A company called Stork Media is selling the print edition of my novel, Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders, here on Barnes & Noble's website for $34.58.
Seem a little high?
It should. Amazon sells it for $14.95 here. That's the new, still-warm-from-the-press price.
So what gives with Stork Media selling it for $34.58? Is it a special edition? Unless you count being ripped off as "special," it's a pile of crap.
Stork Media's game is selling print books far higher than the MSRP. When someone falls for it, Stork orders a copy at the regular price and sends it to the customer. It pockets the difference.
I contacted Barnes & Noble about this shady business. I want that book off the site yesterday. BN's customer service told me to get in touch with its author department. That's where I'm at now.
I also left a damning "review" of the book warning people not to buy it. BN has yet to approve it. Maybe my mention of Amazon's lower (aka real) price has something to do with it. Sorry, BN, but you're not helping yourself here.
I'm not the only author to have a run-in with these shysters. After putting the word out on Facebook, several authors told similar stories. Stork even priced one book at $200.
I have a sinking feeling none of this is illegal. But it sure ain't right. Vote with your dollars. Never buy anything from Stork Media. The legit titles all have cover images (Stork doesn't bother with cover images, probably for copyright reasons).
Anyone else had a similar experience?
I haven't looked at my listings recently, but Amazon lists seller sites in addition to its own page. Most tend to be used and cheaper, but not all. There are a lot of new books there also, and some are hugely overpriced. I see no reason why it shouldn't be legal.
Is this hurting your book in any way?
It's hurting my reputation. Readers won't make the connection with the 3rd party seller. They'll just think I'm a jerk.
This is the only print book at BN.
Update from BN:
Your book is currently available on our website through our 3rd Party Marketplace Sellers. These are independent booksellers who set their own prices for used copies of many books. We do not have any say in their pricing, which may vary from the Suggested Retail Price set by the publisher.
Yes. That's what I thought. Same at Amazon. Readers know the difference. Buyer Beware.
I understand this now, but it's still ridiculous. Really, BN? You're helpless? It's giving readers another reason to go to Amazon. This is the only choice for this print book on BN.
Oh, now there you have a legitimate complaint. How dare they?
That's what I'm trying to get across to BN. It drives sales to Amazon, the only place to get the book at regular price.
It's crazy, isn't it? But it's not just B&N - Amazon has the same problem with resellers overpricing books. Two are selling new copies of my originally priced $7.99 novel for $35.58 and $35.59 + $3.99 shipping.
The higher-priced one allegedly claims hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers:
One of those resellers is also selling the book for $35.58 on B&N. Other prices at B&N include $80.63, $98.87 and $104.84. Really? Somebody's actually going to buy it at that price? Especially when they can buy a used copy on either site for a penny? If any of this makes sense, I sure don't see it.
It doesn't make any sense, and I don't believe the reviews. "I'm very happy I paid too much." Who would think that? No one.
I've seen the same things on Amazon, and I wouldn't have as much a problem with that. The regular price book is there, too. But on BN, this is the only option.
And for BN to say it's helpless to do anything is a load. It has the final say about what goes on its site. It's hurting itself by allowing these resellers on its site. And irritating me. Not good when you buy as much from BN as we do.