Are #Indies Getting Clobbered by Big Name E-book Discounts?

This post, by Toby Neal, originally appeared on her blog on 12/4/13.

I think we are. And, it’s a great time to be a reader and shopping for e-books!

The DOJ price-fixing case with Apple and the Big 5 publishers was settled awhile ago, but September was when Amazon began really discounting big name books. I get several email lists of discounted books daily in my inbox, and I’ve been agog to see big names like Janet Evanovich, Louise Perry, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell and most recently, Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch, one of the Best Books of 2013, going for 2.99 or less.

I’ve bought more books than ever. More books than I should—but who can resist stockpiling these gems for a rainy reading day? I got the entire Game of Thrones set for around fifteen dollars! *goggle* If there’s ever a Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll be holed up in my bunker with all my ebook treasures, reading until the battery runs out!

Many of these have been older titles, but in preparing for Christmas, Barnes and Noble and Amazon seem to be pulling out all the stops and there’s no book whose price they won’t slash.

And in September, my sales went to half of what they’d been. They’ve stayed at half what they’d been in spite of doing active marketing, ads on Kirkus Reviews, giveaways, promos in those same lists I get in my email inbox, and launching two new books.

It’s like being the wimpy kid at the beach in that old commercial from the comics, getting sand kicked in your eye. Cheaper pricing was our advantage as indies.

I predicted this would happen in this blog post. In fact I’m surprised it took this long to happen. I’ve been asking around to other indies and they’re reporting similar dismal sales. So what can we do?

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and diversify. Here are some ideas to try:


Click here to read the rest of the post on Toby Neal’s blog.