Why is my book discounted on Amazon?

If you’re like most authors, you probably watch your Amazon listing like a hawk. At least you do at first. Then after a few weeks, months, or years, you stop popping in ever day. When you finally do give it a look, your book price has been slashed. Instead of people paying $9.99, your book is being sold for $4.99. Eek!

Why is your book discounted on Amazon, and is it anything to worry about?

How Amazon Works

At Argyle Fox Publishing, our authors use Ingram Spark to print and distribute their books. Here is how Amazon works for our authors and any other authors that use Ingram.

1. You publish your book.

2. Book sellers buy your book from Ingram at a discount. (Note: This is when you make profit.*)

3. Book sellers sell your book on Amazon for whatever price they want. (Note: This is when the book seller makes profit.)

4. If your book sales slow down, book sellers may discount your book. Just like you, they have limited storage room. If a book sits in their warehouse, it’s not making them any money. So they discount your book to get rid of it in an effort to clear out space.

*If you allow book returns with Ingram Spark, you may lose profit when book sellers return your books they don’t sell. So, if you’re an indie author without a robust budget, you may want to choose “No” when Ingram asks if you want to allow returns.

Should I Be Worried?

When your book price gets slashed, don’t freak out. After all, you’ve already made your profit. It doesn’t matter what price the book seller sets on your book. 

However, this should be a wake-up call. Because if your book price is slashed by the seller, that means you’re not selling books. Which means you need to get back on your marketing horse and tell people about it.

A great way to do that is to post online that your book is currently available at a steep discount. Explain you don’t know how long it will be that cheap, so get it while the getting’s good. Then be sure to include a link so people don’t have to look for it. (Remember: We’re all lazy. We want everything as easy as possible, including steeply discounted books.)

By doing this, you encourage more folks to buy your book. Sell enough of those discounted books, and book sellers take notice. What happens next? You sell more books to book sellers. So you make more profit!

Before Selling the First Copy

You can’t sell a book that hasn’t been published. Still working your way toward publication? Argyle Fox can help. If you have a finished manuscript that deserves an audience, head to our Author Submissions page to start your publication journey.