Tag: market

Amazon: Destroyer of Future Plans

I’ve never been one of those author with scathing commentary about the monopolizing power of Amazon’s book store. Instead I was all-in with several Kindle-only titles.

Then they pulled the plug on Kindle Worlds.

At the moment this was announced, I was begging beta readers to return their comments on the third book for the series published in this universe. That story was planned to release in less than two months.

The day after the announcement, I got my royalty statement from Amazon showing the first month when two titles were available for sale. It was great. The sales had been strong and steady, more than anything else I’ve ever published.

Amazon was jerking the rug out from under my expanding readership.

Worse, I was positive that the introduction to this world and the amazing influencer who conceived it was the future of my writing career. At least for the next couple years.

Thanks, Amazon, for demolishing that business plan I made a week earlier.

But as much as this derailed my career planning, I knew the news was even worse for Melissa Storm.

I messaged her. I wanted to encourage her and let her know that no one was mad at her and we hoped we could still work together.

By the next day, she’d formed her own publishing company.

And why not? She has an incredible platform of followers. She launches all her new releases to the bestseller list.

Those characters I was dropping into Sweet Grove aren’t displaced after all. Their stories will be told.
*Shakes fist at Big Brother Amazon*
In the future, I might even explore some of the other shared series worlds she’s planning to launch along with Sweet Promise Press.

So if you’re an author, you should check it out. There’s a form to fill out if you want to write for her.

Those lines in my business plan that mention Kindle Worlds will have to be lined out. But those titles should still reach you.

In a few weeks, I’ll give you a glance into the next First Street Church novella. When I know the release date, I’ll pass it on.

Make sure you don’t miss any of these updates. Follow my author page on Facebook. Better yet, join my Facebook group.

It’s nice to know that Amazon doesn’t actually have the same destructive power of…Thanos. Indie authors unite with more strength than the Avengers, too.

Do you buy most of your books from Amazon? Is there any way we can curb their market share?

No price tag? Haggle your way to ownership

Sombrero Sale

Growing up in a world where businesses clearly mark their products with a price tag makes the idea of bickering over price something of a foreign language. In Mexico, if there is no price, make an offer. Prepare to haggle.

Sure, I’ve been on the purchasing end of a car enough times to realize the sticker price is what the dealer hopes you’re willing to pay. Do people actually pay it? I never have.

Still, there’s a recommended starting point. The salesman asks what you’re willing to pay, what monthly amount fits your budget. And the dance begins.

Walking into a shop stuffed with fired pottery, woven blankets and straw handbags is a different world. Not a single price point in sight.

The smiling salesperson helps you find the perfect pattern. He describes the five-step process required in crafting, painting and finishing the microwave, oven and dishwasher-safe serving dishes you’re admiring.

“How much?”

“$70.”

I’m not willing to spend that much on myself. It’s Christmastime, however, and I have no problem shoveling it out to purchase a gift.

Which is the wrong thing to do in Mexico. Never say “yes” to their first offer. But I’m a tourist, so I reach for my wallet.

Problem number one: I don’t have enough cash.

Problem number two: it will be 16 percent more if I use a credit card (because that is the amount of tax the government collects on every sale. Cash can exchange hands without El Presidente’s fingers getting in the pie).

Problem solved: We pool our money – after the suave salesman offers us a “deal” which includes another item my future daughter has been admiring.

Later, in a shop elsewhere on the plaza, I’ll find a similar set of pottery (not the pretty pattern I love) clearly marked with a $40 price tag. This is a larger store. They don’t want to haggle; they want to sell the products lining their shelves.

And yes, they add the tax. So $40 plus 16 percent in tax equals $46.40. Someone got a good deal today – and it wasn’t me.

I should have bartered, haggled, played “Let’s Make a Deal” Mexican style.

But instead, I played stupid tourist and some little shop owner had a profitable day. Even if mine was his only sale (which I doubt).

What about you? Do you like to haggle for a better price? Or does the simplicity of what you see is what you pay appeal to you?