Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ellora's Cave Protects Their Bottom Line

Currently if you Google "Ellora's Cave" the top link is a Google Adsense paid link to All Romance ebooks. But here's the catch--from now on if you buy the book there it will probably cost you double.
You see, Ellora's Cave is taking a new approach to third party sales. They will not be taking a smaller cut, they be doing what self-publishers like Lulu do--doubling the price.

Consider the difference between the on site and off site cover prices for their new releases (shown below). Will EC they win and distributors will eat the difference. Or will customers who prefer to buy through multi-publisher vendors pay more... or stop buying EC books?

Tiger Eye (Kit Tunstall) EC: $4.45, off site: $8.90
Taking Shape previous (Tielle St.Clare) EC: $5.20, off site $10.40
Erotic Exposure (Paige Tyler) EC: $2.49, off site: $4.98.

Only time will tell, but I will be keeping an eye out to see how these books are priced when they hit ARe and Amazon. I would be more likely to believe that customers would all go to the EC site to get the books at the cheapest price, if the PTB hadn't changed the domain name to "", making it that much harder to even work out that it is the homepage for EC..


Sarah S. G. Frantz said...

Any thoughts/news/ideas on WHY the change from to Seems to me to be the paramount rule of web-design and -commerce: never, but never change the URL.

Teddy Pig said...

It's sad.

Ellora's Cave used to get me to spend money every week on some new eBook. Now I wait for an author I know to put out a new eBook or I just do not bother to even go over and check out what they have to offer.

Still hit Samhain and Loose Id every Tuesday though.

Jennifer Leeland said...

Like Teddy Pig, I usually have to know an author has put out a book before I'll go there.
It's too bad, really.

Fae said...

I don't know the reasoning behind the url change, but I don't think it makes the site any harder to find. The old address, forwards automatically to the JJ site. So you can use either URL.

veinglory said...

I, like many surfers, an very wary of being redirected. I happen to know that JJ is the umbrella for EC, but does the average reader? It seems an unecessary complication to me.

Fae said...

That's true, I hadn't thought of that aspect. With all the warnings about links that redirect to scam sites that *look* exactly like the real deal (facebook, paypal, myspace etc) I imagine that might make people wary.

Mary Winter said... pricing is higher than EC's site. My approx 35-40K novella, Cowboy Up, is $5.20 on their site, but in the neighborhood of $8.30 (if I remember right) as a Kindle book with a MSRP of $10.40.

I know some authors are simply saying that they're happy to see the increased royalties from third party sales and don't care about the implications of EC's policy. Personally, I don't like my readers getting "pricejacked".

How many "new to EC/new to a particular author" readers are going to feel ripped off when they discover they could have bought that story for $3 less directly form the site? And how many of these readers will go back?

I do not see this engendering goodwill among readers who discover the duplicity by paying more than they should to pad someone's bottom line.

Welcome to Digimonkey Says said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori James said...

I encourage everyone to click on the links and do some actual price comparison. The Ellora's Cave books on All Romance and OmniLit are not selling for double the price of what's listed on their own website. We're doing our best to make pricing competitive for readers. When you add in our Buy-10-Get-1 free perk, in addition to our discount, I think most readers will be extremely happy. We have about 400 titles at the moment.

Lori James
All Romance eBooks
Chief Operating Officer

veinglory said...

So does that mean EC gets a better deal than other publishers? In which case I guess they did the right thing--but I am not sure how I feel about that.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how EC can get away with the pricing shenanigans...both Fictionwise and (I think) ARe specifically state in their contracts that prices must be equal at both the pubs' homepages and what they charge at the 3rd party sites and they must not "undercut." But then again, EC has gotten away with a lot of crap in this industry just because they are who they are, so maybe 3rd party vendors cowtow to their demands.

Lori James said...

The 400 EC titles we currently have are being provided via a vendor who supplies us with content from well over a thousand publishers. When the suggested retail is discounted, which we typically reserve the right to do with vendor contracts, it's really the readers who are being given the better deal.

In November we gave readers a 25% eBook Bucks rebate on all Samhain titles. In December we did the same with all Harlequin titles and we entered into a special agreement with close to a dozen publishers to give away selected titles at a 100% discount for a limited time. The EC promotion is a straight discount and closer to 40%. When you add in the loyalty program perk, it's a good value. Reader feedback thus far has been very positive. An end date for the promotion has yet to be determined.

Anonymous said...

Great for the readers...crap for the authors who get less royalties.