If you are using Smashwords to distribute your ebooks to online retailers, go there right now and OPT OUT of having your books distributed to Kobo.
Today Kobo, without my prior knowledge or consent, has slashed the prices on a bunch of my ebooks from $2.99 to as low 99 cents….and Amazon has followed suit. This is going to cost me thousands of dollars in lost royalties this month if I don't resolve this situation fast.
I don't know how long it takes for Kobo to remove books after an author has opted-out of distributing to them through Smashwords, so I have contacted Mark Coker, owner of Smashwords, to see what he can do before I lose a lot of money.
In the mean time, get your books off of Kobo now before they do the same thing to you…if they haven't already.
I am furious about this. It's as if they've hacked into my checking account and started making unauthorized withdrawals. I am assuming there is some language buried somewhere in the Smashwords agreement that allows Kobo to charge whatever the hell they want for my books. The problem is, Amazon matches the lowest price out there…and adjusts your royalty accordingly.
So now on Amazon, instead of making $2.06 each sale of THE WALK, I am making 70 cents. And instead of making $2.06 a sale on THREE WAYS TO DIE, I am making 35 cents. This is a major blow for me, since those two books are my bestsellers…
I really hope I can get my books off of Kobo quickly…and then convince Amazon to restore my original prices immediately thereafter.
UPDATE: 4/12/11, 8:37 pm: I got an email from Mark Coker, who tells me this is a big technical glitch at Kobo and that they are working on fixing the problem. He hopes to have it resolved by Thursday. Even if they do, I don't know how long it will take Amazon to restore the original pricing…and I still will have lost money in the interim. I doubt I'll be posting my books on Kobo again…my pitiful sales on their platform are not worth the risk of future accidental or intentional price cuts.
UPDATE 4/14/2011 – My books are off of Kobo and, from what I am hearing from other authors, the prices have been restored. I appreciate Kobo and Smashwords resolving this problem quickly…but I won't be back on Kobo any time soon. Now I've got to get Amazon to jack my prices back up to where they were before….