Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Amazon Canada, and the HG101 Sega Book

So it's been brought to my attention by some Canadian readers that the HG101 Sega book doesn't show up on This is something I hadn't quite realized, though I now know why.

When selling books through my printer/publisher, Createspace, there are different tiers of profits based on the point of sale. I get the most profit if the purchase is made straight through the Createspace store. I get less if it's purchased through Amazon, since they take a fairly huge chunk in exchange for their exposure. And finally, I get even less than that if it's sold through a third party.

Here's the tricky part - all of the Amazons, despite having the same logos, are actually different companies that work under the same umbrella. Createspace only prints books through Amazon US, Amazon UK, and the assorted Amazon EU sites. All other Amazon sites are considered third party, including the Canadian one.

The issue I've run into is that the profit margin is so small on the color version of the book that it's impossible to sell via a third party. Literally, the profit is in the negative numbers. (Incidentally, the adventure game book was able to be sold to third parties, but the profit margin is pithy, something like sixty cents per volume sold.)

The only way to fix this would be to jack up the price another $5 or so, but this would affect the book sold in all territories, which wouldn't help much of anyone. I believe it's possible to enable sales of the B&W volume to third party sellers, since the profit margin is slightly higher, but I'm not sure if it'd be worth it, considering the color version is outselling it by a huge, huge margin. (It's also not appearing at all in any Amazon searches for me, for some reason?)

The good news is, I'm pretty sure Amazon US (or UK or EU) will ship to pretty much anywhere. The bad news is, of course, that the shipping will probably be high. But, at least you all know why things are the way they are.

This is sort of annoying for me too, of course, because I'd love to be able to sell this on Amazon JP, where I think some readers might be interested in it. But it doesn't look to be in the cards, at least for now. It's actually much better than it used to be, when Createspace only worked with the US site. That meant I got screwed over with the adventure game book on European sales, since I was getting practically nothing for every volume sold over there, at least when it was first published. It's fixed now, at least.


  1. thanks for the explanation =) I had already ordered it off the USA one anyway! Looking forward to reading it.

  2. And the colour version been removed from Amazon UK because of a complaint.

  3. I got mine last Monday from \o/

    Question: the side has some random (or so it seems) characters where one would expect the title of the book. Is it a "bug" for the color version ?

    1. I've received similar complaints as yours. The weird thing is, it's only affecting copies printed out of Europe, everything printed in the US looks fine. I suspect this is why it's currently suspended in the UK store.

      The printer has told me it was a one time glitch and if you contat Amazon, you can get a free replacement. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what caused the problem in the first place and who to chew out.

      I apologize for the problems.

    2. I should also note, not every copy printed in Europe is affected by this, it seems to have only been a small batch when it was first published. If anyone else has ordered recently, and the spine is still misprinted, please let me know.

    3. Ok I'll contact them, not a big deal.
      The pages are printed correctly, I only had a quick view about the book so far and it looks fantastic.

    4. sigh ... asks me to replace my bugged copy for a fixed one.
      I'll not do that, I can't let Amazon to destroy a piece of videogame history ;-)

    5. Nice aftersale service Amazon !
      They refund me 5€ (I asked for a voucher actually) as I want to keep the weird version I received.

      If I can be sure that the problem is fixed I'll be glad to purchase a second issue of your book ^_^