$2 Charge for Being “International”

I’ve recently heard that, for some people, the book price on Amazon is being listed as $4.99, especially when accessing the site on their cell phones. It’s only a $2 difference, but I deliberately chose the $2.99 price because it seems like a lot less, psychologically, and I didn’t want the price to stop anyone from buying the book. While it would be nice to be able to quit my day job and focus on writing, I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I won’t be making much money from the sale of this book. I was okay with it from the day I decided to self-publish.*

amazon

So why is the book being listed at the higher price? The answer came from Marc Finks, a former co-worker at the hagweon I worked at before I was sent to the Army and author of Boys For Sale, a novel about human trafficking. Apparently, $4.99 is the “international” price. I don’t know why they would charge international customers $2 extra for an e-book.

The work-around: I personally haven’t had any problems when accessing the site on my computer (as opposed to my phone), but according to Marc, all you need to do is change your account settings from wherever you are located to the United States.

1) Log onto Amazon.
2) Click on “Your Account.”
3) Click on “Manage Your Content and Devices.”
4) Click on “Settings.”
5) Change “Country Settings” to “United States.”

For the generous or perhaps compassionate among you, I don’t get any more royalties if the book is sold at $4.99 instead of $2.99 (or at least, I don’t believe so). If you’ve paid the $2 “international” charge, I’m sorry that I didn’t realize this earlier. On a nicer note, it seems they’ve lowered the price of the paperback. The price of the paperback is mostly up to Amazon because the high price is almost completely printing costs. I think I might make 25 cents per paperback sold.

* According to a survey conducted by the Guardian, half of self-published authors earn less than $500 per year. The average is much higher ($10,000), but it’s because there are a few success cases who make absurd amounts of money. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

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