In checking a few facts for How Much??? (part one) I noticed something odd when checking the price of my works (yes, still only two, third is coming soon I promise). I could not buy my short stories from Amazon UK. I am currently in Norway on a trip to visit friends. The listing is still there but I am told, in the top right hand corner of the screen, that these are not for sale. I’ve still yet to actually confirm that they are available in the UK still, but that’s another story for when I return.
I checked Amazon US to see if they were there and got quite a shock. They were still on sale, but at the incredible price of $6.24. That’s more than double the list price of $2.99.
After some Googling and reading around I discovered several things.
Amazon is not the global seller of digital books that you thought it was. You cannot buy them at all in a lot of the world. And if you are lucky enough to live in a country, such as Norway, where they do not have their own Amazon store, you can buy them from the US store. Included in the price is a $2 extra charge. Amazon claim this is for delivery by phone network. Not withstanding that most people get their books directly via wireless Internet, Amazon continue to claim that this is a phone network charge. On top of this they add VAT or the local equivalent at domestic rates.
This means that I can buy either of my works for $2.99 + $2 + 25% VAT (Norway MVA) which is approx $6.24.
Amazon proudly announces that International delivery is free via Amazon Whispernet.
So what is that $2 for? I am confused.
Amazon still claim it is a delivery charge, despite the listed free international delivery. And of this extra charge, does any of it come under the author’s 30-70% royalty? Of course not.
I am grateful for Amazon for giving us a great platform to sell from. But at the same time, Amazon, why the backhanded robbery in the rest of the world?