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I guess I am a real novice. I am confused about something. I hope someone here can help me.

My book through my publishing company is on When I put in a search a company by the name of ElephantBooks came up as selling my book and shipping from an address in Calif. Is this normal? I looked up this company on Amazon. They look legit. How are they able to sell this book, ship from their state, and undercut the price for a new book? Am I missing something???

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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As you will begin to notice, there are about 20 or so companies selling your book for under the retail price. They are the same in premise: they list every book that runs through Lightning Source and other such POD printers (actually, most just pull the Amazon database and re-serve it as their own), offer a big discount, and hope to make a few pennies on sales. It doesn't seem to make sense at first, but if you think about it from their end it does. They set up a website, tie it to Amazon's database, and then hope to make up the costs via thousands of sales. You will still get the same amount whether your book sells through Amazon or one of these knock-off companies, so there is no worries on your end of it.



Director and Editor: Bauu Institute and Press
Editor: Indigenous Issues Today
Publisher: New Great Books
Oh, Peter! You are such a life saver! I told my husband I loved you!!! *grin* I just told him what you had posted and he said if those 20 companies each sold one book that would be 20 books sold. Good way to look at it, I guess.

Thank you, Peter for always coming to my rescue!!
Hi Susie

The cover price is just a guide. Booksellers can sell the book for more (!) or less. They just increase their profit of cut into their margin by doing so - you still get the same royalty as author.

For example, we may want to do a special promo in our store because sales are slow one month (i.e. January - everyone is holding their breath watiing for that post-Christmas and New Year credit card bill!). If we discount a book by 10% then we get less margin per book, but if it pulls people into the store we get a higher total take, that enables us to cover fixed expenses such as salary and rent.

e.g. If I have to pay 1000 USD of rent, and I sell 200 books with a profit of 4 USD each I don't cover my rent. If I sell 400 books with a profit of 3 USD each I have 200 USD left over after paying rent!

Of course, if your discount isn't enough to increase sales you lose out ....!

These internet providers have very low overheads, as they don't even do research, they just take the data from Amazon. So they don't have to increase sales too much to be in profit.
Thank you. Marion, for explaining this to me. I hadn't thought about that at all. I guess I have to do more research on a lot of other areas. I got so bogged down with other things. It's a shame that there isn't a site that covers allllllll this type of thing. I know I have gotten so much of an education just being a part of this group, doing research on the net, and reading, reading, reading. However, there are issues such as this one that isn't addressed anywhere. So when a newbie, such as myself, comes fact ot face with it, it can be disconcerting.

Thank you again, Marion, for your help.


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