Posted on 2013-Nov-01
Exorbitant Bundle and Amazon’s Eagerness for Expansion
Amazon tries to keep itself busy with the first launch of Day One and KDP Select features, not to mention the recent announcement of MatchBook. Whatever programs they are working on, it seems publishers and bookstores keep a watchful eye. The partnership program between HarperCollins and Foyles bookstore is one such an instance to promote the sales of their print books and monetize eBook. The prime location of the bookstore in London will certainly help promote the exclusive deal that includes all the 8 titles for customers who both want books in print and digital.
Following the suit of selling print and digital books in a bundle package, HarperCollins together with Foyles, award-winning independent bookstore in UK, launches a partnership program where readers are motivated to buy both the hardbacks and eBook all at once from the bookstore. Once they buy the physical copy, they will get a voucher code to download the digital file without feeling the necessity to hunt for it on the web. Amazon has been offering a similar program through its Kindle MatchBook that enables their customers who have bought the print book to get a decent discount for the eBook edition. In this initial phase of Foyles’ bundle, they might face an uphill climb to compete with Amazon’s vast offer of 70,000 titles as well as Amazon UK’s lower price scheme. The Digital Reader first spotted the price discrepancies between buying the eBook sold on Foyles and Amazon UK. In defense of online vendor’s price-slashing promotion, brick-and-mortar bookstores need to do whatever they can to bring their customers back to the physical shelf. Eventually, readers will be the best judge of what factors in their purchasing decision whether they prioritize price tag or customer service.
New KDP Select Charm
With eBook subscription programs and book promotion websites, perhaps it is quite easy to put KDP Select behind you since there are so many ways to pitch your sales somewhere else other than Amazon’s realms. That is probably why Amazon must have realized what they are missing. Introducing the Kindle Countdown Deals, KDP Select authors will be able to inform their readers of their current price promotion with a countdown clock. Additionally, authors who discount less than $2.99 will still be able to get the 70% royalty option (which is usually only available for eBooks priced between $2.99–$9.99 inclusive). Authors take full reign in determining the discount, the promotion period, and the eBook’s regular price and readers are made aware how much they have got to buy the eBook at a discounted price. It goes without saying that these books will be available exclusively in Kindle Store. Having reduced the reader’s oblivion of the discount, they might find enough incentives to make an impulse buy or tell their friends about it. After all, authors can reap real benefit of their higher royalties through KDP Select offer.
Screenshot taken from Kindle Paperwhite
As if Amazon did not have enough resources to produce content, the first issue of Day One, “a literary journal for the digital age,” promises an interesting for readers who are interested in English-translated stories from around the world and poetry. Day One delivers their publication straight to monthly subscribers’ Kindles weekly and each issue may come with additional bonus (e.g. playlists, illustrations, interview with the authors). So far, the annual subscription fee is slashed more than half to $9.99 for early bird readers. In the first issue, a short story by Rebecca Adam Wright, a poem by Zack Straight are featured along with a conversation between Rebecca and Zack and illustrator Forsyth Harmon’s revelation about her cover art. Despite the cool concept about subscriptions, two customers complain about its inaccessibility in Europe, Germany, and Asia Pacific (our region). For those who have read it, the positive feedback about the writing seems to preapprove the journal’s initial success. We still need to wait and see when Amazon will plan to cater to their international customers’ need for literary fiction and poetry.
Hottest Pricing Trend
The partnership program signifies the latest digital movement that both the publisher and physical store adapt themselves to digital publication. To stay relevant in the business, they are competing with online vendors domestically and locally whose price scheme can become more advantageous due to lower operational costs. Although the bundle price might not be the most affordable alternative for readers as compared to Amazon UK storefront, the bundled eBook will expose them to eReading convenience and gifting their friends and loved ones conveniently. As far as indie authors are concerned, Amazon knows how to persuade them to use their exclusive program; many authors join on board to give a steep discount in a limited time offer through the countdown as $0.99 price tag tends to be the hottest trend ever.
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