I received an email the other day from a client who said they googled their book and found it on Amazon for less than $5 and wanted to know why. Maybe you have experienced this, and you want to know how it will affect your royalties and what, if anything, you can do about it. So here’s the deal.
Occasionally, Amazon discounts some of the print books listed on their site. Amazon doesn't give authors advance notice of the temporary price cuts, so when authors see the price of their book lowered, some think the lower price affects their royalties and/or makes the book look cheap. Neither of these is true. Your royalty is based on the list price you set, not on the price at which Amazon chooses to sell it or the price the customer pays.
Keep in mind that Amazon’s goal is to make money. The more books you sell, the more money Amazon makes. Just as you might choose to offer your book at a lower price, Amazon may do this for you. Some reasons why Amazon might reduce print book prices for a period are:
Another way you can capitalize on Amazon’s price cut is to announce the sale. Think about it. If you were running a sale, you would tell people about it, right? So do the same in this situation. Announce the price cut on your FB Facebook page. Tweet a link to the book's Amazon page and alert your mailing list. Let Amazon’s sale increase your book sales. There’s no way to predict how long such a discount will last, so be sure to say in your post "limited time offer" or "offer ends soon."