Amazon Prime Price Increase: Will it Affect Authors?


Price Increase

The price for Amazon Prime is increasing from $79 to $99 per year.

Here is a link to Amazon’s website with information about this price change:

How will this impact authors?

If Prime memberships decline, this may impact authors a couple of different ways:

  • Fewer sales of print books. For one, Prime customers qualify for free two-day shipping of eligible products. Prime customers may be more impulsive shoppers because (1) they don’t have to spend $35 to qualify for free shipping and (2) making more purchases than they would otherwise may help them feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
  • Fewer borrows of e-books. Prime members who own Kindle devices can borrow up to one Kindle e-book per month. Authors enrolled in KDP Select earn royalties on borrows. But don’t worry too much: If there are fewer borrows, then each borrow will pay a somewhat larger royalty. If the number of borrows does drop, the effect may be negligible (unless Amazon reduces the monthly fund for borrows).

Hidden Surprise?

Suppose the extra $20 does deter some customers from keeping or joining Amazon Prime. It’s possible that Amazon will roll out some new Prime benefit to attract new customers. Presently, Prime benefits include free two-day shipping on eligible products, borrowing one KDP Select e-book per month, and instant streaming of a wide selection of videos. Perhaps something new is on the horizon. If so, that would help to attract new Prime members.

Is Prime Worth the Money?

There was a great article on this issue on Yahoo News recently:–worth-it-221620738.html?vp=1

If you’re thinking about signing up, you can sign up for a free trial by March 20 and lock in the current rate of $79.

If you’re a current Prime member who has recently renewed, you don’t have to worry about paying $99 until it renews again. If, for example, you signed up in January, the price change won’t impact you as a customer until January, 2015.

Did you know that you can share your Prime membership with family members living in the same household? Here’s how:

Publishing Resources

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

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7 comments on “Amazon Prime Price Increase: Will it Affect Authors?

  1. Excellent point about something coming later to entice Prime Membership. People tend to react to the ‘now’ without realizing that it can change. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon had a plan to make that $20 increase more worthwhile.

  2. Great article and information but I’m still left with a doubt. What books are included in it? If you’re in KDP Select, are you automatically in Prime? And what about that new thing, Kindle Unlimited?

    • It includes all 500,000 KDP Select titles plus an additional 100,000 titles, mostly from small presses. There are some popular series in there, such as Harry Potter. (The big 5 aren’t participating presently.)

      Books enrolled by their authors in KDP Select are automatically included in both Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited. Both Prime borrows and Kindle Unlimited downloads will pay the same royalty. In the past, this has averaged around $2 per borrow, but it may change significantly with Kindle Unlimited. It remains to be seen.

      Prime customers can only borrow one book per month, whereas borrowing is unlimited for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

      Customers who want free 2-day shipping and video streaming, and who only want to borrow one book per month, may be interested in Prime. Customers who are avid readers may prefer Kindle Unlimited.

      It is a tough decision. Everyone is hoping to predict this correctly and wind up on the right side of the fence.

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