As ebook retailers expand their global reach into untapped markets, the potential for providing the solutions afforded by digital publishing seem obvious. More readers than ever can access digital content with the same ease of use and speed that US customers originally enjoyed. Thanks to the work from many of the retailers, global customers can even enjoy content in their own languages via their e-readers and tablets.
Additionally, many companies have begun offering digital self-publishing platforms to would-be authors in these global markets. With the expansion of ebooks sales, have come the expansion of ebook uploading.
One author, however, has taken issue with the discrepancies in the recent launch of Amazon.ca’s KDP program, which allowed Canadian authors for the first time to switch their titles from the US Amazon store to the Amazon.ca KDP market. Author Eden Baylee found some difficulty with the new platform that she simply did not have to endure with her titles when she originally published them via the US Kindle Direct Publishing.
“Since coming on the independent publishing scene in 2010, I’ve dealt primarily with Amazon.com as my ebook distributor,” says Baylee. “All my books are available on Amazon.com and its sister companies in the UK, France, and other countries where the Amazon Kindle (ebook) store is available. The majority of my buyers come from the US and the UK, so I was a happy camper. That was until Amazon set up shop with Amazon.ca as its new Kindle store in Canada.”
Baylee, who currently has eight erotica titles available, specifically had some issues with the way ebooks were to be priced via the Amazon.ca site, as opposed to when they were originally sold via Amazon.com. This price issue actually includes the lack of control over the pricing, which many independent authors cite as one of the main reasons they first opted to self-publish.
“I published all my books through Amazon.com. When I listed my book at $4.99, I would see it at that price. Now I was seeing a discrepancy of a few cents on each of my books. $3.99 books were showing $4.04, and $4.99 books were showing $5.04 or $5.06. Considering the Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar at the time, I found this peculiar to say the least. I’d always purchased ebooks from Amazon.com with the understanding I was buying in USD, and I’d pay the applicable exchange rate at the time of purchase. I thought perhaps the variance I now saw took that into account, so I decided to test it out.
“I bought a copy of one of my books I’d priced for $4.99, which now mysteriously showed $5.04 on Amazon.com. When the item appeared on my credit card statement, I was actually charged $5.16 Canadian.”
Baylee offered some other concerns for her books, such as losing the option to allow readers to “Look Inside,” something she had been able to do when her books were part of the US KDP. This sampling can be very valuable to an author as it lets potential customers read before deciding to buy. She also noted that some of the editorial descriptions on her sales pages were no longer complete, an issue she was apparently not able to resolve with KDP Help. So where does that leave her as both an author and a businesswoman?
“Don’t sell me something as being good for me just because I live in the country where you’ve launched your new product. Until your service can consistently meet that provided to me by Amazon.com—I see no benefit in switching over.”