7 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:18 PM

---- Original message: ----
Subject: Kindle BookMatch
 
Hi,
I received your email regarding the new Kindle BookMatch program.
If I normally sell my ebook for $2.99 and earn a 70% royalty, would I still receive a 70% royalty if my Kindle BookMatch price was less than $2.99?
 
Thank you
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Mark,
 
I understand you have a question about Kindle Matchbook and its royalties, I'll be glad to assist you.
 
Royalties earned for Kindle MatchBook sales are based on the selected royalty option and discounted price you set. For additional details on the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) royalty options of 35% and 70%, see the Pricing Page at:
 
 
The payment schedule will be the same as your other sales from KDP.
 
Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

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#8 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:30 PM

Those are some mighty convincing numbers, Mark. I was thinking about it from a consumer's perspective, but from the other side of the fence, it doesn't make much sense unless I'm making significantly more profit on the paperback. Definite food for thought.

 

M.W

 

Of course, the program may make sense for folks who earn more on their paperback sales than on their ebook sales but for the rest of us, it doesn't sound appealing. I think the problem with Matchbook is that for many authors, we'd be selling the less "valuable" product and giving away the more "valuable" one. That's backwards. I wouldn't mind them giving away or discounting my paperback each time I sold an ebook. I also wouldn't mind bundling my ebook and paperback if Amazon paid the higher of the two royalties.

 

Amazon has something similar going on with their WhisperSync for Voice

 

Mark


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#9 Jean Oram

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:19 AM

Here's an opposing Devil's Advocate for ya:

 

The way I see it is that you wouldn't have earned that $2.04 in the first place because they bought the paperback (preference is paperback and not ebook for that reader--or wasn't at the time of purchase). Chances are they won't buy the ebook as well--at least not at full price. (Unless they are avid fans or have recently purchased an ereader and want their all-time favourites on their Kindle.)

 

The way I see it is that this is for people who are avid fans. And why not reward them? I sincerely doubt that many copies of my book will be purchased in both formats. But for people like Stephen King--and readers who have been purchasing off Amazon for eons--they will be rewarded. It's like bonus cash for King and the readers get the collection at a discounted price. ;)

 

For true fans, lending their Kindle version of a book is easy and guarantees that their paperback won't get trashed or lost. The Kindle copy always comes back.

 

For me, my current ebook is free anyway so it isn't losing out on anything. Really, I see this program as a way for them to move backlist ebooks from big names. Anything else is gravy whether it is a surprising helping or a drip.


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#10 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

Jean,

 

I agree that folks tend to prefer to read either paperback or ebooks and that's partially why I don't see any real benefit to the Matchbook program. On the other hand, since readers tend to read either paperbacks or ebooks, I don't see that participating in the Matchbook program will be all that hurtful to the Indie author/publisher. I guess my fundamental position on the Matchbook program is (yawn) so what? I don't think it will help my sales but I hope that at least one of the AQ bunch has wild success with it and proves me wrong.

 

I haven't considered the program from the perspective of Stephen King because, well, I'm not that successful. There I've said it. (Not that folks didn't already know this.) However, I'm confident that his agent, publishers, accountants and lawyers will advise him on this program if need be.

 

Mark


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#11 Paul Dillon

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

I think this program is a good idea and tend to agree with Jean's viewpoint.

 

If a reader has paid for my work, I don't care if they read/own it on a Kindle, paper or any other format that may exist now or in the future. I'm not looking to squeeze an extra dollar from the reader for the ability to read the book on whatever platform they choose. The Kindle version adds little or no additional cost to Amazon and none to me. (I'm not seeing potential lost revenue as a cost, although some might.)

 

Mark does bring up a good point: that Kindle books are often more profitable than paper. One option might be to raise the POD price to match the profit from the Kindle and offer the Kindle for free with POD purchase.

 

Publishers may view this differently. 



#12 BB_

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 03:44 AM

So...everything you all have said is fine and dandy, but this is also the case for me:

I guess my fundamental position on the Matchbook program is (yawn) so what?

and let me tell you why in two sentences.

 

I sell around ten paperback books a month...10...(that's one followed by a zero). Compared to the amount of ebooks I sell in the same month, I figure why not let the people who've purchased paperback copies get the e-version for free if they want?


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#13 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:08 AM

Most of my sales are ebooks and audiobooks. My paperback sales are no where as good. Maybe enrolling will help my paperback sales? I doubt enrolling would hurt my ebook sales since the ebook is cheaper than the paperback and I believe that most readers tend to buy one or the other.

 

The ebook version of LABTYD is already free so there's no point in enrolling that book in MatchBook. If paperback readers really wanted to own the ebook copy for a reduced price (free), they already can.

 

I could enroll TKK in MatchBook and see if it generates some paperback sales. It looks like I should be able to "unenroll" without any consequences. There might be an advantage in the program due to increased exposure. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

 

Who has already signed up for it?

If your full price is $2.99 and you normally earn a 70% royalty, what is the MatchBook royalty percentage when you MatchBook price at 99¢?

 

Mark


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#14 BB_

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:11 PM

I'm not sure about the royalty percentage you receive, but based on the email you got back from Amazon support it seems like you would get 35%  if the matchbook price is below 2.99.

 

I'm signing my books up for this, but I'm setting the matchbook price as free.

 

I don't think they have it rolled out yet, though.

 

I would refrain from signing up if you have a series going for now. After I signed up, an error occurred where my titles now say "Book 1 1" and "Book 2 2."  Although they haven't confirmed this has to do with signing up for matchbook, it did happen right after I did it. I can't seem to fix it, no matter how many times I tried to republish with the correct title.


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#15 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:25 PM

I'm starting to come over to the MatchBook side. I may not see any great benefit to the program but I really don't see much of a downside either. I calculated that if I marked the ebook version of TKK down to 99¢ for folks who buy the paperback at $6.99, I'd still get $1.54 (90¢ royalty for the paperback + 64¢ (99¢-7¢ download fee times 70%) for the ebook and this might generate sales I might not otherwise enjoy.

 

I'd just like to confirm the royalty percentage before I commit and Amazon's answer to my question leaves me confused.

 

I clicked the enroll box for MatchBook and saw that the royalty on 99¢ would be 65¢ (they deduct the download cost but give you the 70% you would normally get  (assuming you normally get a 70% royalty

 

I left the page without agreeing to sign up as I'm still on the fence. Who's signed up?

 

UPDATE:

I suspect that Amazon will promote the Matchbook titles more than they do the titles not in the Matchbook program so I looked for a way to make their program more attractive.

 

I realized that if increase my paperback price from $6.99 to $7.99, I'll earn $1.50 in royalties. Add that to the 65¢ royalty from the bundled 99¢ ebook and the total royalty for the bundle is $2.15, about a dime more than the ebook royalty if you buy only the ebook at the full price of $2.99. I can live with that.

 

From the consumer side, they get the ebook at half off. They also get paperback and an ebook for $8.98 instead of the current unbundled price of $10.00.

 

Maybe my problem with this Matchbook model was my pricing was too low.

 

Mark


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#16 Jean Oram

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

I'm very curious if they will somehow advertise their MatchBook titles, Mark. Very!

 

And yes, I think for the average indie author the MB program is a bit *yawn* and so what? But you never know. It might be that little something that shines a light on you as someone who cares about readers. <shrugs>

 

And yes, I have enrolled. Why not? My ebook is free anyway. Ha, ha! So they get it for free if they buy the paperback--or not! (Although that will be more reliable as my book does pop back to paid every once in awhile.) I think I will enroll with my second book although I must look at ways to make it cheaper so I can at least turn a profit off the paperback--as it has been mentioned, the ebook is generally more profitable. ( I think opting for expanded distribution bumped up my price from what I had been estimating using their estimator before printing and publishing.)


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#17 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:26 PM

And yes, I have enrolled. Why not? My ebook is free anyway. Ha, ha! So they get it for free if they buy the paperback--or not! (Although that will be more reliable as my book does pop back to paid every once in awhile.) 

Jean,

 

I had not thought to enroll LABTYD because the ebook version is already free. I guess there's no harm in enrolling my paperback version of LABTYD in the program. I guess I'll enroll both.

 

I've read that 18,000 self pubbers have signed up. I've also read complaints that the number of enrollees has stressed the KDP servers.

 

Update:

I enrolled my free ebook in Matchbook (a no brainer, I guess) and I increased the price on my $6.99 paperback to $7.99 and bundled it via Matchbook with a 99¢ version of my $2.99 ebook.

 

Update Update:

Although the list price of TKK paperback was $6.99, Amazon had been selling it for $6.29 while paying me the royalty based on the $6.99 price. Now that the list price is  showing as $7.99, the selling price is still listed as $6.29. I wonder if that's intentional or if it's just a matter of time before the selling price updates?

 

Mark


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