I had to laugh today, because I found a particular scammer decided to list my book, Swords of Destiny, for sale at $43.00.
While I’m honored due to the fact this scammer thinks my $15.99 Swords of Destiny paperback is worth $43, I find it appropriate to warn everyone using Amazon’s one-click buy button that these scammers prey on readers, not so much authors.
In a way, they borderline help us out.
What these scammers do is list your book at a price, sometimes such a price is unreasonable, like $2,000.
They’re hoping for readers to buy a paperback copy of your book and inadvertently click on their selling option, which at times is tough to get a refund for, via Amazon’s refund policy.
I meant to talk about this for a while but the thought didn’t occur to me until just now when I saw my book listed at a price almost three times what I listed it for.
How does this help the author?
Usually, a scammer will list your book for an unreasonable price and when someone buys from them, will quickly buy your book with next-day shipping.
So, if they want to resell your book second-hand for $100, buy the book and get next or two-day shipping, it’s likely they’ll make a solid $70-$75 off the book, but they’ll buy the book via print-on-demand where the author gets a small royalty, but as you notice the scammer gets something larger in return.
There’s really nothing the author can do, since these second-hand business models have been in store since books first started printing, and I’m sure we’ve all sold books or bought them second-hand at one point or another.
The best thing we can do as authors is to warn our readers or readers of any book and book genre for that matter to be mindful when it comes to buying a paperback book from anyone.
Never hurry up to click and always check who the seller is.
There are a few sellers selling Swords of Destiny for a reasonable price, and these are probably people who bought the book, read it, and are shipping it somewhere else hoping to eek a small profit or just generate as 70-80% return for the book, where no real harm is done and it’s what I call a smart way of doing business.
So please, check to make sure that you’re buying from legit sellers who aren’t in the business of scamming you, as these scams are in a way, completely legal. People have the right to sell books second-hand for any price they so desire, as long as the book is in decent condition.
You can buy a book for $10, and turn around to sell it for $25, making a $15 gross profit. GameStop did this with video games, back when I’d trade in my old games and make a few bucks. And yes, they’d rip you off when you saw the game you just traded in for $5 on store shelves for $15, but again, it’s completely legal.
The same would go for those who may view your book and list it on eBay or Etsy, claiming they already have the book and taking a screenshot of it, claiming good or excellent condition.
Same rules apply.
The only real flaw to authors is this: Say in a few years I decide to rebrand, re-edit, and republish the Lord of Columbia Series under a different name, with each book getting a new name in the process.
While my e-books can be taken down and even my paperbacks, the books listed by other sellers still exist, so even if a book goes out of print, in some cases these sellers can still sell the old versions of my books.
Kind of scary, but as of right now there are very few if any known typos or plot holes in my work, as I get anal with editing to the point I read the work so many times I get tired of looking at my own work.
Either way, beware of your reselling scammers out there and as an author, I’m laughing at these people as I write this emergency post forewarning you all of their existence and their intention of ripping readers off.
Maybe Swords of Destiny will be worth $2,000 someday, but it’s more likely at the moment hyperinflation will raise the price in favor of popularity. I don’t know. If the book and the series ever reach Harry Potter status, my great-great-great descendants might get away with making a few thousand dollars off their deceased grandfather’s work.
Until then, only buy the book if the price is $15.99 (or less)!